Dominion Diamond announced positive results for its pre-feasibility study at the Misery Deep pit on Tuesday.
The Misery Main pipe open-pit mine is expected to account for around 60 per cent of of the diamond carats recovered at Ekati mine in fiscal 2018.
The pre-feasibility showed a probable mineral reserve of between 1.8 million tonnes, or 8.7 million carats, at Misery Deep, which could net Dominion $92 million.
“The new mineral reserve at Misery Deep reflects the addition of high-grade ore close to our existing mining operation and demonstrates the near- to longer-term upside potential at known kimberlites in the Lac de Gras district,” stated Jim Gowans, chairman of the board in a news release.
Dominion also announced this month the maiden resource at the Leslie Pipe at Ekati mine with an inferred mineral resource of 51 million tonnes and 16 million carats. Leslie is the highest priority pipe in the Ekati mine that has been bulk sampled but is not yet included in the mine plan. Leslie was discovered in 1992, located under a small lake between the Koala and Fox pipes. Estimates put the rough diamond price from Leslie to be between $85 and $120 per carat.
Dominion wrapped up the month by announcing increased investment in exploration over the next five years, with a budget of around $50 million.
There are 150 known kimberlites in the Ekati area, but only around 40 have had follow-up block sampling. “We are mining and exploring in what is still a relatively young mining district,” Gowans stated in a May 18 news release.
“Our renewed focus on exploration is generating strong results along the entire project pipeline, reflecting near-, mid- and longer-term potential.”