Business & Industry
Jul 1, 2015
Diamonds for a better world
Canadian diamonds have gained notoriety over the last two decades, and this is probably due to its late discovery. The mines in Canada were not discovered (at least in large scale) up until 1991, when evidence of diamond mines turned up on the north of the territory. Today, Canada is one the biggest diamond producers in the world.
It all started in 1991, when to geologists found evidence of diamond mines. During the rest of the 90's several mines were discovered, and in 1998, Canada was catapulted into the diamond industry after the Ekati Diamond mine opened and by April 1999, 1 million carats of diamonds had been produced. These were Canada's first commercial diamonds.
By 2006, over 13 million carats per year of gem diamonds were being produced, with the majority exported but a small portion remaining in Canadian markets, even though there are not many domestic producers of finished stones.
Diamonds from Canada bare a series of characteristics that make them one of the best. Not only do the small deposits of the stone carry more diamonds per Ore than other mines, but they have a higher gem-quality output, about 15 %. This means that 85% of the diamonds mined are fit only for industrial purposes. But that is not a bad thing! This quantity of gem-quality stones is higher than the average mine, meaning Canadian mines are actually more valuable.
The fact that there is a higher average percentage of gem quality makes them more valuable, and they distinguish themselves by a high grade of color and clarity and a low level of fluorescence. The fact that these diamonds come from a conflict free zone, only adds to its beauty and natural qualities. Their brilliance and color and pure is among the most naturally white and clean in the world having not to be treated in order to improve their color. The world's most renowned diamond experts regard them as the finest available
Moreover, there is a strict code of conduct that must be followed by the miners so the diamonds can be certified. This code states that every stone is registered and tracked from the moment of extraction from the mine, and monitored throughout its journey to the jeweler. Each and every diamond is engraved with a certificate number on their girdle, along with a trade logo like a maple leaf, polar bear, or the words "Ice on Fire" so it can forever be retraced to its origin.
On the other hand, these diamonds are mostly shipped abroad to be cut and polished, due to the lack of manufacturing ability in the country. This doesn't mean that they lose quality, only that they travel – a lot.
There are four active mines in Canada. EKATI mine, owned by Dominion Diamond Corporation, formerly owned by BHP Billiton, Canada, Inc, was the first mine to open, in 1998. Originally, it was an open pit mine, but as the superficial ore was continuously mined, they had to move inwards, and now, the mining is underground.
Diavik, owned by Rio Tinto, was the second diamond mine in Canada to open. At the bottom of the Lac de Gras is where the pipes were originally discovered, by drilling through the ice. In order to be mined, a dike had to be built, the water pumped and at the bottom of the lake is where the mining started, and is moving downwards as it continues to produce Diamonds.
The Snap Lake Mine, owned by De Beers was Canada's first diamond mine to be completely underground. In opposition to the vertical pipe, this mine follows a kimberlite dike about 2.5 meters thick that slopes down under Snap Lake.
The Victor Diamond Mine, also owned by De Beers is an open pit mine and was the first diamond mine in Ontario. Mining occurs in one of sixteen diamondiferous kimberlite pipes on the property.
In the end, it all comes down to the origin. In Canada, there is an environmentally friendly, socially responsible and ethically conscious mining of diamonds. They come from conflict-free sources and are harvested in a legitimate manner. The country's diamond mining industry contributes to and promotes a strict policy of environmental care and ethical responsibilities, the proceeds only go to legitimate companies and this guarantees that no group that promotes forced labor, theft or other exploitation will get them. The local aborigines make up 30 to 40 % of the mine workers, and all the mining business in the country not only follows a strict code of conduct, but also very high standards of quality.
All of this is what makes the Canada Diamond so appealing. When you buy a Canada Diamond, you can be sure that it is certified, conflict-free, and environmentally ethical.