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Dominion restarts Ekati process plant, sells 186-carat diamond for US$2.8M

The processing plant at Dominion Diamond Corp.'s Ekati diamond mine in Canada's Northwest Territories resumed operations Sept. 21, ahead of schedule.

Operations, which were suspended following a fire in the processing plant June 23, were restarted at full capacity following repairs that cost about US$15 million. The previous cost estimate for the repairs was C$25 million.

During the downtime, the company reduced operating and capital costs by deferring mining at the Lynx and Pigeon open pits, while continuing to mine and stockpile higher value ore from the Misery Main open pit and Koala underground areas.

The stockpile comprised about 750,000 tonnes of ore when the plant resumed operations, Dominion noted.

In addition, the company sold a 186-carat, gem-quality diamond for US$2.8 million at its most recent sale in September. The stone was recovered in early June while processing feed from the Pigeon kimberlite, and is the largest gem-quality diamond ever recovered at the Ekati mine, according to the company.