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TORONTO, Oct. 15, 2013 – Dominion Diamond Corporation (TSX:DDC) (NYSE:DDC) (the “Company”) reports Diavik and Ekati Diamond Mine third calendar quarter production results. The Company has filed a project description report for the Lynx Project and expects to file a project description report for Jay-Cardinal Project before month-end.
Diavik Diamond Mine
The third calendar quarter of 2013 saw continued strong performance at the Diavik Diamond Mine and the change and improvement seen in operational performance during early 2013 has continued. During the third calendar quarter of 2013, the Diavik Diamond Mine produced (on a 100% basis) 1.7 million carats from 0.5 million tonnes of ore processed. The Diavik Diamond Mine full-year production target (on a 100% basis) remains at approximately 7.3 million carats from the mining of approximately 1.9 million tonnes of ore and the processing of approximately 2.2 million tonnes of material from both mining and stockpiles.
Diavik’s full-year target production expects mining activities will be exclusively underground with approximately 0.7 million tonnes expected to be sourced from A-154 North, approximately 0.5 million tonnes from A-154 South and approximately 0.7 million tonnes from A-418 kimberlite pipes. Included in the estimated production for calendar 2013 is approximately 0.4 million carats from RPR and 0.1 million carats from the improved recovery process for small diamonds. These RPR and small diamond recoveries are not included in the Company’s reserves and resource statement and are therefore incremental to production.
Ekati Diamond Mine
The Company’s Senior Management team, headed by the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mr. Robert A. Gannicott, is now based in Yellowknifein the Northwest Territories, the Company’s headquarters. Having the Senior Management team based near the operations together with the arrival of Mr. Chantal Lavoie as President and Chief Operating Officer of Dominion Diamond Ekati Corporation is already demonstrating benefits and during the third quarter of 2013, the Ekati Diamond Mine achieved better than expected operational and production results, whilst maintaining the continued strong focus on health, safety and the environment.
During the third calendar quarter of 2013, the Ekati Diamond Mine produced (on a 100% basis) 0.4 million carats from the processing of 0.9 million tonnes of ore from the reserves. Activities through the calendar quarter continued to focus on ore production from the Fox open pit, and Koala and Koala North underground. The Company also recovered 0.3 million carats from the processing of 0.2 million tonnes of coarse ore rejects and diamond bearing kimberlite excavated from a satellite body in the Misery open pit (referred to as Misery South & South West).
The Company (on a 100% basis) now expects to mine 4.2 million tonnes from the mineral reserve through to the end of the calendar year, as compared to a target at the end of the second quarter of approximately 3.5 million tonnes from the mineral reserve and continues to expect to produce 1.0 million carats from the mineral reserves. Total production since April 10, 2013 has already exceeded 1.0 million carats after giving effect to the production from material that is not included in the reserves. The majority of ore expected to be processed during the fourth quarter will be from the mineral reserve.
In September, Dominion Diamond Corporation filed an application with the Wek’éezhii Land and Water Board requesting a land use permit and water licence to enable mining of the Lynx kimberlite pipe (“Lynx Project”) at the Ekati Diamond Mine, which lies approximately 3 km to the southwest of the active Misery pit.
The Lynx kimberlite pipe is estimated to have 1.3 million tonnes of indicated resource at 0.8 carats per tonne (cpt) and 0.1 million tonnes of inferred resource at 0.8 cpt, in each case on a 100% basis as at December 31, 2012. The Company has modeled the approximate rough diamond price for the Lynx diamonds at US$257 per carat as at December 31, 2012 (1.2 mm slot screen cut-off, 86% diamond recovery). Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.
Jay and Cardinal Kimberlites
The current Life of Mine plan for the Ekati Diamond Mine envisages mining until the end of calendar 2019. During October 2013, the Company expects to file an application for the development of the Jay and Cardinal kimberlite pipes which have the potential to substantially increase the life of the Ekati Diamond Mine. The Jay pipe resource is recognised as the largest diamondiferous resource in North America. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.
Diavik Diamond Mine
For the nine months ended September 30, 2013, the Diavik Diamond Mine produced (on a 100% basis) 5.2 million carats from 1.6 million tonnes of ore processed compared to production of 5.3 million carats from 1.6 million tonnes of ore processed in the comparable period of the prior year. The 3% decrease in carats recovered in the current year was primarily due to an increase in production from the higher value, lower grade A-154 North kimberlite pipe. The average grade of ore processed during the nine months ended September 30, 2013 including reprocessed plant rejects (“RPR”) was 3.28 carats per tonne compared with 3.35 carats per tonne in the comparable period of the prior year.
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