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Fire forces shutdown of Ekati's production for next three months


Last updated 7/3/2016 at Noon

Dominion Diamond Corp. June 27 said the processing plant at its Ekati diamond mine in Northwest Territories is out of operation due to a June 23 fire.

The blaze was quickly extinguished and all personnel were safely evacuated from the plant without injury.

The damages were limited to a small area of the process plant, with no damage to the main structural components.

Repairs will require the replacement of one of the main degritting screens and associated components, as well as some electrical wiring and related infrastructure.

The repairs to the plant are expected to take about three months, after which the plant is expected to resume operations at full capacity.

Dominion has initiated a plan to reduce operating and capital costs during this time, which includes an adjustment of mining operations to pause mining at lower priority and lower value ore bodies, a deferral of non-essential sustaining capital, and a temporary layoff of affected staff across the company.

The company will continue to mine higher value material during the process plant shutdown.

Ore mined during the process plant downtime will be stockpiled, with the intention to prioritize the processing of the highest value material when the plant restarts.

Dominion said it will provide further updates as information becomes available.

In addition to owning controlling interest and operating Ekati, Dominion owns a 40 percent stake in the Diavik diamond mine, also in Northwest Territories.


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