Dominion readies to restart Ekati

Toronto-based Dominion Diamond Mines is recalling about 60 of a total 300 furloughed employees as it readies to restart the Ekati rough diamond mine in Canada’s Northwest Territories.
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Dominion owns a controlling interest in the Ekati diamond mine

Dominion said that Ekati, an underground and surface operation that was placed on care and maintenance in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will restart operations in early December.

In anticipation of an agreement expected in the near future to restructure Dominion's debt, the company said it made the announcement now, "given the necessary lead times required to mobilise the workforce while adequately complying with COVID-19 isolation protocols."

Dominion owns a controlling interest in the Ekati diamond mine, which it operates, and owns 40% of the Diavik diamond mne in the North Slave Region of the Northwest Territories.

Creditor protection, which was granted when the operation went into care and maintenance, has been extended to December 15, in an affidavit filed with a Calgary court.

DDMI, which is owned by Rio Tinto and is Dominion's joint venture partner at the Diavik mine, has paid Dominion's operations costs at Diavik since creditor protection started in April, with the debts running to C$119.5 million  (US$91.4 million), according to an affidavit signed by Thomas Croese, the finance manager of the Diavik mine.