The first known kimberlite pipe in Canada was discovered at Pointe Lake in 1991 by Chuck Fipke and Stewart Blusson, who had been prospecting in the region for almost ten years, having found kimberlite indicator minerals as early as 1985[1]. The Pointe Lake kimberlite is located within a block of mining claims now known as EKATI. There are 156 known kimberlites within the EKATI claim block. The Pointe Lake discovery precipitated the largest staking rush in world history. EKATI officially opened on October 14, 1998, and is operated by BHP Billiton Diamonds Inc., a part of the BHP Billiton Group, the world's largest diversified resources company.

[edit] Geology

Diamonds at the EKATI site are found in 45 to 62 million year old kimberlite pipes (Creaser et al., 2004) of the Lac de Gras kimberlite field, most of which lie underneath shallow lakes. Diamonds from the EKATI Mine are sold under the trade name Aurias. Authenticity is verified through the CanadaMark service, also operated by BHP Billiton Diamonds Inc.

[edit] Mining

Between 1998 and 2008, the mine has produced 40 million carats (8,000 kg / 17,636 lb) of diamonds out of six open pits.[1] As the high grade ore close to surface was depleted, development was completed to access the ore utilizing underground methods. Currently, there are two underground operations (Panda and Koala) with open-cut mining occurring in Fox Pit.[1].

 
 
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