In 1991, the discovery of diamondiferous kimberlite in Canada's Northwest Territories (NWT) precipitated the largest mineral staking rush in North America and sparked a remarkable exploration effort which extended across northern Canada. Thirteen years later, two diamond mines with estimated annual productions of $1 billion (Can) are in operation, a third is in permitting, and several other projects are approaching development. Ekati mine, operated by BHP Billiton since 1998, produced 4.8 million carats from 4.2 million tons of ore in 2003 while the nearby Diavik diamond mine yielded 2.7 million carats from 1.0 million tons of ore during the same...

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