Nestled deep within the Canadian arctic, the Diavik Diamond Mine is located on a 20 square kilometer island on Lac de Gras, roughly 300 kilometers from Yellowknife, the capital of the Northwest Territories. Diavik is so remote it is accessible only by air or ice road. Due to the nature of the road, it is only open for eight or nine weeks a year between February and April.
We were asked to assess the feasibility of underground mining at this remote site. We needed to design access to the three main diamond deposits using a mixture of mechanized mining processes combined with more traditional blast hole stope mining. And to maximize production, we incorporated detailed production schedules.
This was one of reasons Diavik chose us to complete the detail design for the underground infrastructure, maintenance facilities, dewatering facilities, mine air heating, ventilation systems, and electrical power distribution systems, amongst other project requirements.
Diavik is home to roughly 1,100 Diavik Diamond Mine employees. Creating a place that they could call home was top of mind for us while designing permanent accommodations for this unique community.