Canadian exploration and development company Shore Gold Inc. is closing in on the advanced stages before development of its multi-billion dollar Star-Orion South Diamond Project, located in the Fort á la Come Forest of Saskatchewan. The project, which has gone through rigorous testing, sampling and environmental review, has shown tremendous potential since it was first discovered in the late 1980s, and is expected to become the first diamond mine in the province.
Diamonds in Saskatchewan
The world-class diamond mining project will be comprised of two open pit mines that would excavate some 45,000 tons of rock per day for more than 20 years. According to Senior Vice President of Exploration and Development, George Read, the project has uncommon appeal for a variety of reasons. The economics of a diamond mine are dependent on not only tonnes and grade of the kimberlite ore but also on the average price of the diamonds.
The average diamond price is unique for each diamond mine. In 2014 the world average rough diamond price was US$116 per carat, the Canadian average was US$173 per carat and the Star-Orion South Diamond Project had an average price of US$210 per carat.
“While Star and Orion South have lower diamond grades (10-20 cpht), they are very large kimberlites and much larger than those in the Northwest Territories. People also fail to understand the importance of the coarse size frequency distributions of their diamond populations. There is a significant opportunity for the recovery of plus 100 carat stones from the future production of these mines. During evaluation, 49 and 45 carat stones were recovered from Star and Orion South, respectively,” said Read...
To read more about the challenges at Fort á la Corne and what’s next for this exciting diamond project, check out the full story in Business Review USA & Canada.