Canada could top world diamond production
Date: Friday, January 16 2004
Topic: International News
Statistics Canada released a report on Canada's diamond industry this week that shows the industry's tremendous growth in the last few years.
Between 1998 to 2002, companies have mined about 13.8 million carats of these precious stones of pure carbon from the N.W.T., collectively worth $2.8 billion That's about 15 per cent of the world's diamonds by value. Only Botswana and Russia produce more diamonds, but the industry in those countries peaked years ago.
The Canadian diamond industry is only six years old and several potential diamond mines, in Ontario, Nunavut and the N.W.T, could still come online.
But those numbers will quickly get even more impressive, according to analyst Pierre Leblanc of Canadian Diamond Consultants.
Leblanc says Canada could be producing up to 50 per cent of the world's diamonds in the next 10 to 15 years.
"I think the mining will continue to grow, I think we've only seen the tip of the iceberg," he says. "At my last count there were over 100 companies involved in exploration in Canada so it's just a matter of time before more kimberlite pipes are found."
So far, the Canadian industry has created 2,200 lucrative jobs, according to the Statistics Canada report.
Diamond industry workers earned an average of over $61,000 a year between 1998 and 2001. Those directly involved in the mining operations made over $64,000.