Small fire makes big impact at Ekati processing plant

Published on: August 2016

By Kylie Williams

More than 300 workers were temporarily laid off or reassigned after a fire damaged the processing plant at Dominion Diamond’s Ekati mine, located 300 kilometres north of Yellowknife, on June 23. Dominion, which also owns 40 per cent of nearby Diavik, estimated repairs would take three months and cost $25 million.

The fire broke out at 7 a.m. during a planned shutdown to replace a degritting screen, and was quickly extinguished. All employees working in the area were safely evacuated and no injuries were reported. Although the damage was limited to a small area and most of the items needed to repair the screen are already on site, additional items needed to be ordered and will be delivered by air freight, and ore will be stockpiled until the plant is repaired.

“We’ve planned mining activities to allow for the option to prioritize higher value ore sources on startup, thereby minimizing the impact on the value of our fiscal year production,” said Dominion’s CEO, Brendan Bell, in a press release on July 5.

Ready the full article in the Developments section of CIM Magazine (August 2016).