Field Trip 01

Northwest Territories Diamond Mines

Leaders:  Chris Hrkac (Aurora Geosciences), Eileen Lyon (Aurora Geosciences), Barrett Elliott (Northwest Territories Geological Survey) and Gary Vivian (Aurora Geosciences)

Dates: FT01 takes place from late afternoon Tuesday 2 July 2024 (participants must arrive by 6 pm to attend an orientation and dinner) to late afternoon Saturday 6 July 2024.

Duration: Four days, five nights.

Location: Based in Yellowknife.

Registration:  The registration fee is $1,650 CAD. Transport in Yellowknife and charter flights to the mines, lunches during field days and two dinners (one Tuesday 2 July 2024, one Friday 05 July 2024) are included in the registration fee. Participants will be responsible for their own accommodations for the duration of this field trip. If the field trip is full at the time of registration, there will be an option to be added to a waiting list and you will be informed should spaces become available. Two group dinners (Tuesday and Friday) and lunches are included. See Field Trip Overview, Important Dates and Registration for more details. 

Transport: Charter planes from Yellowknife Airport (Dash 7 by Air Tindi) to and from each of the mines (flight time: approximately 1.5 hours each way) and road transport within Yellowknife. Air Tindi is a Northern airline based in Yellowknife which is the only charter airline to have serviced the diamond industry throughout its ‘30 Years of Diamonds in Canada’ which 12 IKC is celebrating.  

Accommodation: To be organised by delegate. The 12 IKC preferred room rates at the three hotels are available for the dates required to participate in FT01A so bookings for the main conference can be extended. See Accommodation Page for more details.

Description: This four-day field trip is based in Yellowknife and offers participants an opportunity to travel north of the treeline to the remote and scenic Slave Geological Province. The first three days comprise travelling across the tundra by air for one-day visits to each of the Northwest Territories’ three operating diamond mines: Ekati Mine, Canada’s first diamond mine courtesy of Arctic Canadian Diamond Company, Diavik Mine courtesy of Diavik Diamond Mines, and Gahcho Kuè Mine, courtesy of De Beers Canada Inc. and Mountain Province Diamonds Inc.. The fourth day will be spent in Yellowknife where drillcore from the Kelvin and Faraday kimberlites, adjacent to the Gahcho Kuè Mine, will be viewed courtesy of Mountain Province Diamonds Inc..

The group will meet up each morning at the Chateau Nova Hotel where field trip and overview information will be provided. Ground transport will be provided to the Yellowknife airport to board a charter flight to that day’s mine site which will return to Yellowknife for the evening. On the fourth day ground transport will be provided first to Dettah which is a small settlement 27km by road from Yellowknife on the shores of Great Slave Lake for a traditional Bannock and Tea breakfast hosted by the Yellowknives Dene First Nation before going to the Kennady Diamonds Inc. core logging facility in Yellowknife.

The sampling of kimberlite on each of the sites will not be permitted, but prepared kimberlite samples may be provided to participants. There will be an opportunity to pack and courier samples in Yellowknife on the last day.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will be required for each mine visit and participants will be required to provide and wear their own safety boots. Long sleeve shirts and full length pants will be required. Field trips participants may have to use PPE provided by the mines where appropriate, such as reflective safety vests, hard hats, safety goggles, hearing protection and gloves. The mines may require specific types of PPE and participants are discouraged from bringing their own hardhats, vests, etc..

Field Trip Sponsors: 

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FT01 Collage

Top Row - Aerial view of the Diavik Diamond Mine with from left to right the A418 and larger A154 open pits surrounded by the water of Lac de Gras and the Diavik processing plant (photos courtesy of Diavik Diamond Mines).

Second Row  - View from within one open pit and an aerial view of the Ekati Diamond Mine with open pits in foreground from back left to right: Koala, Koala North, Panda and Beartooth (photos courtesy of Burgundy Diamond Mines).

Third Row  - 2019 aerial view of the Gahcho Kuè Mine with the Hearne in the foreground and 5034 open pits (photos courtesy of De Beers Canada).

Bottom Row  - Drillcore and winter drilling from the Kennady North Kimberlite project (photos courtesy of Mountain Province Diamonds Inc.).