Exploration for diamonds began in Canada as early as the 1960’s. The first diamond deposit was found in the Lac de Gras area of the NWT in 1991. In October of 1998, about 300 kilometers northeast of Yellowknife, the Ekati diamond mine opened. The mine produced one million carats by April of 1999. Production in 2003 was about 11.6 million carats and in 2004, grew to 12.6 million carats!
The diamond industry in Canada is now worth more than $2.0 billion dollars with projections of growth in the future.
For many years there has been diamond polishing facilities in Canada. There are cutting and polishing facilities in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montréal and Matane.
Canada’s diamond industry is part of a minerals and metals industry that is one of the world’s largest producers and exporters.
Formation of a Diamond
When carbon crystallizes under conditions of extreme temperature and pressure, diamonds form. Diamonds were formed in molten rock, at depths farther than 160 kilometers beneath the surface. Once formed, during volcanic activity, diamonds were carried up to the earths’ surface with the magma. Once cooled, cone-shaped pipes of rock called kimberlite we left. Many years of erosion by wind, rain and snow released the diamonds, as well as minerals that indicated the presence of diamonds.