The Ekati mine in Canada's Northwest Territories is producing fewer diamonds so far this year than it did the same time period last year, the largest stakeholder in the mine has announced, according to Diamond Intelligence.
Ekati, the Canadian diamond industry's first mine, has produced about 1.784 million carats of diamonds in the first six months of 2012. This figure is a full 29% less than the amount of diamonds extracted from the mine during the first six months of 2011. Between April and June, the mine produced about 413,000 carats, which was 5% less than the previous quarter and 28% less year-over-year. Diamond production is not expected to rise significantly in the near future, Diamond Intelligence reported.
BHP Billiton owns 80% of the Ekati mine, while the two geologists who discovered the mine own the remaining 20%. BHP has been conducting a review of its diamond mining operations for months and may decide to sell off its diamond assets.