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The Canadian Diamond Rush

Author : Larry J.

Submitted : 2010-04-23 12:29:08    Word Count : 523    Popularity:   51

Tags:   diamonds, Canadian Diamonds, canadian diamond rush, safe diamond, conflict free diamond

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Canada is not a country which immediately springs to mind when it comes to diamonds – Russia and Botswana occupy top two slots – but since the discovery of diamonds in the Northwest Territories in 1991, Canada has become the world s number 3 producer of diamonds by value.

The first diamond discovered was in the frozen Point Lake wilderness, approximately 200 miles northeast of the Canadian city of Yellowknife. Conditions here are extremely harsh, especially in the winter months with long nights, short days and extremely low temperatures. Irrespective, shortly after two mines were established, with a third on stream in 2006 and a forth in 2008.

Today, Canadian diamond mines are extracting around 3 pounds of diamonds every day – worth approximately US$1.5 million and this is set to rise as more fields and diamond bearing seams are uncovered.

The discovery of diamonds in the territory sparked a Klondike like rush for establishing claims to prospecting areas. Claim offices in Nunavut and Iqaluit had prospectors queuing around the block to file claims and helicopters were used to drop claim stakes onto land in order to speed up the claim process. The diamond rush has led to a revival in the local economy which was already characterized by a very high cost of living. Renting a very basic apartment can set you back over CDN$1,600 a month and it is not uncommon to find skilled diamond workers from Armenia, Israel, and China being paid more than US$100,000 to service this blossoming industry.

A major selling feature for Canadian diamonds is that they are “clean”, that is, they are not produced from poorly made or exploited labor, nor the product of conflict and neither does the money generated from their sale end up financing civil wars which have been wracking countries in Africa and elsewhere. The global trade in conflict diamonds has long been a serious issue plaguing the diamond industry, after all, who really wants a diamond on their finger which may have cost someone their life or the money paid for it was used to buy weapons and bombs for terrorism?

Canada also has some of the most stringent environmental controls in the world, especially where it concerns mining in wilderness areas. Compared to countries such as Botswana and Russia, Canada has a highly advanced infrastructure and the industrial technology for extracting diamonds with minimal disruption and long term damage to the environment. Aside from being conflict free, Canadian diamonds are also the most eco friendly, naturally occurring diamonds available on the market today.

As a result of this “clean” reputation, Canadian diamonds are in demand by the fashion industry and consumers with a growing thirst for environmentally friendly products. They can be identified as Canadian diamonds because they are etched with a trademark polar bear, which is not visible to the naked eye and doesn t detract from their beauty. Celebrities who have endorsed the “conflict free” diamonds include a string of Hollywood A listers such as Jodie Foster, Meryl Streep, Uma Thurman, Rene Russo and Sarah Jessica Parker.

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Lawrence Reaves buys diamonds from http://www.danforthdiamond.com

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