NWT drops to fifth in global diamond production value; maintains third in carats

15 September 2021

(Yellowknife, NT – September 15, 2021) The value of Canadian diamond production fell to $929 million in 2020, from sales of 13.1 million carats. This compares to a value of $1.7 billion from 21 million carats in 2019. In terms of global production, the value produced by Canadian diamond mines ranked fifth in the world in 2020, down from ranking third in global production every year since 2016. Canada’s diamond production is virtually all from the Northwest Territories today, and Canada’s global drop in position reflects NWT production.

“The NWT has been among the top global producers of diamonds since the early 2000s. NWT diamond potential is still very high, and rejuvenated exploration could help find new deposits to sustain production and the important role diamond mining plays in the health of the territory’s economy. Cost reductions related to adoption of new diamond mining and recovery technologies, construction of the planned Slave Geological Province all season road, and new, cleaner hydropower, could also contribute to sustaining future production with all of its important benefits to communities, businesses and governments,” said NWT & Nunavut Chamber of Mines President Ken Armstrong.

Global diamond production in 2020 was 107 million carats, down 23% from 138.2 million carats in 2019. Much of this decline was due to the significant effects the global COVID-19 pandemic had on the global diamond industry, including significant impacts on production from the NWT.

For detailed 2020 production and value statistics for all diamond producing countries, visit the Kimberley Process web site here. The Kimberley Process unites administrations, civil societies, and industry in reducing the flow of conflict diamonds - ‘rough diamonds used to finance wars against governments’ - around the world.

For more information on the NWT and Nunavut mining industries, please visit the Chamber of Mines website at www.miningnorth.com or www.miningnorthworks.com or contact Tom Hoefer, Executive Director at  Tel: 867-873-5281, ext. 2, or by email: executivedirector@miningnorth.com.

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