Canada’s First Diamond Mine, Northwest Territories
The Ekati Diamond Mine, Canada’s first surface and underground diamond mine, began production in October 1998. Extensive exploration and development work led to the opening of the mine, which is undergoing expansion activities. Tetra Tech provided specialized expertise to meet the engineering and environmental challenges of this mine, which is located in a remote, permafrost region of northern Canada.
Tetra Tech has provided geotechnical engineering services at the Ekati Diamond Mine since project inception in 1994. Tetra Tech has delivered resident engineering services for programs including preliminary and conceptual design development, support during the environmental review process, and final design and construction management. Our team provided expertise for various programs, including the following:
- Geotechnical drilling and ground-penetrating radar investigations for plant site development
- Tailings containment management and borrow-source evaluations
- Recommendations for facility foundations
- Waste dumps and mine site airstrip and access roads
- Several frozen core tailings dams and water management systems
Tetra Tech has maintained its involvement with civil and geotechnical issues management at the Ekati Diamond Mine as the mine moved through the regulatory review process for the proposed development of three additional pits. Our team has worked closely with the owner to develop the design and closure plans for all of these facilities as part of the interim closure and reclamation planning.
Tetra Tech also assisted in the development of the initial environmental impact assessment for the project and the subsequent assessments for the addition of the three additional pits. Tetra Tech was involved in the public hearings during the initial and subsequent permitting stages of the project.