(Rapaport…May 7, 2002) The Canadian government is currently seeking to hire a new Canadian Government Diamond Valuator (CGDV) to work on the Diavik mine, which is scheduled to start production as early as January 2003. For the past four years, Canada has used Diamonds International Canada (DICAN) for the valuation of diamonds produced at BHP’s Ekati mine, but DICAN’s contract expires in August 2003 and Canada wants to sign a company to a longer-term contract for the purpose of working on Diavik.
“We have to have them on board well before January,” said Doug Paget, chief of Special Projects in the Canadian Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. “We’ll meet with the company and make sure the processors are in place so that when the first diamond hits the ground at Diavik, they’re with it.”
The government stopped accepting bids for the new contract on May 2. Paget said there are presently four or five companies under consideration and that the government intends to make a decision by mid-June with an announcement to follow soon after. DICAN is among the companies being considered. The selected company will be offered a three-year contract with a two-year extension option.
“Then De Beers comes on for Snap Lake within the next four years or so, but we’ll worry about that later,” Paget said. “We’ll try to dovetail Snap Lake into this new contract, if that’s possible.”
The CGDV is responsible for ascertaining the gross value of diamonds produced on Crown lands in Canada’s Northwest Territories. The value established by the CGDV is used by the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development to assess and collect royalties due on minerals extracted on Crown lands.