Diavik Diamond Mines (DDMI) wants to harness the wind to help extract diamonds from beneath the earth.
The company — which operates the huge Diavik operation in the Canadian Arctic through a joint venture between DDMI, Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) and Harry Winston Diamond Limited Partnership (TSE:HW)— said earlier this week it has begun constructing a wind farm at the mine to supplement diesel power.
Four turbines providing a total capacity of 9.2 megawatts will be built. The mine currently relies 100% on diesel for its energy needs. The wind turbines will reduce DDMI’s greenhouse gas emissions by 12,000 tonnes or 6% of total emissions.
Upon completion next year, the wind farm will be the first large-scale wind farm in the Northwest Territories.
MINING.com reported in August on the departure of “Queen of Diamonds” Eira Thomas from Stornoway Diamonds. Thomas was the geologist credited with discovering the deposit that led to the Diavik mine:
Thomas vaulted into diamond mining lore in the heady days of the early 90s when, as a newly minted geologist, she made a discovery in the High Arctic that would change her life and the direction of the diamond mining industry in Canada. Working alongside her father, colourful Welsh mining engineer Grenville Thomas, the younger Thomas discovered a mammoth kimberlite pipe underneath the waters of Lac de Gras. The site of the core sample was to become the Diavik mine, a multi-billion-dollar diamond deposit.
MINING.com reported in October on a leaked European Commission report on green energy pointing to wind farms becoming the biggest source of electricity in the bloc by 2050, outstripping both coal and nuclear power. Coal use could fall to very low levels it is predicted and gas would be the “bridging” fossil fuel until around 2030 or 2035.