Ekati Diamond Mine

Located 320 km north of Yellowknife, NT, the Ekati mine is Canada’s first diamond mine, which was constructed at a capital cost of approximately $1 billion. Nuna had been involved with the project since the early development stages, first under original owner BHP Billiton; and has continued with former owners, Arctic Canadian Diamond Company Ltd. and Dominion Diamond Mines, and current owner, Burgundy Diamonds Mines.

Ad-Hoc Labour Services (2014-Present)

Commenced: 2014
Completed: In Progress
Client: Burgundy Diamond Mines Limited Company

Nuna Deton’Cho Contracting Joint Venture performs ad-hoc labour services to the Mining Operations department year-round by providing supplemental haul truck drivers, multi-equipment operators, and drillers for open pit operations. These crews operate under the direct supervision of the Owner’s Team Leaders and are embedded with the mining crews.

Site Services (2018)

Commenced: 2018
Completed: 2018

Under our site services contract, Nuna Deton’Cho Contracting Joint Venture successfully executed the following major scopes:

  • Misery underground 440 bench work – Loading, hauling, and dumping 100,000 tonnes of blast rock; construction of various pads and structures backfilled to support future underground operations including fresh air raise units, heaters, fuel tanks, and pumping stations; and installation and removal of crane pads on the Misery Pit ramp to support highwall scaling and mesh installation.
  • Misery camp pad re-grading – Cut-to-fill activities on the existing camp pad to accommodate Misery Camp expansion; pad construction for various tanks and structures; and wildlife fence relocation.
  • King Pond saddle dam upgrade – Construction of an impermeable saddle dam in preparation for dewatering Misery underground operations. Scope included loading, hauling, and placing approximately 24,000 m3 of crush stone material and 8,450 m2 of geosynthetic clay liner.
  • Sable ERT building – Erection of a 60’ x 40’ steel foldaway building, foundation block installation, and surfacing material.
  • Drill support – Provision of labour and equipment to support the 2018 winter drill program at various exploration sites.
  • Environmental remediation – In conjunction with the Client’s environmental department, completion of Old Camp reclamation and Landfarm bio-remediation projects.

Jay Road Project (2017)

Commenced: 2017
Completed: 2017

Following completion of the Sable Project, crews and equipment were transferred to the Jay Road Project at Ekati under a new entity, Nuna Deton’Cho Contracting Joint Venture. The road provides access to the Jay deposit on Lac du Sauvage from the existing Misery Road. Construction on the Jay Road started in mid-July 2017 and completed in early-October 2017, with a peak on-site manpower of 42. Scope items included: Jay Road Construction (4.3 km with 25.8 m running surface and 6 culvert crossings); and Jay North Road Construction (2.2 km with 25.8 m running surface and 2 culvert crossings).

Sable Project Early Works (2016-2017)

Commenced: 2016
Completed: 2017

As part of the continual development of the Ekati site, in 2016 Nuna Contracting Ltd. was awarded the Sable early works infrastructure contract. The Sable deposit is located beneath Sable Lake on the Ekati property. A large heavy civil fleet (100-tonne trucks and support gear) was mobilized to perform this scope – 140 direct hires and subcontractors at peak manpower on site. A total of over 263,000 man-hours were worked by Nuna and 11 subcontractors. Nuna’s scope was completed between April 2016 and July 2017 and included:

  • Beartooth waste rock stockpile – drill and blast.
  • Beartooth crushing operation.
  • Sable haul road construction – 16 km with 21 m running surface and 5 culvert crossings.
  • Sable site haul road construction – 1.6 km with 26.4 m running surface.
  • Sable pit quarry operation – pioneering, drill, and blast.
  • Sable crushing operation.
  • Sable infrastructure pad and access roads.
  • Two Rock frozen core dam construction.
  • Two Rock filter dike and access road construction.
  • Sable Tank farm – tank pedestals, liner, and containment berms.
  • Sable Lake and Two Rock Lake dewatering.

Lynx Pit Access Road (2015)

Commenced: 2015
Completed: 2015

In 2015, Nuna’s presence increased at the Ekati site as an ad-hoc crew to complete the construction of the Lynx Pit Access Road and upgrade (1 km new construction plus 3 km upgrade). The work was carried out utilizing the Owner’s fleet. In addition, Nuna provided Ekati Mine Services crusher support (Misery) and ad-hoc labour for the operation of the Koala crusher and for the Misery power supply project. Under Nuna Winter Road Services, Nuna’s scope comprised the 2015/16 winter road construction and exploration drilling support for the Jay Pipe project.

Early Works & Continued Involvement (1994-2007)

Commenced: 1994
Completed: 2007

Nuna’s involvement at Ekati began in the early stages of development (1994) and included:

  • Construction of a 7,000’ airstrip and supporting access roads.
  • Construction of a 160 km winter road over the barren lands and frozen lakes to support a major exploration drill program.
  • Drill support for 5 reverse circulation drill rigs, which involved construction of road access, set-up and tear-out of rigs, and rig support.
  • Transportation of bulk bagged cement from Hay River, NT to Ekati mine site for the construction of the process plant and ancillary buildings.
  • Crush and supply of aggregates for construction concrete and backfill materials for the plant site and road maintenance.
  • Contract mining services for the Panda pit pre-stripping program, the Koala North pit, and standalone mining of the Misery satellite pit, which included provisions of all site infrastructure such as camps, shops, fuel bays, etc. Nuna personnel moved 1.2 million tonnes per month average during these programs.
  • Construction of a CEA award-winning 800 m long frozen core dam at Long Lake, including the installation and operation of frozen core aggregate batch.
  • Additional construction of 3 frozen core dams at the Misery Pit satellite site.
  • Construction and maintenance of a 31 km all-weather access and haulage road linking the Ekati site to the Misery site.
  • Construction of HDPE dewatering pipelines and earthworks at various locations on-site.