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Underground Mining at Ekati and Diavik Diamond Mines

Jarek Jakubec, R. Woodward, B. Boggis, L. Clark, P. Lewis
Monday, September 18, 2017
First presented: 
International Kimberlite Conference

Primary diamond deposits have been mined on an industrial scale only within the past 150 years, mainly as open pit operations. Underground mining of these deposits was implemented only within the second half of the 20th century in South Africa and over the last 50 years, a relatively large number of underground mining methods were tested and implemented. In the mid 1990’s, Alrosa started the development of the first underground diamond mine in Russia, Internationalnaya. Since then, underground mining was implemented on several mines in Yakutia including Aikhal, Mir, and Udachny. China had also experimented with underground mining at Nhangma 701 Diamond Mine at the end of the 1990s. Today, out of some 40 diamond hard rock mines, approximately half are underground and a number of others have underground plans or the potential to mine underground.

Feature Author

Jarek Jakubec

Jarek Jakubec has 30 years of operating and consulting experience in the mining industry. He specializes in mass mining, rock mechanics, diamond mining, and technical auditing.

As a cave mining expert, Jarek has worked on most of the world’s caving and sublevel caving projects. He has participated in several international research projects, including the Mass Mining Technology initiative, and worked with Dr. Laubscher to develop a rock mass classification system for caving mines. With Gemcom Software, Jarek developed a planning tool for sublevel caving mines and has lectured on cave mining on five continents.

Jarek acted as an expert witness in the Northparkes cave mine collapse court case and is a Qualified Person in terms of NI 43-101.

Caving Specialist
Dipl Ing, CEng, MIMMM
SRK Vancouver
SRK United Kingdom