Dominion Diamond applies to build road to new Ekati mine pit

Two weeks after Jay pipe's environmental review was approved by the N.W.T. government, Dominion is applying for the permits to build eight kilometres of roads to the pit, which is underneath Lac de Sauvage and will require the construction of a dike.

Company hopes to begin construction next year

The roads that Dominion Diamond plans to build in 2017 start near the Misery Pit (the light grey area on the map_ and run to the north and south abutments of the Jay dike at Lac du Sauvage, eight kilometres in total. Early works construction on both roads will stop 30 metres from the shoreline. (Dominion Diamond Corporation )

Dominion Diamond Corporation isn't wasting any time planning for its new Jay pit at the Ekati diamond mine.

Just two weeks after Jay's environmental review was approved by the N.W.T. government, Dominion is applying for the permits to build eight kilometres of roads to the pit, which is underneath Lac de Sauvage and will require the construction of a dike.

As announced last week, the company hopes to begin that road construction next year — a year later than initially planned — with construction on the dike to follow in 2018.

Missed window could delay Jay by a year 

A lot is riding on those roads, said Claudine Lee, Dominion's head of environment and communities, in a letter to the Wek'eezhii Land and Water Board.

"The success of the project is highly dependent on being able to carry out sufficient earthworks, including road construction, to accommodate the arrival and storage of materials near the project site, in preparation for the initiation of dike construction activities," she said.

"If this window is missed, full construction activities cannot begin for almost a year or more, resulting in delays to the project and delays in the flow of benefits to the N.W.T. including communities, through procurement, contracting, and employment."

Dominion released the financial results for its first quarter (February to April) on Wednesday. The company posted a loss of $36 million, compared to a profit of $8.5 million the previous year.