More than 300 workers at risk of temporary layoffs at Ekati diamond mine

More than 300 Dominion Diamond employees and contract workers are at risk of being laid off after a fire at Ekati's processing plant on June 23. Some affected workers may be reassigned to help with repairing the processing plant.

Dominion Diamond says it may reassign affected employees to other work within the mine

More than 300 Dominion Diamond employees and contract workers are at risk of being laid off at the Ekati diamond mine after a fire at the mine's processing plant on June 23.

The company said it is working to find affected employees other work within the mine, such as helping with the process plant repairs and clean-up work.

There is no word on exactly how many employees will be laid off. 

Brendan Bell, Dominion Diamond Corporation CEO, says the company 'needs to make difficult but required decisions.' (Dominion Diamond Corporation)

"Dominion Diamond Corporation needs to make difficult but required decisions," CEO Brendan Bell said in an email. 

Operations at some of the open pits are expected to be temporarily shut down to cut costs while the processing plant is being repaired. Bell said the repairs to the plant are expected to take three months and layoffs would be temporary.

About 1,500 work at the Ekati mine, 300 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife.

Last Thursday, the company announced it had laid off 75 temporary contractors.

Todd Parsons, president of the Union of Northern Workers, said the union has contacted Dominion Diamond for details on how the union's 479 Ekati members are affected by the company's plans, but Parsons said the company has not responded.