04 April 2012
Winter road resupply complete
Diavik Diamond Mines Inc., operator of the Diavik Diamond Mine in Canada's Northwest Territories, is pleased to report its 2012 winter road resupply was completed safely and successfully on March 28. The 2012 winter road opened February 1 and operated for 57 days. With no all-season road access, Diavik resupplies its Diavik Diamond Mine via a seasonal ice road. This year, Diavik trucked 3,160 loads (89,000 tonnes) of fuel, cement, explosives, equipment, wind turbine components, and other materials, over the winter road.
Of the Diavik loads, 60 were for its wind farm, currently under construction. Custom-designed trailers were required for the epoxy-resin turbine blades and the steel tower sections. The 33-metre blades were the longest loads ever shipped over the ice road. Other turbine components shipped included the nacelles (generators, stators, and hubs).
Diavik's wind farm, to be operational later this year, is projected to reduce its annual ice road fuel haul by approximately 100 loads, or over four million litres of fuel per year, and lower its carbon footprint by six per cent.
In total, operating diamond mines and other users hauled 6,545 loads northbound over the Tibbitt to Contwoyto Winter Road. Rock boxes from the decommissioning of several of Diavik's 218-tonne haul trucks were among the 656 backhauls. Total tonnage hauled was approximately 210,000 tonnes. This year, there were four closures due to weather. Three closures occurred during the road's first week (total of 1.5 days) while a late March storm suspended operations for four days.
Safety is the most important aspect of the 385-kilometre winter road. Haul truck drivers are required to complete safety orientations and are dispatched through a computerized system. Maximum on-ice speed for fully loaded trucks is 25 kilometres per hour and as low as 10 kilometres per hour. Engineering, technology, security, environmental protection, and logistics play a key role in the success of the road. More information on the winter road can be found at: http://jvtcwinterroad.ca/.
The Diavik Diamond Mine, located 300 km. northeast of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, is an unincorporated joint venture between Diavik Diamond Mines Inc. (60%) and Harry Winston Diamond Limited Partnership (40%). Both companies are headquartered in Yellowknife, Canada. DDMI, a Canada's Top 100 Employer, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Rio Tinto plc of London, England, and Harry Winston Diamond Limited Partnership is wholly owned by Harry Winston Diamond Corporation of Toronto, Canada. For further information contact Doug Ashbury, Adviser Communications at Tel: (867) 669-6525, or visit the DDMI web site at www.diavik.ca.