Northwest Territories Diamond Exploration Intensifies

Northwest Territories Diamond Exploration Intensifies

If diamond industry veterans have been feeling a sense of deja vu this year, it's understandable.

A key trend in 2014 has been renewed interest in Canada's Northwest Territories, an area that was originally brought into focus in the early 1990s after exploration geologist Chuck Fipke found diamonds in the Lac de Gras region.

Fipke's discovery ultimately became the Ekati mine, and its start up in 1998 was followed by production from the Snap Lake and Diavik mines in 2002/2003 and 2008, respectively. They'll be joined by Gahcho Kue, a joint venture between De Beers and Mountain Province Diamonds (NYSEMKT: MDM) in 2016.

That might sound like a lot of mines — especially when the Ontario-based Victor mine and Stornoway Diamond's (TSX:SWY) upcoming Renard mine in Quebec are considered — but as Canterra Minerals (TSXV:CTM) CEO Randy Turner told Diamond Investing News back in June, "eventually these mines do come to an end."

It's that attitude that has brought a variety of diamond exploration hopefuls back to the Northwest Territories.

Where to invest?

With so many companies flocking to the region, it can be tough for investors to figure out which are worth taking a closer look at. It can also be difficult for companies to get the word out about their projects.

One company that doesn't seem to be having that problem is Prima Diamond (TSXV:PMD), which in July and August entered option agreements to acquire the Godspeed Lake and Munn Lake diamond properties, both — of course — in the Northwest Territories. A recent talk hosted by Prima in Vancouver was well attended, and those present seemed eager to learn more about the company.

Speaking was Roger Morton, a professor emeritus at the University of Alberta's Earth & Atmospheric Sciences department. He recently wrote the soon-to-be-released NI 43-101 report on Prima's Godspeed Lake property, and his goal was to give attendees an understanding of why the company is worth some attention.