Dominion Diamond has reported that the Canadian Minister of Lands of the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) has approved the environmental assessment of the company's Jay project.
Minister Robert McLeod has accepted the recommendations of the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board (MVEIRB) that the project be approved.
Dominion plans to file applications for a water licence and land use permit for the project shortly. This will be one of the final requirements to obtaining environmental approval for the project.
Dominion Diamond CEO Brendan Bell said: "This is an important milestone for Dominion and for the northern economy.
"Dominion thanks Minister McLeod and the GNWT for their work and looks forward to a timely completion of the permitting process."
Jay is a significant undeveloped deposit at Ekati, with the potential to extend the mine life up to 11 years beyond the site's currently projected closure in 2020 to at least 2030.
Construction of the Jay project is set to start in the second half of this year.
In 2020, Jay is expected to supply around half of the ore to the process plant as mining activities ramp-up.
Later this month, Dominion hopes to publish a feasibility study on the Jay project.
Image: Jay is a significant undeveloped deposit at Dominion Diamond's Ekati mine. Photo: courtesy of Jason Pineau.