A 25-year-old prediction is one step closer to coming true. The forecast came from an engineer working in the diamond industry in South Africa. I met him while touring diamond mines and support facilities in the African nation shortly after Saskatchewan became a centre of interest for the industry.
Back then a small plant north of Sutherland in Saskatoon was set up and the provincial Research Council added a facility to help with diamond grading.
After handling here, ore samples from the Fort A La Corne area were shipped to Africa for further assessment. The engineer I interviewed said he had seen the samples and added: “I’ve seen your rocks and you’ll have a mine…I don’t know when but you will have one.”
Yesterday, the provincial government gave environmental approval to the Star Orion South Diamond project. It has more hurdles to get over, but this is a major step forward and takes the company a bit closer to the prediction more than two decades ago that, one day, Saskatchewan would be a major player in the diamond industry.