Sixty Ekati employees will be heading back to the mine in early December in preparation for operations to potentially restart.
Dominion Diamond Mines, the owner of the Ekati Diamond Mine, announced the “furloughed” employees would be returning in a press release on Friday.
The release says Dominion and its lenders expect “to reach a binding agreement in the near future to restructure Dominion’s debt and fund the Company.”
Dominion says it is recalling the employees in preparation for this.
“In anticipation of the parties reaching such an agreement, Dominion has determined to recall these employees given necessary lead times required to mobilize the workforce while adequately complying with COVID-19 isolation protocols,” the release says.
Dominion filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this year, saying the COVID-19 pandemic made it difficult to get its diamonds to market. However, neither of the NWT’s other two diamond mines had to file for protection despite the pandemic.
Dominion Diamond Mines then accepted a bid for its Ekati assets from two affiliates of its parent company, the Washington Companies.
The deal to sell Ekati fell through in October.
A press release says the approximate $280 million deal fell apart as the offer by two affiliated companies, a “stalking horse bid,” was rejected by Aviva Insurance Company of Canada, Argonaut Insurance Company and Zurich Insurance Company Ltd.