JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – De Beers and its joint venture partner Mountain Province Diamonds have officially opened the Gahcho Kué diamond mine, in Canada, which will produce about 54-million carats of rough diamonds over its 12-year mine life.
Gahcho Kué is the world’s largest new diamond mine to have been developed in the last 13 years and is located in the Northwest Territories of Canada. It is De Beers’ third mine in Canada.
The mine, which comprises three openpits, will employ about 530 full-time employees and is expected to reach full commercial operation in the first quarter of 2017.
It cost about C$1-billion to build.
The mine was opened officially by De Beers Group chairperson and Anglo American CE Mark Cutifani, De Beers Group CEO Bruce Cleaver, De Beers Canada CEO Kim Truter, Mountain Province Diamonds CEO Patrick Evans and representatives of First Nations and Metis communities in the Northwest Territories.
“As millions of new consumers enter the middle classes in the coming years, consumer demand for diamond jewellery is set to see continued medium- to long-term growth. I’m therefore delighted with the official opening of Gahcho Kué, our largest ever mine outside of Southern Africa, as it will help to meet this increasing demand.
“Allied to our major investments in production capacity expansion in the Southern African region, the opening of Gahcho Kué positions De Beers and its partners strongly to capitalise on the industry’s positive demand outlook,” commented Cleaver.