VANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – Canadian diamond producer Mountain Province Diamonds on Friday announced that president and CEO Patrick Evans would leave the company with immediate effect, following a mutual decision.
The 49%-partner of De Beers Canada’s Gahcho Kué mine, in Canada’s Northwest Territories, appointed lead outside director David Whittle as interim president and CEO, while Evans continues as a director of the company. Evans was at the project developer’s helm for 11 years.
Whittle, a 25-year veteran of the mining industry, has been a director of the company since 1997, and was president of Mountain Province's joint venture partner, Glenmore Highlands, at the time of the original discovery of Gahcho Kué's 5034 kimberlite pipe in 1995.
A Canadian chartered professional accountant, Whittle has extensive experience in corporate finance, transactional negotiation and structuring, and operational management, with a strong background in corporate governance.
Gahcho Kué, the world’s largest new diamond mine in 13 years, officially started commercial production on March 1. The mine is expected to produce about 54-million carats of rough diamonds over its mine life.
The fly-in, fly-out remote mine site is situated 280 km northeast of Yellowknife, comprising three openpits. The mine employs about 530 people, with the majority working a two-week in/two-week out rotation.
Production ramp-up began in August 2016 and the official opening ceremony took place in September.