NORTHWEST TERRITORIES – The directors of DE BEERS have approved the money necessary for development of the Snap Lake diamond mine, which will be the company’s first outside Africa. De Beers also says this is the first fully underground diamond mine in Canada. Earlier underground mines (Ekati and Diavik) began production from open pits.
The Snap Lake project requires a commitment of Cdn$636 million to take it to production in 2007. De Beers has already invested about Cdn$166.5 million in the project. Mining is planned at a rate of 3,000 tonnes/day or 1.5 million carats/year. Production costs per carat are estimated to be Cdn$212.
Commenting on the decision, De Beers chairman N.F. Oppenheimer said, “The De Beers SA board was very impressed with the excellent work done by the DE BEERS CANADA team to address the technical challenges presented by the complex Snap Lake orebody. We are excited that this project is now on track to be De Beers’ first Canadian diamond mine.”
An in-depth description of the Snap Lake project is posted at www.DeBeersCanada.com.