YELLOWKNIFE, NT De Beers is confident that the Snap Lake diamond project, 220 km northeast of Yellowknife, NT, will be in full production by 2007, according to the recently released annual review by De Beers' managing director Gary Ralfe. The Snap Lake diamond mine will be the first De Beers-owned mine outside of Africa, and the first fully underground diamond mine in Canada.
The project is currently undergoing an environmental assessment review necessary for permitting purposes. De Beers has completed site-work that included the extension of underground development and sampling, and has carried out design and costing studies for the project. In addition the company has signed Memorandums of Understanding to negotiate Impact Benefit Agreements with three of the four aboriginal groups that will be affected by the development of a mine at Snap Lake. Discussions with the fourth aboriginal group are underway. The Impact Benefit Agreements will set out how the respective aboriginal groups will benefit from a mine at Snap Lake.
The Victor project, west of the community of Attawapiskat in the James Bay Lowlands of northern Ontario, is currently undergoing a feasibility study. It is planned to complete this study, as well as the necessary agreements with the Attawapiskat First Nation, during 2003. This will allow for a decision to be made about developing the Victor project, which could lead to the first Canadian diamond production outside of the Northwest Territories by 2007.
De Beers spent US$29 million last year on some 30 exploration projects in the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec. For more information about De Beers Canada's exploration and development projects, contact Linda Dorrington (linda.dor[email protected]
) or see www.debeerscanada.com.