De Beers Diamonds Welcome EIS Finding on Gahcho Kue

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diamondsTHUNDER BAY – There is a lot of discussion over the Ring of Fire and its economic impact for Northern Ontario. Only a few years ago, similar excitement was expressed in the opening of the De Beers Canada Diamond Mine in our region. De Beers Canada is now moving forward to open another diamond mine in Canada’s north in the Northwest Territories near the company’s Snap Lake project.

De Beers Canada has welcomed the decision by the Gahcho Kué Environmental Impact Review Panel (the Panel) that the Gahcho Kué Project Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) conforms to the rigorous Terms of Reference, established by the Panel. The conformity statement, issued by the Panel, came on July 26, 2011, the same day the Panel announced the work plan for the panel review process.

“This is exciting news for De Beers Canada and our joint venture partner, Mountain Province Diamonds,” said De Beers Canada President and CEO, Tony Guthrie. “The Gahcho Kué Project team has worked very hard to produce an EIS that demonstrates Northern Canada’s next diamond mine can be built and operated sustainably and with respect for the land, water and communities nearby.”

The 11,000-page EIS was filed with the Panel on December 23, 2010 and De Beers Canada provided the final information required to the Panel on July 15, 2011. This positive step forward comes less than a month after the definitive feasibility study was approved by the Joint Venture partners.

Under the work plan and schedule issued by the Panel, the Environmental Impact Review process is expected to be completed by July 2013.

“The Gahcho Kué Project offers new opportunities for economic growth in the NWT and will ensure Canada continues to play an important part in the world diamond market,” said Guthrie. “We look forward to advancing our proposed mine through the EIR process and to working with regulators and participants in the process.”

The Gahcho Kué Project is located at Kennady Lake, about 280 km northeast of Yellowknife and 90 km southeast of De Beers Canada’s wholly owned Snap Lake Mine. The proposed mine plan calls for recovery of 4.5 million carats annually. Three kimberlite pipes, 5034, Hearne and Tuzo, would be mined via an open pit mining method over an 11 year mine life.

When approved, the proposed Gahcho Kué Mine will be De Beers Canada’s second mine in the Northwest Territories and third operating mine in Canada.

The Gahcho Kué Project is a joint venture between De Beers Canada Inc. (51%) and Mountain Province Diamonds (49%). The Gahcho Kué Project in the Northwest Territories is a joint venture with Mountain Province Diamonds.The Environmental Impact Statement was submitted to the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board in December 2010. Gahcho Kué will be the second diamond mine in the Northwest Territories for De Beers if permitted and if approved.

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