De Beers to Shut Victor Mine in 2019

VICTOR MINE TO COMPLETE MINING AND PRODUCTION ACTIVITIES IN Q1 2019

De Beers Group today announced that its Victor mine in northern Ontario, Canada, will complete mining and production activities in the first quarter of 2019, once the current open pit is depleted and in line with the original feasibility study and current mine plan.

Production at Victor mine commenced in July 2008. The mine was forecast to produce six million carats during its mine life and has already exceeded these projections, producing approximately seven million carats to date, and it will continue to operate at full production throughout its remaining life.

The Victor mine team has been recognised for its exemplary performance throughout the life of the operation, with the mine being named International Mine of the Year in 2009 and twice receiving the John T. Ryan National Award for the safest mine in Canada, in 2015 and 2016.

De Beers developed a detailed mine closure plan before Victor mine opened and progressive reclamation work has already been taking place at the mine for several years. To date, this has included the planting of more than 200,000 tree saplings and willow stakes that were harvested and grown locally through a community youth work programme.

Once the mine pit has been depleted in 2019, the demolition and environmental monitoring phase is expected to take three to five years. De Beers is working closely with community partners to create opportunities for employment and awarding contracts that will be required during this phase.

Kim Truter, Chief Executive, De Beers Canada, said: “Victor mine has made a significant contribution to De Beers and to Canada, and the Victor mine team has consistently delivered the highest standards of performance and safety. While we are focused on continuing to maintain production for the duration of operations, we are also planning responsibly for Victor mine’s closure in line with the agreed mine plan and our commitment to leaving a positive legacy.”

De Beers has been operating in Canada since it carried out its first exploration programme in 1961. The Victor kimberlite cluster discovery in 1987 by De Beers Exploration was the first economic diamond discovery in Canada. In 2016, De Beers with its joint venture partner, Mountain Province Diamonds, opened the Gahcho Kué diamond mine in Canada’s Northwest Territories, the largest new diamond mine to open in more than a decade.

 

Victor Mine is a remote fly-in – fly-out mine located in the James Bay Lowlands of Northern Ontario, approximately 90km west of the coastal community of Attawapiskat First Nation. Victor Mine is an open pit mine and Ontario’s first diamond mine.

VICTOR MINE

Location: 52° 49’ 15” latitude, 83° 53’ 00” longitude, approximately 90 kilometres west of the First Nation community of Attawapiskat in northeastern Ontario

Mine Area: Victor kimberlite has a surface area of 15 hectares

VICTOR MINE OVERVIEW

Victor Mine is located in the James Bay Lowlands of northern Ontario, approximately 90 km west of the coastal community of Attawapiskat First Nation. It is Ontario’s first diamond mine and the second in Canada for De Beers.

The Victor Mine is an open-pit mine and is one of 18 kimberlite pipes discovered on the property, 16 of which are diamondiferous.

Construction of the Victor Mine began in February 2006 after receiving all necessary approvals from provincial and federal governments.

Approximately $1 billion was spent on construction of the mine, with approximately C$167 million spent with Aboriginal businesses or joint venture partners. It is also estimated that De Beers will contribute C$6.7 billion cumulative GDP impact for all of Ontario during the life of the Victor Mine.

The Victor Mine reached commercial production in 2008 (six months ahead of schedule) and the Official Mine Opening took place in July 2008. The mine will complete mining and processing activities in Q1 2019, then move into the formal closure phase.

In October 2009, the Victor Mine was voted “Mine of the Year” by the readers of the international trade publication Mining Magazine.

De Beers is committed to sustainable development in local communities. The Victor Mine has signed four community agreements for the Victor Mine including:

  • an Impact Benefit Agreement (IBA) with the Attawapiskat First Nation (November 2005),
  • a Working Relationship Agreement with the Taykwa Tagamou Nation (May 2005),
  • an Impact Benefit Agreement (IBA) with Moose Cree First Nation (September 2007) and
  • an Impact Benefit Agreement (IBA) with Kashechewan and Fort Albany First Nation (February 2009)

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