Since 1888, De Beers has been involved in all aspects of the diamond business. From its mining operations across Africa, and most recently Canada, the company produces about 35 per cent of the world’s supply of rough diamonds.
De Beers has been active in Canada for nearly 50 years, growing from a small group of geologists in the field to having multiple offices and operations across the country. De Beers has two producing mines, one advanced exploration project and a targeted exploration strategy within Canada:
- Snap Lake Mine in the Northwest Territories is operational
- Victor Mine in northern Ontario is operational
- Gahcho Kué Project in the Northwest Territories is a joint venture with Mountain Province Diamonds.The project is in the advanced exploration stage and currently is in the analytical phase of permitting in the Northwest Territories.
- Exploration activities are targeted around the Victor Mine
A future with De Beers is a future full of possibility. Whether you choose a De Beers Canada future in trades, engineering, administration, maintenance, human resources or public relations, you will be part of a company that seeks to strengthen and encourage its employees in their career pursuits. Not only will you earn a very competitive salary in a new and exciting northern industry, you will also be part of a corporate family that wants to see you succeed. De Beers is committed to building upon and developing the experience and education of its employees, and enabling them to advance along their chosen career path.
About the Snap Lake Mine
The Snap Lake Mine, De Beers’ first mine outside of Africa, is unique in Canada. Built on the shore of Snap Lake, 220 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife, the mine is Canada’s first completely underground diamond mine. The Snap Lake ore body is a 2.5 metre thick dyke that dips an average of 12-15° from the northwest shore down under the lake. It is unlike most diamond-bearing kimberlite deposits which are known as ‘pipes’ due to their conical or carrot-like shape.
The kimberlite was discovered in 1997 by Winspear Resources. De Beers Canada bought the project in the fall of 2000 and received permits to build and operate the mine in May 2004.
Following pre-development design and engineering work, construction started with the winter road in 2005. Because of Snap Lake’s remote location, building and operating the mine requires careful planning. Travel to the site is only possible by airplane for all but six to eight weeks of the year, when a seasonal ice road is used to re-supply the mine with equipment, parts and other materials needed to operate the mine.
By December 31, 2009 $1.4 billion dollars had been spent on construction and operation of the mine. Of that total, $977 million has been spent with NWT-based contractors and suppliers, including $630 million with Aboriginal businesses or Joint Ventures.
The mine commenced commercial production on January 16, 2008 and the Official Mine Opening took place on July 25, 2008.
About the Victor Mine
The 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.
In October 2009, the Victor Mine was voted “Mine of the Year” by the readers of the international trade publication Mining Magazine.
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