London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 28 July 2008 – International mining giant the De Beers Group – which is the largest diamond mining company in the world – is officially opening its first two mines outside Africa – the Snap Lake and Victor mines in Canada.
A news release issued here said the mines were being launched by De Beers chairmanNicky Oppenheimer, De Beers (Canada) chairman Jonathan Oppenheimer, De Beer Group managing directorGareth Penny) and De beers (Canada) president Jim Gowans at celebrations with employees and members of the local communities.
Together the Snap Lake and Victor mines are expected to produce two million carats per annum.
Commenting on this milestone moment for De Beers, Nicky Oppenheimer said “This is an exciting moment in the history of De Beers – never before have we opened two mines at the same time, and never before have we opened a mine outside Africa. It has taken us several years and over US$1 billion (R8 billion), to build each mine, and I’m very proud of what we have accomplished,” he added.
The news release added that De Beers had spent C$650 (close to R5 billion) with Aboriginal businesses. The company was also committed to supporting the secondary diamond industry in Canada, and had reached agreements with the governments of the Northwest Territories and Ontario for De Beers to make available for sale to provincially approved manufacturers 10% of diamonds from the Snap Lake Mine and Victor mines.