The De Beers Group of Companies will place its Snap Lake mine on care and maintenance following a review of the mine’s operation, particularly in light of current market conditions.
Work to suspend production at Snap Lake which has already begun, is expected to last between one and nine months. During the care and maintenance period, environmental monitoring and work required under the mine’s permits will continue.
Suspension work will require approximately 120 employees, while the care and maintenance phase will require approximately 70 employees. 41 employees have been transferred to De Beers’ Gahcho Kué project already, with the potential for another 60 to transfer at some point in 2016. Regrettably, 434 employees have been notified that they will not be required for the closure and maintenance work.
Kim Truter, Chief Executive of De Beers Canada, says: “The men and women at Snap Lake have put enormous effort into this challenging ore body over many years, but even the gains made this year are not enough to overcome the market conditions and put us in a profitable position. To see such a strong commitment to the mine makes today’s announcement that much more difficult.”
The Snap Lake Mine, located approximately 220 km northeast of Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories, officially opened in July 2008. It is Canada’s only fully underground diamond mine.
De Beers will evaluate market conditions over the next year to determine the potential of the ore body as a viable mine.