The world’s largest new diamond mine Gahcho Kue, located in Canada’s North West Territories, has begun commercial production.
The mine, a joint venture between Anglo American’s 85 per cent owned De Beers Group and Mountain Province Diamonds, it set to produce around 54 million carats over its 12 year life.
Gahcho Kue, which is the local indigenous Chipewyan word for “big rabbit” opened in September last year.
It is the largest new diamond mine over the last 13 years.
The mine is comprised of three open pits and will employ 530 full time workers; most on a two week in/two week out rotation.
De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver called the commencement of production a landmark for the company in Canada.
“That the mine has reached this landmark, on budget and ahead of schedule, is testament to the partnerships that have worked together since construction began,” he said.
“It’s a result of these partnerships that the mine is set to deliver socio-economic benefits of more than C$5 billion to the economy of the Northwest Territories over its lifetime.”
Mountain Province Diamonds president and CEO Patrick Evans said the new mine “secures Canada’s position as one of the world’s leading diamond producers.”