N.W.T.’s Gahcho Kué diamond mine marks grand opening today – by Kate Kyle (CBC News North – September 20, 2016)


Mine is estimated to become one of the 10 largest diamond mines in the world

Just over two decades in the making, Canada’s newest diamond mine is set to officially open Tuesday in the N.W.T. at a ceremony involving Indigenous leaders, mining and territorial officials. The Gahcho Kué mine, located on the tundra about 280 kilometres of Yellowknife, is estimated to be one of the 10 biggest diamond mines in the world.

The mine is poised “to help our people move out of that last rung on society’s ladder,” said Bill Enge, head of the North Slave Metis Alliance, one of six Indigenous groups who have signed confidential impact and benefits agreements related to Gahcho Kué.

The remote mine is co-owned by De Beers Canada (51 per cent) and Mountain Province Diamonds (49 per cent). “It’s a very significant development in the Northwest Territories,” Enge said.

“De Beers and Mountain Province [Diamonds] have forged ahead with the construction of this mine — a billion dollar mine — in light of the terrible downturn in the mining industry across the world.”

De Beers predicts that over the mine’s expected 12-year life span, Gahcho Kué will inject about $6.7 billion into the Canadian economy, with a significant portion of that landing in the N.W.T.

The company says it has already invested about $1 billion in developing the mine, with about $440 million going directly into the N.W.T. economy. Another $4 million has been paid to the six aboriginal groups that signed impact and benefits agreements.

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