De Beers new diamond mine set to reach full commercial production – by Barbara Lewis and Susan Taylor (Reuters U.K. – February 22, 2017)

LONDON/TORONTO – Gahcho Kue diamond mine in Canada’s Northwest Territories is set to reach full commercial production over the next six weeks, the heads of Anglo American (AAL.L) unit De Beers and its Canadian partner Mountain Province Diamonds MPV.TO said on Tuesday.

First diamond production at the Arctic mine, the world’s largest and highest grade new diamond mine, began last year and has been gradually ramping up.

Output will be an average of 4.5 million carats per year over the anticipated 13-year life of the mine in which operator De Beers has a 51 percent stake, with the rest held by Mountain Province Diamonds.

De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver said in a telephone interview extremely cold weather in December had caused “teething troubles”, but the project was on track. Mountain Province Diamonds CEO Patrick Evans said in an email the project had slipped about a month behind schedule, but should achieve commercial production over the next six weeks.

Earlier on Tuesday, De Beers’ parent company Anglo American announced annual results that reflected a recovery across the mining sector from a deep commodities slump in 2015.

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