Despite 2019 mine closure, De Beers still believes James Bay lowlands hold promise
De Beers Canada is razing and remediating the Victor Mine site beginning in 2019, but it’s not completely abandoning the James Bay region. If there more rich diamond deposits to be unearthed, a company spokesman said they’ll come at it with a different approach.
Tom Ormsby, the company’s head of corporate affairs, said the diamond-bearing ground, 90 kilometres east of Attawapiskat, still remains very prospective but it doesn’t support keeping the current infrastructure intact.
“It all has to go. The minute the process plant has the last ore pushed through then the decommissioning and demolition will begin.” The company announced Nov. 1 that production at the remote fly-in/fly-out mine would finish during the first quarter of 2019, at which time the deposit will be depleted.
Ontario’s first diamond mine has exceeded its original six-million carat forecast by a million since starting operations in June 2008.Ormsby said De Beers’ plans are to finish its remaining 16 months of production at the open pit, then go through with its pre-arranged closure and site remediation plans, including a tear-down of all the surface buildings. A demolition contract will be awarded shortly.
Closure is a three to five-year process followed by ongoing environmental site monitoring. “Then at that point, we’ll have to have a look,” said Ormsby, in regards to future diamond potential.
Always waiting in the wings to succeed the Victor pit was the nearby Tango deposit. But De Beers decided to place the development of the extension on indefinite hold last January.
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