Victor closure may not be the last seen of De Beers – by Ron Grech (Timmins Daily Press – May 24, 2018)

TIMMINS – De Beers Canada has been actively searching for an opportunity to prolong its stay in Attawapiskat, beyond the lifespan of the Victor diamond mine. The Victor mine is set to end production in February 2019.

However, Tom Ormsby, head of external and corporate affairs for De Beers Canada, says there are still diamond-containing kimberlite deposits they would be interested in mining, if they can find a way to do it economically.

“Physically these pipes and their revenue models are not the same type as the current Victor pit,” Ormsby explained. “The Victor pit was larger, higher price per carat, more diamonds that are going to be in that price range that we know we can generate revenue from.

“What we’ve learned (about these other kimberlite pipes) is that they’re just too small for the footprint we built.” Ormsby, along with Alistair Skinner, manager of operations at the Victor Mine, were the guest speakers at an Inside Their Business luncheon hosted by the Timmins Chamber of Commerce Thursday.

Speaking to a banquet hall filled with local business people, Ormsby and Skinner talked about the history of the mine which began production in 2008, outlined details of the current operations and discussed the closure plan for the site.

This will include the deconstruction of buildings, the removal of large pieces of equipment and the reclamation of the land.

Asked whether it possible with the closing of the Victor Mine whether De Beers would have an interest in revisiting Attawapiskat to mine those smaller kimberlites, Ormsby replied, “Oh, absolutely. But right now what we need to do for us is finish this full year of production – it could actually be our best year – and then really get that closure piece done right … But absolutely, we are still trying to figure out what could the future of those pipes be. Because we still know there is some economics there but not with the footprint we have right now.”

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