Diamond mining and manufacturing company De Beers is now back on track with filing a huge environmental assessment for its Gahcho Kué project as the demand for diamonds picks up across international markets.
The $600 million project located in northern Canada has been around for quite some time now as per De Beers spokeswoman Cathie Bolstad said.
The Gahcho Kué project was bought by De Beers and Mountain Province Diamonds in partnership with De Beers holding the majority interest. It is located 280 km north east of Yellowknife. The mine was bought before the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board was set up six years ago.
The board ruled that the project would be the first diamond mine to be subjected to a full environmental impact review. The company appealed the decision and lost the case in 2007. Then it saw a drop in diamond demand and cut back on production of operational mines. This put the Gahcho Kué project on hold indefinitely.
Now with the prices of diamond back on the upswing the Managing Director of De Beers Gary Ralfe said that the company had always believed in Gahcho Kué. A 19 volume environmental impact assessment has now been delivered to the regulator to bring the project back on track. The mine with an expected life of 11 years will create 360 full time jobs during its lifetime if approved.
There will also be about 700 jobs created during the construction phase. However the environmental hurdles include draining the 870 hectare Kennedy Lake and the impact on the Caribou habitat. If accepted it will be the third diamond mine of De Beers in the Canada after the Snap Lake and Victor mines.