Mountain Province Diamonds issued an announcement confirming that development of the Gahcho Kué diamond mine, which is a joint project with De Beers Canada located in Canada's Northwest Territories, is progressing according to plan and on budget, with the overall project more than 80% complete and on track for first production during the second half of 2016. Mountain Province President and CEO Patrick Evans says, "We continue to make excellent progress at Gahcho Kué. Key areas of focus over the next six months are commissioning of the primary crusher and diamond plant, as well as preparation for operational readiness."
Mountain Province says it was advised early last week of the planned cessation of operations at the adjacent De Beers Snap Lake mine and the opportunities this would afford selected Snap Lake employees to be hired at Gahcho Kué. Forty-one Snap Lake employees have been transferred to Gahcho Kué and a further 60 will be transferred next year as the mine prepares for production. Kim Truter, Chairman of the Gahcho Kué JV Management Committee and De Beers Canada CEO, commented: "The regrettable decision relating to Snap Lake will have no impact on plans for the Gahcho Kué mine. On the contrary, Gahcho Kué will benefit from the availability of trained and experienced employees who are being transferred to Gahcho Kué to support operational readiness."