Anglo American has commissioned De Beers’ C$1bn ($762m) Gahcho Kué diamond mine in the Northwest Territories of Canada.
The mine is expected to reach full commercial production in Q1 of next year, producing an average of 4.5 million carats per year over its anticipated life of 13 years.
De Beers' CEO Bruce Cleaver said: “Starting the ramp up to production at Gahcho Kué on time, on budget, and in a challenging environment is a remarkable achievement from the team.
“The mine is an exceptional resource in terms of carat volume, value, and its potential to create meaningful economic opportunity for the surrounding community.”
First ore at Gahcho Kué was exposed in March and the commissioning phase introduced it to the processing facility in June this year.
Anglo American's chief executive Mark Cutifani said: “Our successful development of Gahcho Kué is testament to the technical expertise of the entire project team, the sensitive approach we take towards our surroundings, and the strength of the relationship with the community local to the operation.
“Discovering and bringing to fruition a new source of diamonds of this quality reminds us all of the rarity value of diamonds.”
Located about 280km north east of Yellowknife in the Canadian Northwest Territories, Gahcho Kué is a joint venture between the De Beers Group of Companies (51%) and Mountain Province Diamonds (49%).
Anglo American owns 85% of De Beers, while the remaining 15% is owned by the Government of the Republic of Botswana (GRB).
Image: Gahcho Kué is expected to produce an average of 4.5 million carats per annum. Photo: courtesy of De Beers UK.