De Beers Canada has obtained approval for a revised suspension plan from the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board (MVLWB) for extended care and maintenance (ECM) and water management for its Snap Lake mine in the Northwest Territories.

Snap Lake is located 220km north-east of Yellowknife and was officially opened in July 2008.

Interim approval will need the inclusion of commitments made by De Beers during the stakeholder review process into the updated plans.

De Beers has agreed to make the revisions and expects to submit the updated ECM plan soon.

An updated water management plan is also planned to be submitted shortly afterwards.

In December last year, the company placed the Snap Lake underground diamond mine on care and maintenance after completing a review of the its operation in light of market conditions.

"The company will now be able to preserve diamond resource in the ground for potential future production."

With the latest approval in place, the company will now be able to preserve diamond resource in the ground for potential future production.

De Beers will start the planning and subsequent work needed to remove underground workings of the mine to flood responsibly.

Actions include reduction of the flow of water into the receiving environment and minimising the operation’s total environmental impact to improve sustainability of the mine during suspended operations.

De Beers Canada CEO Kim Truter said: "We are grateful to all the parties who participated in the review process, in particular the valuable inputs from our Aboriginal, business and government partners.

"We remain focused on preserving the significant diamond resource within the Snap Lake mine."

Image: Snap Lake is located 220kms north-east of Yellowknife in Northwest Territories. Photo: courtesy of De Beers Canada.