Toronto: The Gahcho Kué Mine was honoured by the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) with the Viola R. MacMillan Award for demonstrating leadership in management and financing for the exploration and development of mineral resources.
Elaborating on the reasons for the selection, PDAC said it was “for development of the world’s largest new diamond mine in the last 13 years, a complex project that is expected to produce approximately 54 million carats of rough diamonds over its lifetime”.
The organisation said that “the US$1 billion exploration, delineation and construction of Gahcho Kué was no small undertaking”, especially given challenges like the fact that “most of the supplies were brought in via an ice road from Yellowknife—approximately 280 kilometres away—during an ice road season that typically lasts between just six and eight weeks”.
The project also recorded no serious injuries and achieved a lost-time injury rate of 0.15 and has not recorded a lost-time injury in over 1-million work hours.
Gahcho Kué Mine is a joint venture between De Beers (51% – the Operator) and Mountain Province. The mine officially began commercial production on March 2, 2017. The award was accepted by Gahcho Kué Mine General Manager Allan Rodel, on behalf of De Beers Canada, and Patrick Evans, CEO of Mountain Province Diamonds.
Kim Truter, CEO – De Beers Canada Inc said, “To build and bring into operation a world-class mine like Gahcho Kué safely, early and ahead of budget is rare in the mining industry today.” He added that the award provided recognition that the project is on the right track and that the employees, community and business partners are also able to deliver on a world-class level.
Mountain Province President and CEO Patrick Evans added: “This award recognizes the combined efforts of a large and talented team of mining and finance professionals who contributed to the successful financing and development of Gahcho Kué. The support of our shareholders and debt providers was critically importantly. We also extend our thanks and appreciation to the De Beers operating team at Gahcho Kué for their exceptional hard work during the project development.”
Allan Rodel said, “We work in some of the most difficult conditions found anywhere in the world, and we have achieved so many important milestones safely, without harm to people or the environment.”
This is the third award for the project. Earlier, it received Gold at the 11th Annual Project Management Institute’s awards gala as well as the Workplace Health and Safety Award from the Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce.
In a related development, Mountain Province Diamonds Inc. yesterday announced the completion of the second sale of Gahcho Kué diamonds at which the Company sold 277,646 carats. The Company received bids on all parcels offered, including unsold parcels carried over from the January sale, and sold all the parcels offered.
The Company’s third sale of approximately 193,900 carats of Gahcho Kué diamonds is scheduled for late March 2017. Diamond sales will continue to occur once every five weeks and all future sales results will be reported with the Company’s quarterly and annual financial results.