Diavik mine in N.W.T. to lay off some workers

Some layoffs are expected soon as the Diavik diamond mine in the N.W.T. will close its open-pit mine within the next few weeks.

Open-pit part of mine set to close in the next few weeks

Heavy haulers and excavators work in the Diavik diamond mine pit on Lac de Gras, approximately 300km northeast of Yellowknife. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

Some layoffs are expected soon as the Diavik diamond mine in the N.W.T. will close its open-pit mine.

More than 1,000 people work at the mine, which is located about 300 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife. The mine only has the one open-pit, but it also has underground mining operations.

The open-pit will close at the end of the month.

"Obviously, when you finish operating an open pit mine… you don't need the kind of people who work in open pit mines," said Bob Gannicott, the CEO of Diavik’s owner, Harry Winston.

Gannicott said he could not comment on how many people will be laid off, or when.

However, he said this is not the end of open-pit mining at Diavik. Gannicott said the company expects to begin another open pit in 2016.

Diavik’s underground operations are scheduled to close by 2023.