De Beers Canada and Mountain Province Diamonds have announced that the federal government has approved their proposed Gahcho Kue Diamond Mine.

The approval comes despite four First Nations calling on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Minister Bernard Valcourt to order further review of the project. The aboriginal groups say almost all of the mitigation measures they recommended during review of the project were ignored.

Gahcho Kue is located 280 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife. It will be the Northwest Territories' fourth diamond mine.

De Beers and Mountain Province say that almost 700 workers will be needed during the two years it will take to build the mine. Almost 400 will be needed during its estimated 11 years of operations.

Gahcho Kue is expected to produce an average of 4.5 million carats annually.