De Beers to offload $30M in Snap Lake assets at 'massive' Yellowknife auction

'Christmas is coming and this is the place to be,' says Terrance Jacobs, CEO of TCL Asset Group Inc., which will oversee the giant sale Aug. 1-2.

Fire truck, school bus, remote-controlled shovels among tens of thousands of items for sale

Terrance Jacobs in front of a fire truck for sale in the De Beers Snap Lake mine surplus auction planned for Aug. 1-2 in Yellowknife. (Jackie McKay)

"Christmas is coming and this is the place to be," says Terrance Jacobs, CEO of TCL Asset Group Inc., while walking through a yard of trucks and construction equipment that will soon be auctioned off.

De Beers is selling everything from the Snap Lake Mine located about 220 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife. The mine stopped production in December of 2015 and since then all equipment has been moved to three locations in Yellowknife for an auction August 1 and 2.

There are tens of thousands items for sale, worth approximately $30 million.

"Generally there are a lot of things here that towns and business would find a use for here in Yellowknife and the Northwest Territories," said Tom Ormsby, head of external and corporate affairs for De Beers Canada.

That includes everything from truck doors, barbecue propane tanks, washing machines and tires to electrical wiring, generators and a whole storage unit filled with hand tools. 

Underground mining trucks for sale in the De Beers Snap Lake mine surplus auction. (Chantal Dubuc)

Larger items include a fire truck, underground mining equipment, a school bus, Bobcats, remote-controlled shovels, and cement trucks, among other things.

The sale is open to anyone. 

Jacobs said that the lowest item for auction will start at about $25 with prices going all the way up to $500,000 for things like large bulldozers.

Mining equipment will be up for grabs. So will hand tools, propane tanks and barbecues. (Chantal Dubuc )

International buyers line up

This is the first auction De Beers has held in Canada, according to Ormsby. Jacobs, who was hired to host the auction, described the sale as "massive."

Tires lined up, ready for sale. (Chantal Dubuc)
"We are expecting buyers as far away as South Africa, Australia, South America and other parts of Northern Canada," said Jacobs. The auction has been advertised globally and buyers are allowed to bid online.

The public can view the inventory in person on July 31 by going to a trailer set up in the Yellowknife dump to register. An inventory list is also available online.

The auction takes place at The Explorer Hotel and online.


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