Sudbury

De Beers won't extend mine life at Victor, will close operation in 2019

De Beers Group says it has determined it's not economically viable to extend the life of its Victor diamond mine in northern Ontario and will be shutting down the operation in early 2019.

Company took a hard look at extending the mine's life but the economics simply didn't stack up, CEO says

DeBeers Canada says it's Victor Mine will close in the first quarter of 2019. (DeBeers Canada)

The De Beers Group says it has determined it's not economically viable to extend the life of its Victor diamond mine in northern Ontario and will be shutting down the operation in early 2019.

The company had previously said it would like to extend the mine's life, and was looking to process low-grade stockpiles and possibly develop a nearby deposit called Tango.

Kim Truter, CEO of De Beers Canada, says the company took a hard look at extending the mine's life but the economics simply didn't stack up.

The company had also encountered some challenges in securing support from the local First Nations, but Truter says that didn't have an impact on the final decision.

He says the mine, which sits about 90 kilometres west of Attawapiskat, currently has about 350 De Beers employees plus about 150 contractors.

Truter says the company will work hard to ensure an orderly closure and will look to find new opportunities for those working at the mine, including some jobs in mine demolition and environmental monitoring.

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