De Beers has announced that its Victor mine in northern Ontario, Canada, will be closing in the first quarter of 2019. The mine is expected to complete mining and production activities as the current open pit resource reaches the end of its life, in line with the original feasibility study and current mine plan.
Production at Victor mine commenced in July 2008, with an original mine production forecast of six million carats for the life of the mine, and has reportedly exceeded these projections, producing approximately seven million carats to date, and it will continue to operate at full production throughout its remaining life, says De Beers.
As part of the mine closure plan, which De Beers developed before Victor mine opened, progressive reclamation work has already been taking place at the mine for several years, including the planting of more than 200,000 tree saplings and willow stakes that were harvested and grown locally through a community youth work program.
Once the mine pit has been depleted in 2019, the demolition and environmental monitoring phase is expected to take three to five years. De Beers says it is working closely with community partners to create opportunities for employment and awarding contracts that will be required during this phase.De Beers Canada Chief Executive Kim Truter says: "Victor mine has made a significant contribution to De Beers and to Canada, and the Victor mine team has consistently delivered the highest standards of performance and safety. While we are focused on continuing to maintain production for the duration of operations, we are also planning responsibly for Victor mine's closure in line with the agreed mine plan and our commitment to leaving a positive legacy."