An aerial shot of the pit and plant at the open-pit Gahcho Kué diamond mine. De Beers officially opened the mine this week.
Toronto--The De Beers Group announced that its new diamond mine, Gahcho Kué, has opened in Canada’s Northwest Territories.

The world’s largest new diamond mine in the last 13 years, according to De Beers, Gahcho Kué is a joint venture between the company (51 percent) and Mountain Province Diamonds (49 percent).

The fly-in/fly-out remote site is located about 280 km (174 miles) northeast of the Territories’ capital, Yellowknife.

De Beers said the site, comprised of three open pits, is on track to reach full commercial operation in the first quarter of 2017.

It’s expected to produce approximately 54 million carats of rough diamonds over its 13-year lifetime and will employ 530 people full time.

De Beers Canada also has the Victor Mine in northern Ontario and Snap Lake in the Northwest Territories, though it has halted production of the latter and will flood it this fall if no other diamond mining company steps forward to buy it.

Canada is the third largest diamond-producing country in the world by value.

“As millions of new consumers enter the middle classes in the coming years, consumer demand for diamond jewelry is set to see continued medium- to long-term growth,” CEO Bruce Cleaver said. “I’m therefore delighted with the official opening of Gahcho Kué, our largest ever mine outside of southern Africa, as it will help meet this increasing demand.”

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