After much delay, De Beers is moving forward with the $25 million pre-feasibility study on the Gahcho Kue diamond project in Canada’s NorthWest Territories.
De Beers has identified more than 200 kimberlite deposits in Canada, more than half of which bear diamonds.
De Beers’ joint venture partner on the project, Camphor Ventures, delayed earlier in 2003 due to lower diamond values on Hearne kimberlite. Gahcho Kue is a joint venture between De Beers Canada exploration, which holds 51% of the project, Mountain Province diamonds, with 44% and Camphor Ventures, which holds the balance. The lower value meant that the partners would not meet their targeted 15% rate of investment return.
De Beers has now decided to go ahead with the pre-feasibility, as the group has made its Canadian projects a priority, with Gahcho Kue being a key development.
Should De Beers build a mine, planning obtaining permits would probably take two to three years, with an additional three years needed to build the mine. Gahcho Kue lies 300 kilometres east-northeast of Yellowknife.