De Beers Board of Directors has given approval to move the Snap Lake project from the current stage of preproduction development into full construction at a cost of approximately $509.7 million.
Snap Lake, located in Canada’s Northwest Territories, will be De Beers’ first diamond mine outside of Africa. It will be the first fully underground diamond mine in Canada and the first kimberlite dyke to be mined by De Beers. It will be managed by De Beers Canada Inc.
Pre-production development was undertaken on site in 2004 and further preparations for construction have been underway since the beginning of 2005, De Beers said in a statement. Snap Lake will begin production in 2007, reaching full production in 2008. It is expected to produce 1.5 million carats per year for approximately 20 years.