De Beers’ first Canadian mine will open in 2007. Snap Lake, located in Canada’s Northwest Territories, will produce about 1.5 million carats a year for 20 years or more—considerably less than the two Canadian mines currently functioning, Ekati and Diavik, owned by miners BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, respectively. (Tahera Diamond Corp. is due to start production next year on the Jericho mine in Nunavut.)
One De Beers executive noted the cost pressures the Snap Lake mine is under and told the Canadian press it is no “dripping roast.”
Snap Lake is the first De Beers–owned mine outside Africa.