De Beers will cease production at the Victor mine in Canada in the first quarter of 2019, the company said Wednesday.
The asset in Ontario, where production started in July 2008, will continue to operate at full capacity until the open pit is depleted, and will then close, De Beers said. This is in line with the company’s original feasibility study and mine plan for the project, which has yielded about 7 million carats of rough — already exceeding the forecast of 6 million carats for its entire life span, the miner explained.
De Beers developed a closure plan for Victor before it opened, and has been working to restore the site for several years, including by planting trees.
“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,” said Kim Truter, CEO of De Beers Canada.
De Beers, which has been exploring in Canada since 1961, found the Victor kimberlite cluster in 1987 — the first economic diamond discovery in the country. The miner’s other Canadian asset, Gahcho Kué in the Northwest Territories, is a joint venture with Mountain Province Diamonds that opened in September 2016. That site is expected to produce 54 million carats of rough over its 12-year life span.