De Beers suspends operations at Snap Lake diamond mine in Northwest Territories

By Sudarshan Sitaula

Another business and its employees are feeling the effects of Canada’s troubled exploration industry. This week De Beers announced that it has made the decision to put its Snap Lake diamond mine “on care and maintenance,” with mining operations ceasing immediately, in light of a recent review of the mine’s operations and current market conditions.

Though mining operations are already suspended, De Beers expects wind down efforts to last between one and nine months—after this, maintenance work and environmental monitoring will still continue in respect to the terms of De Beers’ mine permits.

RELATED CONTENT: Rio Tinto unearths one of Canada's largest diamonds at Northwest Territories mine

Of course, mine care and maintenance requires much less manpower than active exploration. De Beers has stated that its suspension activity will require 120 employees, while maintenance and care will call for 70 employees to remain on the site after suspension is complete. The company is transferring 41 employees to its Gahcho Kué Diamond Project, 85 km southeast of Snap Lake, and may transfer another 60 over the course of 2016 if conditions permit.

As for the rest—De Beers stated that, regrettably, 434 employees have been informed that their services will no longer be needed during this care and maintenance period, proving that the oil and gas industry is not the only exploration sector looking forward to additional layoffs and salary freezes in the coming year.

RELATED CONTENT: Oil and gas businesses expect layoffs and salary freezes in 2016

 “The men and women at Snap Lake have put enormous effort into this challenging ore body over many years, but even the gains made this year are not enough to overcome the market conditions and put us in a profitable position,” said Kim Truter, Chief Executive of De Beers Canada. “To see such a strong commitment to the mine makes today’s announcement that much more difficult.”

[SOURCE: Mining Global]


Featured Articles

DEI done right: Brook Sims, COO, MAC Diversity Recruiters

Passionate about helping others find their voice, diversity leader and COO Brook Sims talks powerful leadership, diverse teams and being a change agent

Q&A: China’s ecommerce innovator Jeff Li, CEO of Shoplazza

Named in Fortune China’s 40 under 40 for 2022, former Baidu head Jeff Li is the entrepreneurial founder and CEO of ecommerce platform Shoplazza

How hybrid work is revolutionising the physical office

As hybrid work models roll out worldwide, the purpose of the office is changing with collaboration, connection and networking taking centre stage

Trailblazer: Shanique Bonelli-Moore, DEI chief at Clorox


Dean Forbes – the Forterro CEO aiming for the moon

Leadership & Strategy

Why becoming a B Corp is good for business