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GAHCHO KUÉ DIAMOND MINE OPENS

Gahcho Kué, the world’s largest new diamond mine in the last 13 years, officially opened today. The mine, a joint venture with The De Beers Group of Companies (51 per cent) and Mountain Province Diamonds (49 per cent), is expected to produce approximately 54 million carats of rough diamonds from around 35 million tonnes of scheduled material over its lifetime.

A fly-in/fly-out remote mine site situated approximately 280km northeast of Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories (NWT) of Canada, Gahcho Kué remains on track to reach full commercial operation in the first quarter of 2017. Comprised of three open pits, the mine will employ 530 people full-time, with the majority working a two-week in/two-week out rotation.

The mine was opened officially by De Beers Group Chairman and Anglo American Chief Executive Mark Cutifani, De Beers Group CEO Bruce Cleaver, De Beers Canada CEO Kim Truter, Mountain Province Diamonds CEO Patrick Evans, and representatives of First Nations and Metis communities in the Northwest Territories at an event that included 150 guests from across Canada and around the world.

Canada is the world’s third largest diamond producer by value and the fifth largest by volume.1 Underpinned by a US$1 billion capital investment, the development of Gahcho Kué between 2006 and 2015 has already provided a C$440 million boost to the NWT economy, according to a recent socio-economic impact study conducted by EY for The De Beers Group of Companies.2

More than 90 per cent of Gahcho Kué’s economic impact will be delivered once the mine becomes fully operational, equivalent to a further C$5.3 billion in Gross Value Added (GVA)3 to the NWT. Including its supply chain impacts, the mine supported more than 2,700 jobs in 2015, with employment at the site representing more than 10 per cent of employment in the NWT’s extractive industries.

Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group, said: “As millions of new consumers enter the middle classes in the coming years, consumer demand for diamond jewellery is set to see continued medium to long term growth. I’m therefore delighted with the official opening of Gahcho Kué, our largest ever mine outside of southern Africa, as it will help to meet this increasing demand.

“Allied to our major investments in production capacity expansion in the southern African region, the opening of Gahcho Kué positions De Beers and its partners strongly to capitalise on the industry’s positive demand outlook.”

Kim Truter, CEO, De Beers Canada, said: “Our employees, our business partners and our community partners went above and beyond to deliver this world class asset ahead of schedule and under budget. All those who played a part from discovery through permitting, construction, commissioning and now first production can be proud to have done so in a safe and environmentally responsible way.”

Patrick Evans, CEO, Mountain Province Diamonds, said: “Today marks the culmination of more than twenty-one years of commitment and support from our shareholders, without which today would not have been possible. I also recognize the support of our lending group and joint venture partner, who helped get us over the finish line. As production and cash flows commence, our singular focus is to repay our shareholders and business partners and to operate this diamond mine for the benefit of our employees and the communities they call home.”

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Notes to Editors

  1. The Diamond Insight Report 2016: www.debeersgroup.com/insightreport.
  2. Socio-Economic Impact Report: De Beers in Canada: www.debeersgroup.com/thecanadareport.
  3. GVA is a measure of economic activity. It is often referred to as the ‘income from production’ and is broadly equivalent to the wages and profits generated by a particular economic activity, or total output (revenues) minus intermediate costs. GVA differs from GDP in that it does not include net taxes and subsidies levied on products.

Contact

De Beers Canada
Tom Ormsby
Head of External and Corporate Affairs
Tel +1 403 930 0330
Mob +1 416 525 5328
tom.ormsby@debeersgroup.com

Mountain Province Diamonds
Matthew Evans
Head of Corporate Affairs
Tel +1 480 563 7480
m.evans@mountainprovince.com

About The De Beers Group of Companies

De Beers is a member of the Anglo American group. Established in 1888, De Beers is the world’s leading diamond company with unrivalled expertise in the exploration, mining and marketing of diamonds. Together with its joint venture partners, De Beers employs more than 20,000 people (directly and as contractors) across the diamond pipeline, and is the world’s largest diamond producer by value, with mining operations in Botswana, Canada, Namibia and South Africa. As part of the company’s operating philosophy, the people of De Beers are committed to Living up to Diamonds by making a lasting contribution to the communities in which they live and work, and transforming natural resources into shared national wealth. For further information about De Beers visit www.debeersgroup.com.

About Mountain Province Diamonds

Mountain Province Diamonds is a 49% participant with De Beers Canada in the Gahcho Kué diamond mine located in Canada’s Northwest Territories.  Gahcho Kué is the world’s largest new diamond mine. The deposit consists of a cluster of four diamond-bearing kimberlites, three of which have a probable mineral reserve of 35.4 million tonnes grading 1.57 carats per tonne for total diamond content of 55.5 million carats. The mine is projected to produce an average of 4.5 million carats a year. Mountain Province Diamonds is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (MPV) and the NASDAQ (MDM). For further information about Mountain Province visit www.mountainprovince.com.

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