DeBeers Canada is sticking to its plans of potentially expand its Victor diamond mine, located in northern Ontario near the community of Attawapiskat, by pursuing an environmental assessment.
The process, which will include public consultation, could allow the firm to open the so-called “Tango Extension” in 2018, reported CBC News.
The miner’s spokesman Tom Ormsby said that while it is still early, there have been preliminary discussions with the Cree community about the project.
Ormsby believes De Beers and the Attawapiskat First Nation have moved past tensions related to last year’s roadblocks of the existing Victor mine. He further told CBC that if the company decided to move forward with the expansion, there could be a re-negotiating of the impact benefit agreement with the band.
The open-pit Victor Mine is one of 18 kimberlite pipes discovered high in the Canadian Arctic, 16 of which are diamondiferous. Construction began in February 2006 and the mine officially opened in July 2008.
Victor is the first diamond mine for the province of Ontario and De Beers second Canadian mine. It is regarded as an operation that will produce a great deal of gem quality diamonds over its projected life of 17 years.
Image courtesy of DeBeers