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De Beers’ Victor mine ends production

The open-pit Victor mine, Ontario’s first diamond operation, officially opened in July 2008. (Image courtesy of De Beers Canada.)

Production has officially ceased at the first and only diamond mine in the Canadian province of Ontario– the Victor mine owned by De Beers Canada. The news comes 10 years and 10 months after the mine was officially opened in July 2008.

Mining ceased on March 5, and the recovery plant treated stockpiled material since then. The last economic ore was processed on May 25, 2019, followed by several days of treating low grade ore and limestone to purge the plant of any remaining diamonds. The mineral processing plant will be completely shut down by the end of  June.

De Beers said it has spent $2.6 billion to build and operate the mine, of which $820 million has gone to Indigenous and local businesses in northern Ontario. In addition, it paid C$110 million in royalties to the government of Ontario and another C$100 million in corporate social investment and payments to communities.

During its operation, the Victor mine yielded roughly 8.1 million carats of diamonds.

The Victor mine won its share of awards – 2009 International Mine of the Year from Mining Magazine, 2010 Ontario Chamber of Commerce Large Mine of the Year and four straight John T. Ryan Awards for mine safety (nationally in 2015 and 2016, regionally in 2017 and 2018).

(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)