Oh Snap: De Beers to sell Snap Lake mine

By Dale Benton
The first De Beers diamond mine built outside of Africa has been put up for sale, following suspension of operations in December 2015, a spokesperson to...

The first De Beers diamond mine built outside of Africa has been put up for sale, following suspension of operations in December 2015, a spokesperson told Reuters.

The Snap Lake diamond mine, in the Northwest Territories, Canada, had been operating since 2008 but had yet to make any profit despite producing 1.2million carats last year.

De Beers has hired the Bank of Montreal to tout the underground mine, which is only accessible by air and an ice road for two months of the year, to potential interested investors.

The potential sale comes after a decline in prices and demand throughout the diamond industry.

De Beers was granted permission to flood the mine tunnels and reduce maintenance costs at the mine, but the company “thought it would be prudent” to see if there was any interested investors before commencing.

The Snap Lake mine was initially planned to operate until 2028 but was suspended last year after continuous problems with groundwater affecting diamond extraction. 

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