Since 1995 exploration, environmental studies and other work has been underway leading up to the development of the proposed Gahcho Kué diamond mine.

Located at Kennady Lake, approximately 280 km northeast of Yellowknife and 80 km southeast of our Snap Lake Mine in the Northwest Territories, the Gahcho Kué Project is a joint venture between De Beers Canada Inc. (51%) and Mountain Province Diamonds Inc. (49%).

Exploration has determined that three kimberlite deposits currently have potential to be mined: 5034, Hearne and Tuzo.

De Beers, as the operator, is committed to building this new mine to high safety standards and with deep respect for the land.
  • 1995
    5034 pipe discovered by Mountain Province Mining Inc. and partners (MPV group).
  • 1997
    De Beers Canada Inc. (DBCI) formed a joint venture with the MPV Group; Tuzo & Hearne pipes are discovered; project name changed to Gahcho Kué, which means in Chipewyan “a place where there are big rabbits or hares”.
  • 1997-2003
    Testing of the kimberlites is undertaken by core and large diameter drilling, mini-bulk sampling and environmental studies.
  • 2004
    Started Gahcho Kué Project Study and commenced environmental work to support an application for a Class ‘A’ Land Use Permit and a Type ‘A’ Water License.
  • 2004-2005
    Geotechnical studies included drilling at site to investigate pit geo-hydrology, geotechnical, civil engineering and ore processing characteristics.
  • 2005
    De Beers applied for a Type ‘A’ Water License & Class ‘A’ Land Use Permit; application referred to the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board (MVEIRB) to complete an Environmental Assessment.
  • 2006
    MVEIRB completed Environmental Assessment and referred the project to an Environmental Impact Review. Camp upgrades including new bulk fuel farm and a new kitchen are completed. Advanced evaluation and baseline studies are ongoing.
  • 2007
    Terms of Reference for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) were released by the Gahcho Kué Environmental Impact Review Panel. De Beers began work to prepare the detailed EIS document and undertook Community Engagement, including site visits, meetings with leadership, lands & wildlife departments, community meetings & open houses, socio-economic baseline data collection and community verification of data. Technical work included a winter core drilling program on Tuzo and land-based large diameter core drilling on 5034.
  • 2008
    Bulk sampling program undertaken to update diamond revenue models. In December, De Beers advises the Panel that the project will be delayed due to the world economic situation and the need to consider further study of the project options.
  • 2009
    In July, De Beers signed a new Joint Venture Agreement with MPV (DBCI 51%, MPV 49%). In August the JV partners commenced a $10 million Project Feasibility Study.
  • 2010
    Collection of baseline data continued. Community Engagement recommenced in July 2010 with site visits. In October the Definitive Feasibility Study was delivered to Joint Venture Partners for evaluation. EIS filed with the Gahcho Kué Environmental Impact Review Panel on Dec. 23.
  • 2011
    Joint Venture partners, after reviewing and clarifying, approved the project feasibility study in June and set about to produce a plan and budget for development of the proposed mine, to be used to make the final investment decision to build the mine. In July, the EIS was declared to be in conformity with the Terms of Reference for the Environmental Impact Review and the Gahcho Kué Environmental Impact Review Panel set the work plan for the EIR process. A decision from the panel is expected by July 2013.
  • 2012
    In February, community workshops were held with First Nations groups close to the project, including sessions in all four Tlicho Communities, Dettah and Lutsel K’e and with the North Slave Métis Alliance and NWT Métis Nation. On March 28, a Traditional Knowledge Study Agreement is signed by De Beers and the Deninu K’ue First Nation.
Sharing Information

The Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board (MVEIRB) will hold public hearings on the Project in December 2012. A decision from the Panel reviewing Gahcho Kué is expected by July 2013. 

While the review process moves forward, we will continue community engagement, reaching out to communities near Gahcho Kué to hear people’s concerns and ideas.

We welcome the opportunity to make improvements to our project and invite you to tell us about any concerns you have and to provide suggestions for changes to what we propose.
Write to us by mail:

De Beers Canada
Suite 300, 5102-50th Avenue
Yellowknife, NT X1A 3S8

Call us:

Toll-Free 1-888-762-7525 (NWT only)