Location: 63° 34’ 30” latitude and 110° 52’ 00” longitude, about 220 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife
Mine Area: 500 hectares
2014 Production: 1.2 million carats

Snap Lake Mine Overview

The Snap Lake Mine, De Beers’ first mine outside of Africa, is unique in Canada. Built on the shore of Snap Lake, 220 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife, the mine is Canada’s first completely underground diamond mine. The Snap Lake ore body is a 2.5 metre thick dyke that dips an average of 12-15° from the northwest shore down under the lake. It is unlike most diamond-bearing kimberlite deposits which are known as ‘pipes’ due to their conical or carrot-like shape.

By December 31, 2014 $2.2 billion had been spent on construction and operation of the mine. Of that total, $1.5 billion has been spent with NWT-based contractors and suppliers, including $863 million with Aboriginal businesses or Joint Ventures.

The mine commenced commercial production on January 16, 2008 and the Official Mine Opening took place on July 25, 2008. It was placed into care and maintenance on December 4, 2015.

De Beers Canada has signed four Impact Benefit Agreements (IBA) for the Snap Lake Mine including:

  • Yellowknives Dene First Nation (November 2005);
  • Tlicho Government (March 2006);
  • North Slave Métis Alliance (August 2006); and,
  • Lutsel K’e and Kache Dene First Nation (April 2007).