August 29, 2005

DeBeers receives approval for EA report on planned northern Ont diamond mine

TORONTO, ONT-De Beers Canada's environmental assessment (EA) Comprehensive Study Report for its proposed Victor diamond mine in northern Ontario has been approved by federal Environment Minister St√ąphane Dion. The $982-million Victor project will be the first diamond mine in Ontario and De Beers' second mine in Canada. The approval is the culmination of an exhaustive three-year process involving extensive studies and reviews, with contributions from technical and environmental experts, government departments, First Nations communities, the public and other stakeholders. In June, the Attawapiskat First Nation voted to ratify an impact benefit agreement with the company. "There has been an extensive collective effort over the last three years to ensure that the Victor mine will minimize impacts and maximize benefits for the people of northern Ontario. The First Nations communities in the region have been very involved in the EA process and traditional knowledge has been incorporated in the project design and future monitoring plans," noted De Beers' Jeremy Wyeth, project vice-president. Construction of the mine is expected to begin in 2006 once the necessary federal and provincial permits have been obtained. It will take three years to build, with production starting end of 2008. De Beers says Victor will produce approximately six million carats during its lifespan.

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