Demolished material at the Snap Lake mine awaits burial in 2022. Photo: GNWT
De Beers says its shuttered Snap Lake diamond mine is “entering the final stages of active closure” ahead of a switch to long-term monitoring.
Work to close down Snap Lake – the country’s only fully underground diamond mine – has been under way since De Beers announced it would cease production at the end of 2015.
At the time the company said the NWT mine, 220 km northeast of Yellowknife, had not lived up to expectations since opening in 2008. De Beers’ lone operational diamond mine in the NWT is now Gahcho Kué, which opened in 2016.
In a Monday news release, De Beers stated: “All of the mine’s infrastructure will be removed by the end of this year, and the site will be readied for targeted revegetation in 2024, followed by long-term monitoring.”
De Beers said a final closure and reclamation plan for Snap Lake received regulatory approval in December last year and the company will be “finalizing the remaining closure criteria in the next few months.”
In 2021, Met/Nuna – a joint venture between Nuna Logistics and Métcor, the economic development arm of the North Slave Métis Alliance – was awarded a contract worth $110 million over three years to perform closure work at Snap Lake.