Matt Breen will be the Diavik diamond mine’s new chief operating officer, Rio Tinto says, replacing Angela Bigg.
After six years running the mine, Bigg is “taking a period of leave before returning to Rio Tinto in a different leadership role,” Diavik owner Rio Tinto said in a Wednesday news release.
Rio Tinto introduced Breen as a “very experienced operational leader” who had previously been the NWT diamond mine’s general manager of operations. After this article was first published, the company added that the appointment does not take effect until December 8.
Part of Breen’s role will be “preparing to leave a positive legacy in partnership with our community and government partners,” Rio Tinto Minerals chief executive Sinead Kaufman was quoted as saying.
Diavik, which opened in 2003 and has 1,230 employees according to Rio Tinto, is one of three operational diamond mines in the territory. It is expected to cease operations in 2026.
Breen said leading the mine would be “a privilege,” adding: “I will ensure that we continue on our path of excellence to leave a lasting positive legacy in the Northwest Territories.”