BUSINESS

Snap Lake Diamond Mine To Shutter, De Beers Says, Eliminating 434 Jobs

12/04/2015 12:34 EST | Updated 12/04/2016 05:12 EST
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UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 27: This De Beers' 'Bridal Bar' unique engagement ring has a 4.46 carat center stone surrounded by 170 smaller diamonds bringing the ring to a total of 5.51 carats. The ring is seen in front of De Beers? logo in a jewelry store in Los Angeles, California, USA, on December 23, 2005. (Photo by Jamie Rector/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
YELLOWKNIFE — The De Beers Group is shutting down its Snap Lake diamond mine in Canada's Far North due to current market conditions, resulting in the loss of more than 400 jobs.

The group's Canadian subsidiary will require 120 employees to prepare the underground mine for a lengthy suspension, and the workforce will be reduced further to 70 employees to do environmental monitoring and other work while the mine is idled.

De Beers says 41 of Snap Lake's employees have been transferred to the Gahcho Kué project as of Friday and another 60 may be moved sometime in 2016.

However, De Beers said 434 employees have been notified that they aren't required for the closure and maintenance work.

The company says it will evaluate market conditions over the next year to determine if the Snap Lake operation is financially viable.

"The men and women at Snap Lake have put enormous effort into this challenging ore body over many years, but even the gains made this year are not enough to overcome the market conditions and put us in a profitable position. To see such a strong commitment to the mine makes today's announcement that much more difficult," Kim Truter, CEO of De Beers Canada, said in a statement issued from Toronto.  

The Snap mine is 220 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife.

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