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Say hello to Gahcho Kué

We are pleased to announce that Gahcho Kué, the world’s largest new diamond mine in the last 13 years, has officially opened.

Gahcho Kué is a fly-in/fly-out mine located approximately 280km northeast of Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories (NWT) of Canada.

The open pit mine is expected to produce approximately 54 million carats of rough diamonds over its lifetime from 35 million tonnes of material. The total capital cost is approximately C$1 billion.

The mine began the ramp up of production in early August 2016 and is expected to reach full commercial operation in the first quarter of 2017.

De Beers, as the operator, is committed to operating this new mine to high safety standards and with deep respect for the surrounding land.

Gahcho Kué will play an important role in helping to meet the expected rise in demand for diamond jewellery globally. Find out more about the outlook for the global diamond industry in De Beers’ Diamonds Insight Report 2016


Did you know?

  • Gahcho Kué has provided a C$440m boost to the NWT economy between 2006 and 2015, underpinned by C$1bn capital investment over the last three years when the local economy has been under pressure.

  •  Around 90% of Gahcho Kué’s impact will come after the mine reaches full production, equivalent to a further C$5.3bn in gross value added [GVA] to the NWT.

  • Including its supply chain impacts, the mine supported more than 2,700 jobs in 2015, with employment at the site representing more than 10 per cent of employment in the Northwest Territories’ extractive industries.

  • The opening of Gahcho Kué will ensure Canada remains the third largest rough diamond producer in the world (by value).

Quick facts: Gahcho Kué

Where is it? 63° 26’ 29.5” latitude and 109° 10’ 36” longitude, about 280 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories in Canada.

How big is it? Covering 1,200 hectares, Gahcho Kué is an open pit operation, mining three kimberlite pipes in sequence: 5034, Hearne and Tuzo.

How much diamond will it produce in a year? ~4.5M Carats

Who owns Gahcho Kué? It is a joint venture between De Beers Canada Inc. (51%) and Mountain Province Diamonds Inc.(49%).

How many people will work there? Once in full operation, about 530 De Beers and contractor workers will be required to operate the mine during the approximately 12 year life of mine.

The future

Investment over decades across Canada has enabled De Beers to grow from a small group of field geologists to a major diamond mine operator in the country.

De Beers' diamond mine portfolio has played a fundamental role in Canada's emergence as a diamond-producing country, now ranking as the third largest in the world by production value and fifth largest by production volume.

With the opening of Gahcho Kué, a head office move to Calgary completed, and ongoing strategies for further exploration, De Beers is actively planning for the next chapter in its operations in Canada. These operations, as they have in the past, retain a focus on investing locally to ensure that the benefits flow to the communities with which the company works.

You can find out more about Gahcho Kué and our work in Canada on the De Beers website.

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