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Production ceases at Ontario’s only diamond mine

De Beers’ Victor Mine has shut its doors after 11 years of operations.
De Beers’ Victor Mine has shut its doors after 11 years of operations.

The final load of ore has been removed from De Beers’ Victor Mine, marking the end of 11 years of operations. Located in the James Bay Lowlands, 90 km (56 mi) west of Attawapiskat First Nation, the site was Ontario’s first and only diamond mine.

Since 2008, more than 88 million tonnes (97 million tons) of rock and ore have been hauled from the pit, which grew from 5 m (16.4 ft) to 1 km (0.6 mi) during its life. The mine was forecast to produce six million carats, but has since surpassed eight million, 935,000 of which were recovered in 2018. It is expected to continue processing stockpiled ore until early May.

“That is something really special,” senior mining manager Brian Kilbride said to the mining team. “I’m extremely proud of what we have been able to accomplish in that pit.”

During the course of its operation, the Victor Mine was recognized with several local, national, and international awards, including two John T. Ryan Trophies in recognition of outstanding safety. Most recently, the mine received the 2017 Eastern Region John T. Ryan Trophy, the 2018 Workplace Safety North President’s Award, and a Workplace Excellence Award from Workplace Safety North.

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