Hatch congratulates De Beers and Mountain Province Diamonds on first diamonds at Gahcho Kué mine
Toronto, ON — Earlier this week, De Beers and Mountain Province Diamonds announced the Gahcho Kué processing plant has been commissioned and is producing first diamonds from the Canadian mine—the largest new mine currently under development in the world.
“Congratulations to the team at Gacho Kué on this exciting milestone,” said John Bryant, Hatch’s Project Manager for Gahcho Kué. “Given the challenges in an arctic climate, this project required intensive planning and is an exceptional achievement, reaching both mechanical completion and first diamond on schedule and on budget.”
On behalf of the client, Hatch led the engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) team and was responsible for the design and implementation of the mine’s processing plant. The plant is expected to produce 4.5 million carats per annum over the life of the mine, with commercial operation expected to be reached in the first quarter of 2017. The project is located about 280 km north east of Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories, Canada.
The site’s remote, northern location meant the Gahcho Kué team faced icy winter conditions for 10 months of the year. Specifically, the lack of roadways presented significant logistical and scheduling challenges. Completion of the project largely depended on the success of an ice road campaign in the winter of 2015, during which the majority of construction materials were shipped to site. Meticulous logistics and careful contingency plans were required to support more than 2,500 truckloads, including 24 million litres of fuel, travelling 420 kilometers to Gahcho Kué.
The mine is expected to have a significant impact on the diamond industry, according to Kim Truter, Chief Executive Officer of De Beers Canada. “Gahcho Kué will not only strengthen De Beers in Canada, but ensure Canada remains the third leading diamond producer, by value, in the world.”
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