Snap Lake Mine Winter Shutdown Cancelled

YELLOWKNIFE, NW, Sept. 29 /CNW/ - De Beers Canada today announced the cancellation of the planned four-week winter production shutdown which was scheduled for December this year at the Snap Lake Mine.

"This is a good news decision in response to some positive trends we are seeing in the market place," said Jim Gowans, President and CEO. "While we are optimistic about the improvements we are seeing in the global industry, we will continue to make decisions carefully with a focus on the long term success for our new Canadian mines."

Earlier this year, De Beers Canada announced a number of strategic responses to the worldwide economic slowdown and anticipated reduction in client demand. Included in the plans were a scaling back of production and both a summer and winter production shutdown at the Snap Lake Mine.

Leading up to the summer shutdown the mine achieved an important safety milestone, surpassing 2 million hours worked without a Lost Time Injury. A small team of approximately 60 staff were on site to provide care and maintenance for the camp and to complete the summer environmental monitoring programs that are required for environmental compliance. The summer shutdown was successfully completed on September 2, with all summer environmental monitoring programs successfully completed and the employees' record of safety excellence continued throughout the shutdown period.

The Snap Lake Mine is De Beers' first mine in Canada and the only Canadian diamond mine that is completely underground.

SOURCE De Beers Canada Corporation

For further information: For further information: Cathie Bolstad, Director External and Corporate Affairs, De Beers Canada Inc, Tel: (867) 766-7325

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