YELLOWKNIFE, TORONTO, NEW YORK, Feb. 18, 2014 /CNW/ - De Beers Canada Inc. (De Beers) and Mountain Province Diamonds (TSX: MPV, NYSE MKT: MDM) are pleased to announce that De Beers, as Operator of the Gahcho Kué Project, has entered into an Impact Benefit Agreement (IBA) with the Yellowknives Dene First Nation for the proposed Gahcho Kué Mine. The agreement puts in place a framework for De Beers and the Yellowknives Dene First Nation to work together over the life of the mine and it enables participation by the Yellowknives Dene First Nation in the opportunities that the mine provides.
"The Gahcho Kué Project is located within Chief Drygeese Territory. Our members have lived on the land throughout our traditional territory, hunting, fishing and trapping, since time immemorial," said Chief Edward Sangris. "This agreement provides certainty that training, employment and business opportunities are made available to Yellowknives Dene members and it includes financial provisions necessary for ensuring fair participation in opportunities the project will provide."
"We already have an established relationship with the Yellowknives Dene First Nation for our Snap Lake Mine," said Glen Koropchuk, Chief Operating Officer for De Beers. "This Impact Benefit Agreement builds on that existing relationship and it confirms our commitment to work together for the benefit of Yellowknives Dene First Nation members as we advance the Gahcho Kué mine. I would like to congratulate both negotiating teams on work well done."
Gahcho Kué will employ close to 700 people during the two years of construction and close to 400 people during its operational phase. The Gahcho Kué life of mine is approximately 11 years in duration and will mine about 31 million tonnes of ore containing an estimated 49 million carats.
Gahcho Kué is a joint venture between De Beers (51%) and Mountain Province Diamonds (49%) and is located 280 km northeast of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.
The agreement was signed in Dettah on Tuesday, February 18, 2014.
Members of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation, and their ancestors the T'satsąot'inę, have occupied lands on the north side of Great Slave Lake for thousands of years. Within the area now known as the Chief Drygeese Territory, knowledge of trails, camps, birth and burial places, lakes, streams, animals and plants has been passed from generation to generation. YKDFN is a party to the Akaitcho Process, currently negotiating a land claim agreement with the Government of Canada under Treaty 8.
About De Beers Group
De Beers Group is a member of the Anglo American plc group. Established in 1888, De Beers is the world's leading diamond company with unrivalled expertise in the exploration, mining and marketing of diamonds. Together with its joint venture partners, De Beers employs approximately 16,000 people across the diamond pipeline, and is the world's largest diamond producer by value, with mining operations in Botswana, Canada, Namibia and South Africa. In Canada, De Beers operates the Snap Lake Mine in the Northwest Territories and the Victor Mine in northern Ontario. De Beers is also a joint venture partner in the Gahcho Kué Project in the Northwest Territories. For further information about De Beers visit www.debeersgroup.com.
About Mountain Province Diamonds
Mountain Province Diamonds discovered the first kimberlite at Kennady Lake in 1995 and in 1997 entered into a joint venture agreement with Monopros, a subsidiary of De Beers. Mountain Province is a 49% participant with De Beers Canada in the Gahcho Kué JV located in Canada's Northwest Territories. Gahcho Kué is the world's largest and richest new diamond mine development. A December 2010 feasibility study filed by Mountain Province (available on SEDAR) indicates that the Gahcho Kué project has an IRR of 33.9%. Further information is available at www.mountainprovince.com.
This news release may contain forward-looking statements, within the meaning of the "safe-harbor" provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, regarding Mountain Province's business. Actual results could differ materially from those described in this news release as a result of numerous factors, some of which are outside the control of the Company.
SOURCE: De Beers Canada Corporation
For further information:
Sr. Manager, External & Corporate Affairs
De Beers Canada Inc.
Tel: (867) 766-7300
President and CEO
Mountain Province Diamonds
Tel: (416) 361-3563
Chief Edward Sangris
Tel: (867) 873-4307