Proposed Ontario Diamond Royalty

    TORONTO, March 23 /CNW/ - The future growth and sustainability of the
mining industry in Ontario will be best served by a tax regime which is
applied equally across the mining sector, is predictable, stable and
    The diamond royalty as proposed in yesterday's Ontario provincial budget
has not previously been covered in any dialogue between the industry and the
Ontario Government. We look forward to the opportunity to work with the
Government on its proposed diamond royalty to ensure that the economic
development implications for future exploration and mine development are
clearly understood.
    We are concerned about these apparently arbitrary changes to the tax
structure so close to the start of production at Victor. Once we have more
information regarding how its proposed diamond royalty will be implemented, we
will be in a position to assess the impact on the economics of the Victor
diamond mine.
    De Beers is currently investing one billion dollars in the construction
of Ontario's first diamond mine. This investment will add approximately
$7 billion dollars to the growth of the Ontario economy. The mine is scheduled
to start production in the first half of 2008. There are currently 600 people
employed on site in construction and when the mine is in operations it will
create approximately 400 new jobs in northern Ontario.

For further information:

For further information: Linda Dorrington, Director, Public and
Corporate Affairs, De Beers Canada Inc, Tel: (416) 645-1710 ext 2107, Cell:
(416) 818-2254; Tom Ormsby, Manager, Public and Corporate Affairs, De Beers
Canada Victor Project, Tel: (705) 268-0988, Cell: (705) 266-5830

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