The huge global diamond producers De Beers Group is shutting down its Snap Lake diamond mine in the Northwest Territories of Canada. Over 400 jobs will be lost as a result.
|De Beers was founded back in the 19th century by Cecil Rhodes in southern Africa, but now operates in some 28 countries. It still operates in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa but also has mines in Canada. Its headquarters now are in Luxemburg and it still controls about 35 percent of global rough diamond production. However, it has long lost any monopoly power in the industry and the ability to set prices as it had earlier. In the 1980s it still controlled 90 percent of rough diamond production.|
"The men and women at Snap Lake have put enormous effort into this challenging ore body over many years, but even the gains made this year are not enough to overcome the market conditions and put us in a profitable position.
"This is a very sad day for our N.W.T. people and economy, not only for the Tlicho but for everyone. Sometimes tough business decisions have to be made, and we understand that De Beers had to make that decision today.We will be working closely with our businesses and with workers to lessen the impact on our people. We know that De Beers is working hard to make sure there is counselling available for workers."The Snap Lake mine began operations in 2008. Three diamond mines in the N.W.T. including Snap Lake, produce 40 percent of the N.W.T. gross domestic product(GDP)