YELLOWKNIFE — De Beers Canada, a subsidiary of the South African diamond mining giant, says it has begun to ramp up production at its Snap Lake mine and expects to add 175 operational positions by the end of 2010.
In addition to the production rampup, the company is going ahead with building a permanent accommodation complex for mine employees, resulting in an additional 30 construction workers.
The camp construction had been put on hold last year in response to the global economic slowdown that hit the mining industry in the second half of 2008.
Earlier this year, the company announced plans to scale back production and both a summer and winter production shutdown at the mine. However, the winter shutdown was cancelled in September due to positive trends in the market.
“Our decision to increase production is consistent with our business strategy to align production with global demand,” said Jim Gowans, president and CEO.
“Although our industry might not see the same sales levels in the next few years that we enjoyed in 2007 and early 2008, we anticipate a steady growth in demand over the next three or four years, and the long term looks bright.”
The mine, about 220 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife, currently employs 440 people.
The company expects the workforce to grow to 634 by the time the Snap Lake mine reaches full production in 2012.