The recently announced discovery of a previously unknown kimberlite pipe at Northwest Territories’ Gahcho Kué Mine is just the latest in a series of discoveries that may extend operations at the diamond mine, reports De Beers Group. The Wilson kimberlite discovery is located within the Tuzo pit design limits. A smaller kimberlite pipe, also near Tuzo and named Curie, was discovered in 2018.
“This latest discovery builds on the success of the resource extension program, which has the potential to extend the life of mine at Gahcho Kué,” said Allan Rodel, Head of Operations, and De Beers Group Managed Operations. “A lot of work needs to be done to understand the potential of the Wilson pipe, but this is the result of great work by a multi-disciplinary team from Gahcho Kué Mine, De Beers Group Technical & Sustainability MRM and Exploration, and joint venture partner Mountain Province Diamonds.”
The new kimberlite is named after Alice Evelyn Wilson, Canada’s first female geologist, the first woman elected as a Fellow of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society (1930) and the Royal Society of Canada (1938) and the first Canadian woman to be admitted to the Geological Society of America (1936).
These programs have found additional kimberlite connected to the 5034 kimberlite, which was incorporated into the 2019 mine plan. In 2018, more kimberlite associated with 5034 and Hearne pipes were discovered and are being considered for possible inclusion in the 2020 business plan. Gahcho Kué Mine is an unincorporated joint venture between De Beers Group (51% - the Operator) and Mountain Province Diamonds (49%). The mine officially opened in 2016 and currently has an 11-year life of mine. It is located 280 km northeast of Yellowknife in the NWT.