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Gahcho Kue takes another step

Andrea Markey
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (July 27/05) - Regulatory processes for what could be the NWT's fourth diamond mine were given a boost this week.

De Beers approved $38.5 million to start the environmental assessment and permitting process for the Gahcho Kue project, located approximately 300 km east of Yellowknife and 100 km from the Snap Lake site.

"We are very excited by De Beers' decision," said Jan Vandersande, president and chief executive officer of Mountain Province Diamonds Inc. from his home in California. "By the time the mine could be operational in 2011-2012, the other mines will be winding down. This is a win-win situation for everyone."

Mountain Province holds a 44.1 per cent interest in the property, along with De Beers Canada, which has 51 per cent, and Camphor Ventures Inc., 4.9 per cent.

At the end of June, De Beers announced an 18-month pre-feasibility study for the project was completed, based on seven years of exploration and engineering work. From the results of that study, the company developed a proposed time table and budget over 2005 and 2006 to move the project to the permitting phase.

The money will also pay for a drilling and sampling program this winter on the 5034 and Tuzo kimberlites at Gahcho Kue to improve confidence levels for the project.

As well, community consultations and information sessions will continue as the project moves forward.