Victor diamond mines and the De Beers Gahcho Kué have received industry awards this year for their safety records.
The Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy, and Petroleum (C.I.M.) has named the N.W.T. ‘s Gahcho Kué mine as the national 2020 John T. Ryan award winner for the lowest reportable injury frequency last year.
According to a news release from De Beers on Thursday, the mine “reduced the number of injuries by 38 percent compared to 2018 and had zero lost-time injuries during the year.”
The company says this means that Gahcho Kué has “one of the lowest injury frequency rates among operating mines in Canada.”
The Gahcho Kué mine is at Kennady Lake, approximately 280 kilometers northeast of Yellowknife. The $1.1 billion mine began industrial production in March 2017 and is expected to remain in production until at least 2030. The mine is a joint venture project between the De Beers Group, which owns 51 percent of the operation, and Mountain Province Diamonds, which holds 49 percent. De Beers is the mine operator.
The 100 percent De Beers owned Victor mine in northern Ontario is in its closure phase. For that mine, De Beers was awarded the 2020 eastern regional John T. Ryan Award winner. This is the third consecutive year De Beers won the regional award for the Victor mine operation.
Previously De Beers won the national John T. Ryan award for Victor in 2015 and 2016.
According to De Beers, “97 percent of all days worked during 2019 [at Victor] were ‘triple zero’ with no first aids, no medical intervention, and no lost-time injuries.”
“To have both our Canadian operations recognized as being among the safest mines in the county is an outstanding accomplishment,” stated Mpumi Zikalala, a managing director with De Beers, in the press release.
“I’m confident that the Gahcho Kué team will continue to be the safest mining company in Canada.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Gahcho Kué mine has stayed long in operation, along with the Diavik Diamond Mine, in cooperation with N.W.T. Office of the Chief Public Health Officer.