De Beers has been given the green light to begin flooding its underground diamond mine at Snap Lake.
The Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board approved the flooding plan as part of the company’s long-term care and maintenance program that was established in December.
“We remain focused on preserving the significant diamond resource within the Snap Lake mine,” Kim Truter, chief executive officer of De Beers, said in a statement.
The mine, located 220 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife, had been unprofitable due to market conditions.
De Beers had also experienced trouble managing water in the underground tunnels, which is high in dissolved solids.
The company says it will conduct trials during the first years of extended care and maintenance before a fully remote system is implemented for monitoring the site.
The care and maintenance programs are expected to last three or more years and will allow for future production.