New flights from Calgary for Canada’s diamond mines
Published Friday, July 21, 2017 6:13AM MDT
Last Updated Friday, July 21, 2017 10:31AM MDT
Workers for Canada’s diamond mine in the north now have an easier way to get to work with an increase in the number flights every week out of Calgary International Airport.
Summit Air is offering two return flights between YYC and the De Beers mine in the Northwest Territories.
The mine, called Gahcho Kue that is Chipewyan for ‘Place of the Large Hares’, is the largest new diamond mine in the world.
The diamond deposits were found by Toronto-based Mountain Province Diamonds, which still owns 49 percent of the mine in its joint venture with De Beers.
It is 280 km northeast of Yellowknife and nearly 500 staff needs to be flown in on a work rotation.
Managers say the new flights will help with that and has also proven to be a boost in hiring.
“We are sourcing a lot of skills. 45 percent of our labour force does come from the south,” says Allan Rodel, the GM of Gahcho Kue. “It’s very difficult to get some of the key technical skills that don’t necessarily reside in Yellowknife.”
Rodel says the timing of the new mine’s opening also helped provide jobs during the recession.
The mine is expected to produce a bucket of diamonds every day with an average of 4.5M carats each year.
Flights from Calgary are on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
De Beers moved its Canadian headquarters to Calgary back in April.
(With files from Stephanie Weibe)