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Gahcho Kué Joint Venture And The Government Of The Northwest Territories (GNWT) Sign Socio Economic Agreement

YELLOWKNIFE, NT, TORONTO, ON, & NEW YORK, NY, June 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - De Beers and Mountain Province Diamonds (TSX: MPV, NYSE MKT: MDM) are pleased to announce that De Beers as Operator of the Gahcho Kué Project today entered into a Socio Economic Agreement (SEA) with the Government of the Northwest Territories for the proposed Gahcho Kué diamond mine located in Canada's Northwest Territories (NWT).

The agreement formalizes commitments made with respect to employment, training, business opportunities and other related benefits for NWT residents. It also establishes measures to monitor possible socio-economic impacts related to the proposed mine and establishes the mechanism to work with communities close to the mine site to ensure an adaptive management approach to socio-economic performance of the mine.

"In signing this SEA, both parties are affirming their commitment to advancing this Project in a way that not only creates jobs for our residents, but that supports the health and wellness of the region," said Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment, David Ramsay. "This is a significant step forward in opening this mine, a project that will translate into economic opportunities for people throughout the North and South Slave Regions, and across the territory."

"This is an important milestone for De Beers and for our Joint Venture Partner, Mountain Province Diamonds," said Tony Guthrie, President and CEO of De Beers Canada and Chairman of the Gahcho Kué JV Management Committee. "The signing of this Agreement confirms that De Beers and the Government of the Northwest Territories are committed to working together to optimize opportunities for the residents and economy of the NWT, while respecting the cultures and traditions of communities close to the mine. This agreement positions Gahcho Kué to contribute to the economic success of the NWT and its all-important diamond industry."

Highlights of the SEA include:

  • Incentives to assist employees living in the NWT, including priority hiring and relocation benefits;
  • Establishment of a trades training, apprenticeship and professional training sponsorship program with at least 30 positions allocated for NWT residents;
  • Establishment of NWT pick-up points and transportation allowances to assist NWT resident employees travelling to and from the Gahcho Kué mine from NWT communities.
  • An innovative approach to community involvement in the review of annual results with the GNWT and De Beers to enhance opportunities for dialogue, transparency and accountability.

An intensive two-year environmental impact review concluded in December 2012. The report and recommendation will be released to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development by the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board in July this year. Upon receiving Ministerial approval on the EIR Report, the Project will be able to proceed through the final permitting phase where the terms and conditions of its permits and licenses will be determined.

The Gahcho Kué diamond mine will have a mine life of approximately eleven years, will employ up to 700 people during construction and approximately 400 people during operations. It will produce on average 4.5 million carats annually over its mine life.

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