The Gahcho Kué project team captured gold last night at the 11th Annual Project Management Institute’s Elixir Gala Evening in Montreal in the Private Project Construction and Engineering category.

The gala was held to recognize excellence in project management in Quebec, where Gahcho Kué engineering contract partner Hatch is based. The submission was on behalf of the entire project, a collaboration between De Beers, Hatch and JDS Energy and Mining and headed by Allan Rodel of De Beers.

Gahcho Kué, the world’s largest new diamond mine under final commissioning and ramp up to full production, is a joint venture between De Beers (51%) and Mountain Province Diamonds (49%).

“This project took more than 1,000 people from the Northwest Terrortories and across Canada representing multiple companies and communities, but what they all shared in common was the commitment to do this project the right way, starting with safety from the very first day,” said Rodel. “With everyone aligned, we were able to tackle all challenges that came our way including extreme weather and complex logistics, a firm timeline and disciplined cost-control during uncertain economic times. This truly is a team award.”

Kim Truter, chief executive officer of De Beers Canada, said the success of Gahcho Kué has given the company tremendous momentum heading into 2017.

“The entire project team did an incredible job during the last three years to bring this project forward and into early production, building on 50-plus years of activity for De Beers in Canada,” said Truter. “Gahcho Kué will help take De Beers forward into the next decade as we transform our company into a new sustainable business model that we can continue to build on.”

Mountain Province Diamonds President and CEO Patrick Evans said, “The success of the team’s performance was due in large measure to Allan Rodel’s strong leadership. Allan has since been appointed to the position of Gahcho Kué mine general manager and now continues to lead a strong operating team with deep operating experience in the Northwest Territories.”

The Gahcho Kué mine officially opened on September 20 and is currently ramping up to full production, which is expected in the first quarter of 2017. It is expected to mine 54 million carats over a 12-year life of mine. Gahcho Kué is also forecast to have a $6.7 billion boost to the Canadian economy, including a $5.3 billion dollar economic impact on the Northwest Territories.