Global diamond mining company De Beers is facing a fine of at least CDN$100,000 (£58,000) for an oil spill that took place at its Snap Lake mine in Canada in 2017.

The fine is under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, and could total as much as CDN$200,000 (£116,000), depending on the outcome of a court hearing in Canada.

Canada’s Cabin Radio reported that the case is the first instance of a company being charged under the act which was brought in late last year.


De Beers published a spill report in December 2017 but initially underestimated the volume of the spillage, Cabin Radio revealed.

While their initial report put the spillage at around 500 litres of diesel, the cleanup process put the number at almost 12 times that amount.

The company will next appear in court in September.

A statement from De Beers sent to Professional Jeweller read:

“Protecting the natural world is a key pillar for De Beers Group and we demonstrate that commitment through our strong track record of environmental performance at our sites and operations. As per regulatory requirements, this incident from December 2017 was reported by De Beers Group to the Northwest Territories Spill Line and quick action was taken to contain and clean the site.

“We continue to monitor the site, which is located within the footprint of Snap Lake mine’s infrastructure and well away from bodies of water. The area of the spill will be subject to additional remediation as required during closure and demolition of the mine. Because this matter is still before the courts, it is inappropriate for us to comment further.”