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Rio Tinto cops Canada setback

SUSPENSION of work on the Canadian Diavik diamond project by Rio Tinto Limited will set back mine commissioning a further year.

Rio Tinto, which manages Canada’s potential second diamond mine in the North West Terri-tories, has suspended all project development following the Canadian government’s denial of a key land permit.

The project had experienced problems previously with permits. These appeared to have been resolved in November, when the Canadian environment minister gave the green light.

The problem translates into a full year’s delay. Equipment to build mine infrastructure must be brought in via winter roads, which is now not possible this year.

This could suspend the mine’s start-up, previously planned for 2003, until the first half of 2004.

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