Rio Tinto became the sole owner of the Diavik diamond mine as of Nov. 18.

The global mining giant acquired Dominion Diamond Mines’ 40 per cent share in Diavik, following approval from the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta.

Rio Tinto has operated Diavik since operations began in 2003. Diavik is located approximately 300 km northeast of Yellowknife. The mine employs more than 1,100 employees, of which 17 per cent are Northern Indigenous people.

In 2020, the site produced 6.2 million carats of rough diamonds.

Production at Diavik is expected to end in 2025.

“As owner and operator, Rio Tinto is committed to delivering Diavik’s eventual closure safely and responsibly, to leave a positive legacy in consultation with our community and government partners,” stated Sinead Kaufman, Rio Tinto’s chief executive of minerals.

This transaction comes after a 19-month process, triggered by Dominion Diamond Mines ULC filing for insolvency protection under the Canadian Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.

Via terms of the transaction, Rio Tinto has acquired all remaining Diavik assets held by Dominion, including unsold Diavik production and cash collateral held as security for Diavik’s future closure costs.

Rio Tinto has released Dominion and its lenders from all “outstanding liabilities and obligations to fund the operations or closure of the joint venture.”

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