Diamonds are not forever, at least not for BHP Billiton. The mining giant has decided to sell its stake in one of two diamond mining operations it is involved with in Canada.
The company is to earn Canadian $9 million from selling its 51% stake in Chidliak to its joint venture partner Peregrine Diamonds.
The Chidliak diamond exploration project is located in Baffin Island. The sale of the diamond prospect is part of the company’s new policy of reviewing if its presence in the diamond industry is in accordance with its business strategy.
The other diamond mine that BHP Billiton owns in Canada is the EKATI. Last month a statement from the company said that Ekati was a world class operation and Chidliak offered promising exploratory opportunities. It went on to say that many years of extensive exploration suggested that there were few options to develop new diamond mines that are consistent with its approach of focusing on developing large, long life, and expandable assets.
Tim Cutt, the BHP Billiton Diamonds and Specialty Products president said that they were pleased to sell our interest in Chidliak to its natural owner. He added that Peregrine had been a good partner and they believed they were a strong operator that was well positioned to advance this promising exploration opportunity.
Eric Friedland, the chief executive officer of Peregrine Diamonds said that the deal was an "excellent growth opportunity" for the company. He added that a 100 per cent stake in Chidliak, one of the world's leading diamond exploration projects, at a time when diamond supply shortfalls are on the horizon and worldwide demand for diamonds continues to grow, offered them complete flexibility on how this project will be developed in order to maximize shareholder value.