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Monday, August 6, 2012

Harry Winston May Purchase Second Canadian Diamond Mine

Ekati diamond mine. Photo credit: Jason Pineau, through Wikipedia

Harry Winston is in talks to purchase an important asset of BHP Billiton’s diamond business, according to published reports.

The Toronto-based company, which describes itself as a diamond enterprise with premium assets in the mining and retail segments of the diamond industry, has secured bank financing for a possible deal to buy the Ekati diamond mine in Northwest Territories of Canada, according to the Financial Times. However, the deal, which was to be completed by mid year is going slower than expected and could even break down.

Harry Winston, best known as a luxury jewelry and watch retailer, already owns a 40 percent share in the Diavik diamond mine in the same area with Rio Tinto, which owns a 60 percent stake.

Both BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto announced in November 2011 that they are looking to get out of the diamond business to focus on larger, more-profitable assets from their vast mining businesses.

It’s a complicated matter, according to the report, because if Rio Tinto agreed to sell Diavik to Harry Winston, it would make it more difficult for the mining giant to sell the rest of its diamond assets.

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