Kinross Acquires Interest in Diavik

Kinross Gold recently paid $150 million for an indirect investment in the Diavik diamond mine in
Northwest Territories, Canada, operated by Rio Tinto. (Photo courtesy of Diavik Diamond Mines)
Kinross Gold announced on March 19 the signing of an agreement with Harry Winston Diamond Corp. whereby Kinross will make a net investment of $150 million in exchange for an indirect interest in the Diavik diamond mine in Canada’s Northwest Territories and a 19.9% shareholding in Harry Winston. The agreement includes a $104.4-million subscription by Kinross for a minority 22.5% interest in the partnership that holds Harry Winston’s 40% interest in the Diavik diamond mine joint venture operated by Rio Tinto and an equity private placement (subject to regulatory approval) of 15.2 million common shares of Harry Winston at a price of $3.00/share, for a total investment of $45.6 million, giving Kinross a 19.9% interest in Harry Winston.

Harry Winston will use a portion of the funds from the transaction to fund its share of capital costs required to complete an underground expansion of the Diavik mine that will provide access to reserves that will take the mine life to beyond 2022.

Harry Winston is a high-end diamond retailer and will continue to market all of the partnership’s share of diamond production from the Diavik mine, including the portion attributable to Kinross’ interest. As part of the transaction, Kinross and Harry Winston have agreed to jointly consider other opportunities in the diamond mining industry.

“We are acting on a rare opportunity to acquire a stake in one of the world’s great diamond mines, operating in northern Canada, with a long mine life and a record of strong cash flows,” Kinross President and CEO Tye Burt said. “For Kinross, this represents a strategic investment that is accretive and has the potential to create excellent long-term value for our investors. We view diamond mining as complementary to our core business of gold mining, which remains our primary focus. Harry Winston occupies a unique and respected place in the global diamond business, and we look forward to working with them in the future.”

As featured in Womp 2009 Vol 03 -