De Beers, Ekati Sign Contract

July 14, 1999

De Beers, Ekati Sign Contract

BHP Diamonds Inc., the sales representative for the Ekati™ Diamond Mine in the Northwest Territories of Canada, has signed a final contract calling for De Beers to market 35% of the run-of-mine production for three years. BHP and De Beers had signed a memorandum of understanding in March; this agreement seals the deal.

BHP Diamonds, a unit of Broken Hill Proprietary Co., Australia's largest industrial and natural resources company, owns 51% of the Ekati joint venture. Dia Met Minerals of Canada owns 29%; Charles E. Fipke, the geologist/founder of Dia Met, owns 10%, as does his long-time prospecting partner Stewart Blusson. Fipke's prospecting work during the 1980s led to the discovery of Canadian diamonds.

- by Peggy Jo Donahue