Dia Met Increases Profits

December 19, 2000

Dia Met Increases Profits

Dia Met Minerals Ltd., part owner of Canada's only producing diamond mine, announced last week a net income for the period ending Oct. 31 of $24.8 million, Reuters reports. The company says its nine-month net income for 2000 increased over last year as diamond sales increased and debts decreased.

Dia Met owns 29% of the Ekati mine with Australia's Broken Hill Proprietary Co. According to Reuters, Ekati produced 1.97 million carats of diamonds in the nine-month period and sold 1.93 million carats at an average price of $169 per carat. Feasibility studies estimated the price of Ekati's diamonds at $130 per carat. Ekati reported $142.4 million Canadian in sales, up from C$125.1 last year, Reuters reports. Earnings for the nine-month period reached C$88.1 million.

This could be the last full corporate earnings report for Dia Met before it's sold. The company announced it was looking for a buyer Oct. 17 after two major shareholders said they wanted to sell their joint 38% stake. Analysts say BHP or Rio Tinto Plc. are the most likely buyers since De Beers has declined the offer to buy.

- by Julia M. Duncan