Diavik To Begin Development

December 20, 2000

Diavik To Begin Development

Diavik Diamond Mines Inc., a unit of Britain's Rio Tinto Plc, and Canada's Aber Diamond Corp. have announced the decision to proceed with the development of the Diavik Diamond Project. The development was delayed while the companies worked out agreements with federal, territorial and native groups in Canada's Northwest Territories. Diavik will be Canada's second diamond mine.

Construction of the $855 million project is expected to take three years. The companies plan to release cost estimates and a production schedule during the first quarter of 2001. The new mine is expected to become one of the most profitable mines in North America, producing 8 million carats annually, Reuters reports.

Aber Diamond Corp. has a 40% stake in the project, and Diavik Diamond Mines has a 60% stake.

- by Julia M. Duncan