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Rio wants court approval to sell partner's share of diamonds

29 october 2020
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Image credit: Rio Tinto (Facebook)


Rio Tinto has approached the court to get a green light to sell its partner's share of diamonds from the Diavik mine in Canada.
Rio, the parent company of Diavik Diamond Mines Inc. (DDMI), which has a majority stake of 60% in the Diavik Diamond Mine, claimed that it is owed C$119.5-million and about C$2.4-million in fees by Dominion Diamond that holds a 40% stake in the mine.
Mining Weekly reports that Dominion sought creditor protection last April as it could not afford Rio's cash calls at a time they faced COVID-19 related disruptions in the global diamond industry.
Dominion is said to have failed to repay cover payments and has no intention of doing so.
DDMI said it is "unjust and inequitable" to disallow it from recovering the amounts Dominion owes under the joint venture agreement.
"We remain focused on ensuring Diavik diamond mine continues to operate safely, maintaining the mine's significant contribution to the Northwest Territories and local communities through payments to government, employees and suppliers," an unnamed spokesman for Diavik was quoted as saying.
A court hearing on the application will be heard this Friday.
Diavik, which will close in 2025, produced 6.7-million carats in 2019.

Mathew Nyaungwa, Editor in Chief of the African Bureau, Rough&Polished