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bhp world diamond interest (2)

  1. osheab

    405 Posts.

    Could it be that there is a reason for KIM to get out of debt to RIO right about now? No debt might make it more attractive to the likes of BHP in fact it may be a requirment should BHP be interested in the project.

    Food for thought. Some might say that KIM have done their job and now it's time for a major to dive in.

    BHP Billiton commits to diamond business
    March 25, 2004 - 12:30PM

    Global mining house BHP Billiton said it was committed to its Canadian diamond mine and was looking to expand its interest in the sector.

    The group said it was not looking to sell the Ekati diamond mine following reports Israel's DGI Group of Companies had made an unsolicited offer.

    "Diamonds is a highly profitable business for BHP Billiton and we're actively seeking to grow this business sector," a BHP Billiton spokeswoman said.

    "The diamond business forms the largest part of our minerals exploration budget.

    "We're building a successful branding program around Ekati's production and we're in discussions with several parties about stepping into advanced stage exploration projects.

    "We are not seeking to exit from diamonds and we confirmed that in writing to DGI last year," she said.

    DGI, a wholesale distributor of rough and polished diamonds, did not put a price tag on its offer but has indicated that the consortium had set aside about $US2 billion to buy diamond mines around the world.

    BHP Billiton holds an 80 per cent stake in Ekati, located 200 km south of the Arctic circle, which is the group's only diamond operation.

    Annual production represents nearly four per cent of current world rough diamond production by weight and six per cent of value.

    In 2002/03 Ekati produced $US212 million in earnings before interest and tax.

    ©2003 AAP

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