The Ekati Mine in Canada’s Northwest Territories has found a new owner.
Dominion Diamond Mines has sold the site and its assets to Arctic Canadian Diamond Company, an Alberta-based company that also holds a controlling interest in the territory’s Lac de Gras Diamond Project. The sale was approved by the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench, pursuant to an order issued on Dec. 11, Dominion reports.
Arctic has acquired substantially all of Dominion’s assets, excluding its interest in the joint venture agreement and liabilities relating to the Diavik Diamond Mine.
The purchasing company has also assumed US$70 million of Dominion’s outstanding debt “under its existing revolving credit agreement and the reclamation obligations of the Ekati mine,” Dominion says.
Arctic will receive US$85 million of fully funded working capital facility ranking behind the first lien lenders.
“This transaction significantly reduces our debt obligations and provides sufficient liquidity to fund our operations, invest in future growth, and allow the company to emerge with a materially stronger balance sheet,” says Dominion’s chief financial officer, Kristal Kaye.
In March 2020, Dominion temporarily closed Ekati to safeguard employees and the surrounding community from COVID. In November, the company initiated a phased re-start of operations and anticipates the return of all staff by Feb. 25.
“We are excited to have our employees back at work and to have Ekati in full production again,” says interim president, Rory Moore. “We are also very grateful to our new owners for the commitment they have demonstrated to Ekati and its stakeholders. This new partnership will bring fresh perspectives to our operations and be the driving force behind our continued growth.”
“We would like to thank our employees, suppliers, customers, the Northern communities, and the Government of the Northwest Territories for their continued support over the past year,” Kaye adds. “We understand this has been a difficult period, yet everyone’s dedication and loyalty to the Ekati mine has been truly appreciated.”