Dominion Diamond CEO to step down due to family reasons

Dominion Diamond’s Ekati mine. (Image by Jason Pineau, WikiMedia Commons)

Dominion Diamond (TSX, NYSE:DDC), Canada’s largest publicly traded miner of the precious gems, said Monday its chief executive officer Brendan Bell has decided to step down due to personal reasons related to the company’s planned move of headquarters to Calgary from Yellowknife.

Brendan Bell, who has also stepped down from Dominion’s board, has agreed to stay on as CEO until June 30 to ensure a smooth transition.

The company, which runs the iconic Ekati mine and owns 40% of Diavik mine northeast of its current head office in Yellowknife, said Bell will continue to lead the company until June 30 to ensure a smooth transition.

Over the past year, Dominion — the world’s third largest producer of rough diamonds by value — has been hit by weak global diamond prices, as well as sudden challenges, including the death of the company’s founder, Robert Gannicott, and a fire at Ekati that suspended processing for three months and cost the miner around $20 million in repairs.

Dominion’s move to Calgary, expected to be completed by mid-2017, follows a similar decision by De Beers Canada, which moved its headquarters from Toronto to Calgary in July last year.

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