Rio Tinto may have found a buyer for its Diavik diamond mine
North American diamond miner Harry Winston (NYSE:HWD) has flagged an interest in buying up Canada's Diavik diamond mine from Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) as the diversified mining giant seeks to divest itself of its diamond division.
Fairfax reports that Harry Winston, which currently holds a 40% in Diavik, said that it would be willing to buy up the 60% majority stake held by Rio Tinto "as long as the price is right."
Harry Winston's expression of interest arrives just following news that the mine's Q4 output gained 19% on a year-on-year basis, hitting 1.9 million carats compared to 1.6 million carats during the same period the year previously.
Rio Tinto and fellow mining giant BHP Billiton (ASX：BHP) have long sought to divest themselves of their interests in the diamond industry on the grounds that they comprise a trifling distraction compared to their mainstay commodities.
Harry Winston is one of the most likely candidates for the purchase of any divested diamond interests, as a specialist diamond player with a long history in the industry and exposure to all stages of production and sale.
In November Harry Winston took up an 80% stake in BHP Billiton's Ekati diamond mine in Canada for the hefty consideration of half a billion US dollars.