De Beers Canada JV partner says diamond miner in no rush to sell

Mountain Province’s flagship operation is its 49%-owned Gahcho Kué mine, in Canada’s Northwest Territories. The remainder is held by De Beers, the mine operator. (Credit: MPD)

The proposed spin off of Anglo American’s De Beers diamond unit will take ‘some time’ and the miner is not rushing to complete the split, Mark Wall, CEO of Mountain Province Diamonds, the Canadian joint venture partner of De Beers’s Gahchu Kue mine, said this week.

After Anglo American rejected a $42.7 billion buyout offer from Australian miner BHP in May, it announced plans to sell its copper, iron ore, diamond and platinum businesses.

Yet the more than 100-year-old diamond miner is seeking options for its spin off from parent Anglo American at a time of depressed diamond prices, which analysts have said may make any transaction tougher. A public listing or sale to a sovereign wealth fund or other strategic investor are two possible options for the company, according to two people aware of the development.

De Beers did not respond to an email query by Reuters. Anglo said it plans to divest De Beers during the next 18 to 24 months.

Prices of rough diamonds have slumped by 15% to 20% since early 2023, according to the Zimnisky Global Rough Diamond Price Index, due to the rising popularity of lab grown diamonds and a shift by younger consumers away from diamonds.

Mountain Province Diamonds and De Beers own the Gahcho Kue diamond mine in Canada’s Northwest Territories (NWT). De Beers owns two other diamond mines in Canada.

“I have had many discussions (with De Beers Canada). What I am getting is no one is rushing into anything. There is a acceptance that this is going to take some time,” Wall told Reuters on Thursday.

He added that the joint venture is focused on daily operations, including maintaining safety and environmental standards.

Earlier this month De Beers said it was prioritizing investments in high return major projects and would pause exploration at the Gahchu Kue and Chidliak underground mines.

(By Divya Rajagopal; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)


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