The company has also obtained the necessary approvals from the Northern Territories for the acquisition of BHP Billiton Canada’s interests and its various affiliates in the Ekati diamond mine, including the associated diamond sorting and sales facilities in Yellowknife, Canada, and Antwerp, Belgium.

Dominion Diamond expects to complete the transaction by 10 April 2013.

The Ekati mine, which is located about 310 km north-east of Yellowknife, consists of the current operating mine, and other permitted kimberlite pipes with an adjacent area housing kimberlite pipe, which has potential for both development and exploration.

In 2011, BHP Billiton, said that it planned to sell all, or part, of its diamond assets, including the Ekati mine, in order to focus on larger, long-life assets.

This deal follows BHP’s recent divestment of its majority stake in the Chidliak exploration project, in northern Canada to its project partner Peregrine Diamonds for C$9m ($8.8m) over three years.

The deal also included the 2% royalty on future production from the operations.