A court hearing in Calgary, Alberta on the application by DDMI is scheduled on 30 October
Global miner Rio Tinto is reportedly seeking approval from a Canadian court to sell its partner’s share of diamonds from the Diavik mine located in Northwest Territories.
The move comes as Rio Tinto intends to recover around C$120m ($91.3m) as well as C$2.4m ($1.82m) legal fees and other costs owed by junior partner Dominion Diamond, Reuters reported, citing a filing.
Rio Tinto has 60% stake in Diavik Diamond Mines (DDMI), which operates the Diavik deposit, while Dominion Diamond owns the remaining 40% interest.
Dominion Diamond filed for insolvency protection in April 2020
In April 2020, Dominion filed for insolvency protection, disclosing its inability to meet cash calls made by Rio Tinto due to Covid-19-related disruptions in the diamond industry.
As a result, DDMI stopped making payments to DDMI, according to IDEX Online.
Earlier this month, Dominion’s proposed a deal to divest its nearby Ekati mine to an affiliate of its parent company The Washington Companies for $126m collapsed, reported Reuters.
In the court filings, DDMI claimed it has not received payments from Dominion and “has no intention of doing so”.
A spokesman for Diavik was quoted by the news agency as saying: “We remain focused on ensuring Diavik diamond mine continues to operate safely, maintaining the mine’s significant contribution to the Northwest Territories and local communities through payments to government, employees and suppliers.”
A court hearing in Calgary, Alberta on the application by DDMI is scheduled on 30 October 2020.
The Diavik mine site is located in Canada’s remote wilderness at Lac de Gras, Northwest Territories, approximately 300km from Yellowknife, and just 220km south of the Arctic Circle.