Wednesday 17 January 2018

Desmond's diamond mine under scrutiny

John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Plans for what could be one of the world's largest diamond mines are being scrutinised in Canada at a public hearing that gets underway this week.

Financier Dermot Desmond is the biggest shareholder in the company behind the mine, Mountain Province Diamonds.

His Bottin firm invested millions of dollars last week in a rights issued finalised by the diamond company, but he's been a shareholder in Mountain Province for a long number of years.

Mountain Province Diamonds, which is listed in Toronto, raised C$47m (€36m) last week. It issued a total of 10.8 million new shares. That represented nearly 81pc of the take-up under the rights issue.

The balance of the shares were taken up by Bottin. It also exercised all its rights to buy additional shares in Mountain Province.


The proceeds of the offer are slated to be used for development of the Gahcho Hue mine in Canada's Northwest Territories next year.

Mountain Province owns 49pc of the mine, with diamond giant De Beers owning the remainder.

Mountain Province Diamonds says it will be the largest and richest new diamond mine in the world, with probable reserves of 49 million carats.

The formal public hearing relates to an environmental impact review of the mine.

The hearing is expected to last the rest of the week and is being held at Yellowknife.

It will begin at 9am with a prayer, according to the agenda, that will be followed a presentation from Mountain Province.

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