Ekati Mine founder sells his final stakes to Dominion Diamond Corp.
One of the founders of the Ekati Mine, Canada’s first diamond mine, will sell his remaining stakes in the project to Dominion Diamond Corp.
Charles "Chuck" Fipke is selling his remaining stakes in the Arctic mine for $67 million, Reuters reported
Fipke, along with his partner geologist Stewart Blusson, found evidence of diamond-bearing rock in Canada's North West Territories in the early 1990s, sparking a staking rush and the eventual establishment of Canada's first diamond mine in 1998.
Toronto-based Dominion, which bought out mining giant BHP Billiton Plc's stake in Ekati last year, said the sale ends Fipke's financial involvement in the mine.
Through his company C. Fipke Holdings Ltd, Fipke holds a 10 percent stake in Ekati's core zone, which contains the current operating mine. He also owns a 10 percent stake in the so-called buffer zone, an adjacent exploration area containing diamond-bearing kimberlite pipes.
Fipke, who has switched diamond prospecting for breeding and racing thoroughbreds, will sell his core zone stake for $50 million and his holding in the buffer zone for $17 million, Dominion said. Both amounts are subject to possible adjustments for interest and joint venture contributions.
Dominion currently owns an 80 percent stake in Ekati's core zone, with Fipke's old partner Blusson owning 10 percent. In the buffer zone, Dominion owns 58.8 percent and Archon Minerals Ltd., a company owned by Blusson, owns 31.2 percent.
If Blusson and Archon were to exercise their rights of first refusal that exist under the joint venture agreements, the stakes Dominion would purchase from Fipke would reduce slightly.