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1990: Diamond Mining in Canada Will Let De Beers Improve Diamond Mining in Canada

February 1998

In apparent recognition of initially miscalculating the potential value of diamond mining in Australia as well as the Dia Met site in Canada, De Beers is taking new steps to ensure its participation in any future diamond windfalls.

Chairman Nicky Oppenheimer has opened De Beers office in Vancouver, B.C., this month, citing the proliferation of small companies prospecting for diamonds in Canada and De Beers interest in identifying appropriate joint ventures or other types of partnering among them.

Adding further importance to this move is the appointment of George Burne to head De Beers Canada Corporation. Burne previously held a high level position in De Beers London operation. In a release, Burne described the advantage of the new Vancouver location as putting De Beers “close to the considerable activity now underway in the Northwest Territories and the rest of Canada” which would enable De Beers to “take a more active role in Canadian mining and prospecting.”

And as though on cue, just a few days following the opening of De Beers Canadian office, a joint venture agreement was announced between De Beers and Toronto-based TNK Resources Inc., a Canadian junior mining exploration company.

TNK Resources also announced three joing venture agreements with De Beers Prospecting Botswana Ltd. for explorations taking place in central Botswana as well as a separate subscription agreement with De Beers’ Canadian subsidiary Monopros Ltd.

Perhaps just as ground-breaking: De Beers’ new corporate junior partner in these ventures is led by Elizabeth Kirkwood, founder and CEO of TNK, who is one of the few females in the world running a mining company.

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