Dominion Diamond Corp. is moving its head office to Calgary from Yellowknife, NYT, as part of a cost-cutting move. The relocation is expected to result in savings of a little over US$14 million (C$19 million) annually. The move is projected to be completed by the middle of calendar year 2017. Operations at the Ekati mine will continue uninterrupted, and development of the Jay deposit, about 25 kilometres from Ekati, will also be maintained, the company said. The decision follows last summer’s announcement of the sale of Dominion’s eight-storey office building in downtown Toronto. Dominion and other diamond producers have been struggling with slumping demand and low prices in the global diamond market; they also had to deal with a shutdown due to a fire last June at Ekati that forced the temporary layoff of more than 300 workers and cost approximately US$15 million to repair the process plant.
The relocation of the office will impact approximately 100 employees based in the Northwest Territories. Most of the Company’s workforce, including the majority of its northern Aboriginal employees, will continue to be employed in the Northwest Territories. In addition to its workforce at the Ekati mine site, Dominion Diamond will maintain an office in Yellowknife for certain key positions. It did not say if job cuts are planned. Brendan Bell, Chief Executive Officer, stated, “Although this was not an easy decision, it is necessary to support the long-term strength and viability of our operations. The Ekati mine is a pillar of the NWT economy, and this cost reduction effort will allow us to continue to provide northern employment opportunities and benefits well into the future. I can assure our northern partners that we remain committed to the people and communities of the North and will continue to set industry standards for northern and Aboriginal employment and sustainable development.”