Dominion Diamond Corporation has consolidated its interest in the Buffer Zone Joint Venture at the Ekati Diamond Mine in Canada’s Northwest Territories through a buyout agreement with Archon Minerals Limited, its partner in the venture. The Buffer Zone contains 106 mining leases covering 89,184 hectares, and is contiguous with the Core Zone Joint Venture at the Ekati Diamond Mine. Of the 150 kimberlite pipes discovered to date at the Ekati Diamond Mine, 38 are in the Buffer Zone. Dominion plans to spend approximately US$8.15 million (CAD$11 million) on exploration in the Lac de Gras region for the fiscal year ending January 31, 2018. Commercial mining activities at the Lynx kimberlite pipe in the Buffer Zone commenced on April 1, 2017; the Lynx pipe is forecast to represent approximately 5% of tons processed and carats recovered at the Ekati Diamond Mine for the fiscal year ending January 31, 2018.
Under the agreement, Archon will relinquish its stake in the Buffer Zone in exchange for a royalty worth 2.3% of all future revenue earned from diamonds produced therein. As a result of this transaction, the Dominion’s ownership interest in the Buffer Zone has increased to 100%; they maintain an ownership interest of 88.9% in the Core Zone Joint Venture at the Ekati Diamond Mine. Jim Gowans, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Dominion said, "For both parties, the transaction provides ownership and funding certainty for the large scale Jay project, which is currently in the final stages of permitting. It also provides significantly more exposure for Dominion’s shareholders to further discoveries on this highly prospective land package.”