De Beers Group enters deal to acquire Peregrine Diamonds

De Beers Group has confirmed that its Canadian mining business, De Beers Canada, has entered into an agreement to acquire 100% of the outstanding securities of Peregrine Diamonds.

Peregrine, the owner of high-quality Chidliak diamond resource, is located in Canada’s Nunavut Territory and had a purchase price of C$0.24 (£0.13) per share, for a total cash consideration of approximately C$107m (£62m).

The Chidliak resource was discovered in 2008 and is located approximately 120km northeast of Iqaluit on Baffin Island. A total of 74 kimberlite pipes have been identified at Chidliak, including the CH-6 and CH-7 pipes, which are the current focus of Peregrine’s Chidliak Phase One Diamond Development programme.

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The programme has a total Inferred Mineral Resource in excess of 22 million carats. Peregrine’s recent Preliminary Economic Assessment for Chidliak points to the high quality of the CH-6 deposit in particular.

An estimated grade of 2.41 carats per tonne and a diamond valuation of US$151 (£116) per carat make CH-6 one of the most attractive undeveloped diamond resources in Canada. Peregrine also has exploration properties elsewhere in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories.

Bruce Cleaver, chief executive of the De Beers Group, shares: “The Chidliak resource holds significant development potential and will be an exciting addition to our portfolio. With a strong outlook for consumer demand, we are seeking new opportunities to invest in our future supply potential and look forward to growing our portfolio in Canada and working with community partners in the Nunavut Territory as we further develop the project.”

Chief exec of De Beers Canada, Kim Truter, adds: “This investment reinforces De Beers Group’s long-term commitment to Canada, following our investment in the Gahcho Kué diamond mine, which entered commercial production last year.”

The transaction has been unanimously recommended by Peregrine’s Board of directors to Peregrine security holders. De Beers Group has concurrently entered into voting support agreements with the directors and officers and certain security holders of Peregrine who collectively hold approximately 44% of the outstanding Peregrine shares, pursuant to which such persons have agreed to vote in favour of the transaction. The transaction is to be executed via a Plan of Arrangement.

Eric Friedland, founder and executive chairman of Peregrine Diamonds, concludes: “The transaction we are jointly announcing today is the next step in the development of the Chidliak diamond project.

“The team at Peregrine has done an outstanding job advancing Chidliak to this stage and it is particularly gratifying that the quality of the diamond resource we have defined is recognized by the world’s premier integrated diamond company. All stakeholders will benefit from this transaction and the involvement of De Beers as Chidliak advances toward development.”

Completion of the Plan of Arrangement, which is expected to occur in September, is conditional upon Peregrine security holders adopting a special resolution approving the Plan of Arrangement and the Supreme Court of British Columbia issuing a final order approving the Plan of Arrangement, as well as satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.

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