By Brecken Branstrator
London—De Beers Canada has entered into an agreement to acquire Peregrine Diamonds, owner of the Chidliak diamond project in Canada’s Nunavut Territory.

De Beers will pay a total cash consideration of approximately C$107 million, or $80.6 million at current exchange rates.

The deal still has to be approved by the Supreme Court of British Columbia.

The Chidliak resource was discovered in 2008 and is located about 120 kilometers (74.6 miles) northeast of Iqaluit on Baffin Island.

Seventy-four kimberlite pipes already have been identified at the site, including the two that are the current focus of Peregrine’s phase one development program. Its total production is estimated at more than 22 million carats.

Peregrine previously said it expected the first production from Chidliak by 2021.

“The Chidliak resource holds significant development potential and will be an exciting addition to our portfolio,” De Beers Group CEO Bruce Cleaver said. “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.”

Peregrine and Chidliak join a De Beers Canada portfolio that also includes the Victor mine in Northern Ontario and the Gahcho Kué diamond mine in the Northwest Territories, which entered into commercial production last year.

De Beers said its production in Canada increased by 17 percent to 1.2 million carats in its second quarter, according to recently released numbers, due to the completion of the ramp-up at Gahcho Kué.

Peregrine Diamonds, meanwhile, also holds exploration properties elsewhere in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories.

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