November 7, 2016 / 11:07 PM / 2 years ago

Canada's Dominion Diamond to move head office to cut costs

(Reuters) - Dominion Diamond Corp DDC.TO said on Monday it would relocate its head office to Calgary, Alberta, in a move that would slash about 100 jobs and help the Canadian diamond producer save around C$19 million ($14.21 million) a year.

The move from Yellowknife in Canada’s Northwest Territories, where Dominion’s Ekati mine is based, is expected to be finished in the middle of next year, it said.

“Although this was not an easy decision, it is necessary to support the long-term strength and viability of our operations,” Dominion Chief Executive Brendan Bell said in a statement.

Diamond producers globally have been hit by waning demand and slumping prices after global demand for diamond jewelry hit a high of $81 billion in 2014 and production soared, leaving the market flooded by 2015.

Because of its remoteness, the cost of doing business in Canada’s Arctic is high.

The company said it remains committed to ongoing operations at Ekati, including the development of the Jay Project. Dominion also owns a 40 percent stake in the nearby Diavik Diamond Mine, which is 60 percent owned by global miner Rio Tinto (RIO.L).

In moving to Calgary, Dominion follows in the footsteps of diamond producer De Beers Canada, which this year relocated its head office to Canada’s oil capital from Toronto.

Dominion was not immediately available for comment.

Reporting by Nicole Mordant in Vancouver; Editing by Jonathan Oatis

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