Mining company BHP Billiton has released figures for its diamond mining operations in northern Canada that reveal that production has dropped in the last year, according to Rough & Polished. The figures were unsurprising, considering BHP's announcement in December that they intended to divest from the diamond industry and focus instead on potash mining.
BHP's report indicated that diamond production dropped 29% to 1.37 million carats in the first nine months of the fiscal year, and that it dropped 21% in the first three months of the 2012 calendar year, as compared to the same time period in 2011. The report said that the drop in production was in line with their previous projections, with the prior knowledge that they would be required to mine lower-grade ore in the medium term.
The Ekati mine is BHP's only diamond asset. It currently owns an 80% stake in the mine.