Tiffany & Co. opening diamond-cutting plant in northern Canada - [shopping]
tiffany and co. plans to open its first diamond cutting and sorting plant early next year in conjunction with its investment in a diamond mine in Canada's Northwest Territories. The $3-million plant in Yellowknife, the territorial capital, is scheduled to open at the same time as production starts at the Diavik mine 250 miles (400 kilometers) to the north. Diavik is being built by Rio Tinto PLC of London and Aber Diamond Corp. of Toronto. tiffany jewellery is a minority shareholder in Aber, an investment it made a few years ago to ensure its supply of diamonds from Canada. A Sept. 11 Tiffany Pendants filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission mentioned the plan to open a diamond cutting and polishing plant in Yellowknife. A Tiffany spokeswoman confirmed this week that the plant was scheduled to open early in 2003, when production starts at Diavik. Tiffany has a 10-year contract worth at least $500 million with Aber to buy top-quality rough stones from the Diavik mine. Tiffany purchased almost 15 percent of Aber stock a few years ago in what was its first investment in a mining company. One of the world's most famous jewelry retailers, Tiffany previously has bought cut and polished diamonds from major centers in Antwerp, Belgium; Tel Aviv, Israel, and New York. The Diavik mine is expected to yield as much as 102 million carats worth more than $6 billion over 20 years.