BHP Billiton reports that revenues from its diamond operations in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012 were US$707 million, constituting a drop of 30 percent year over year.
During fiscal year 2012 the integrated miner produced 1.784 million carats in its 80 percent-owned Ekati mine in Canada's Northwest Territories, a decline of 29 percent compared to fiscal year 2011. Production was lower than the comparable period last year, as expected, notes the miner in its annual financial report.
Production in Ekati is "forecast to remain constrained in the medium term as the operations extract lower grade material, consistent with the mine plan," states the miner.
BHP Billiton notes that the review of its diamond business, which was announced in the December 2011 quarter, is still ongoing.
Currently under development at Ekati is the Misery open-pit project, which consists of a pushback of the existing Misery pit that was mined from 2001 to 2005. Budgeted capital expenditure for the project is US$323 million, with 2015 being the target date for initial production.