Tiffany to purchase and market Jericho diamonds

Tiffany & Co. has entered an agreement to purchase or market all of the diamond production from Tahera Diamond Corp.’s Jericho Diamond Project, and provide Tahera with a $27.8 million loan to assist in financing the construction of the project.

Under the agreement, Tiffany will purchase a “significant portion” of the diamond production from Tahera’s Jericho Diamond Project for its own manufacturing requirements and will sell the balance of the production on behalf of Tahera into the international market. Tiffany will market for a fee the portion of the Jericho diamond production that it does not purchase.

Tahera’s Jericho Diamond Mine at Tahera’s Jericho property is located in Nunavut, in Canada’s Northwest Territories.

“To support our growing sales of diamond jewelry, Tiffany’s strategy is to align with direct-from-mine sources that can help us to secure increased availability at our quality levels,” says James N. Fernandez, Tiffany & Co executive vice president and chief financial officer.

This is Tiffany & Co.’s third venture in the Canadian diamond industry.

In 1999, the company purchased a 14.7% equity investment ($71 million) in the Canada-based Aber Diamond Corp., a 40% owner of the Diavik Diamonds Project in the Northwest Territories of Canada. Tiffany also entered into a diamond purchase agreement with Aber to purchase a minimum of $50 million in diamonds, subject to Tiffany’s quality standards, annually for 10 years.

In 2003, Tiffany opened its Laurelton Diamonds cutting and polishing center located in Yellowknife. Laurelton Diamonds is a Northwest Territories company and a wholly owned subsidiary of Tiffany & Co. The operation is housed in a 12,000-sq.ft. facility that is designed to accommodate 75 employees.