BHP: A Mini De Beers?

BHP, owner of Ekati, the first Canadian mine, is taking a page from De Beers' playbook and looking to market the diamonds of other producers. "We have an established marketing system and customers, and we think it would be worthwhile for groups who are just setting up their marketing organization," says Terry Janes, BHP's manager of marketing. So far, though, there have not been any takers. "It's a strategic objective that hasn't resulted in anything substantial yet," he says. Janes discounts suggestions that BHP is on its way to being, as some have said, a second De Beers. "We are not fighting with anyone else," he says. This is the exact opposite of [the single-channel system.] It adds an element of competition."

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