Washington picks new CEO to run $1.2bn Dominion Diamond

10th August 2017 By: Bloomberg

NEW YORK – Montana-billionaire Dennis Washington has hired Patrick Evans to run Dominion Diamond Corp. after he agreed to buy the business for $1.2-billion last month.

“We are pleased that Patrick will become CEO of Dominion Diamond Corp. upon closing of the transaction," said Lawrence Simkins, president of The Washington Cos., said in an email. "Having operated a mining company in the Northwest Territories, Patrick already has a familiarity with the region and strong relationships with local officials and indigenous leaders.”

Evans is the former chief executive officer of Mountain Province Diamonds, which owns the Gahcho Kue diamond mine with De Beers in Canada. Evans left the company with immediate effect in June in what the company said was a “mutual decision.”

Dominion has stakes in two diamond mines, both in Canada’s Northwest Territories, home to some of the richest -- and most remote -- diamond deposits in the world. Ekati, in which it holds a controlling interest, has been producing for almost two decades and is Canada’s first diamond mine. Diavik, in which Dominion holds a 40 percent stake, is located nearby and is operated by joint venture partner Rio Tinto Group.

“I am excited by the opportunity to lead Dominion Diamond into the next important phase of its development," Evans said in an email. "Both the Ekati and Diavik mines are critically important to the Northwest Territories."

Evans said he shares Washington’s commitment to extend the life of Ekati and to continue to partner with Rio Tinto in the operations of Diavik.

Washington Cos. agreed to buy Dominion last month after initially going public with a $1.1-billion bid in March. A week later, Dominion said it would start a process to find alternative buyers, the second time in two years it had put itself on the block. In 2015, Dominion hired Rothschild & Co. to explore a sale amid a shareholder revolt that failed to find a buyer.