Two global mining giants, INCO LTD. and DE BEERS CANADA EXPLORATION, have agreed to share their geophysical and geochemical databases for the northern part of Baffin Island. Inco will use the information in its hunt for base metals. De Beers will use the data in its search for diamonds. The agreement says that each company is entitled to 100% ownership of any resulting discovery of its own core commodity. Ownership of any other type of mineral project will be shared 50-50.
Kudos to the people who made this deal possibleInco’s VP exploration Nick Sheard, De Beers Canada’s senior VP of new business development John Hughs, and Joe Joyce, who was formerly president and CEO of De Beers Canada. These explorationists are not only innovative, they know that geoscientific information is useful in many ways that cannot be predicted.
De Beers has been active on Baffin Island since 2000. So far these efforts have not uncovered a minable deposit, but the potential is there. It has already found over 200 kimberlites in Canada. The company is developing its Snap Lake mine in the Northwest Territories and Victor project in northern Ontario. These will be De Beers’ first diamond mines outside of Africa.
Inco, one of the world’s largest nickel producers, has two important developments underwaythe Goro nickel laterite mine in New Caledonia and the Voisey’s Bay nickel-cobalt mine in Labrador. The Voisey’s Bay deposits are extremely rich, and finding another similar occurrence farther north is not improbable. The deal with De Beers gives Inco an opportunity to extend its nickel exploration at low cost into an area that the company might otherwise overlook.