This morning, Dominion Diamond Corp. announced that it will be moving its corporate offices from Yellowknife to Calgary. The move, which according to the company, will save some $19 million annually, is being taken “to reduce operating costs and support the long-term strength of the Company.”
In another cash-saving measure last September, Dominion sold its downtown Toronto office building for $84.8 million. The company has been struggling to deal with the global effects of an industry slowdown.
This move, which is expected to be completed by mid-2017, will “impact” 100 NWT-based workers, Dominion says. The remainder of its employees, including the majority of its northern Aboriginal employees, will continue to be employed in the NWT. A small Yellowknife office will be retained “for certain key positions.” EDGE has heard that some contract employees had received termination notices on Monday morning.
Dominion CEO Brendan Bell said the move was “not an easy decision, [but] necessary to support the long-term strength and viability of our operations.”
Dominion supplies rough diamonds to the global market from Ekati (which it owns a controlling interest in) and an approximately 40 percent ownership interest in Diavik. It also holds a 55 percent joint venture interest in Lac de Gras, a large diamond exploration property roughly 40 kilometers south of Ekati and about 20 kilometers southwest of Diavik, and controls diamond sorting and sales facilities in Yellowknife, Toronto, Mumbai, and Antwerp.
Early last year, the company saw a major shake-up at the top, with the late Bob Gannicott handing over his position as chairman to industry veteran Jim Gowans — while an activist shareholder, Josef Vejvoda, who had previously argued that Dominion’s shareholders had “suffered excessively and unnecessarily as a result of misguided policies and missed opportunities,” was appointed to the company’s board.