Star Diamond has concluded the acquisition of Rio Tinto Exploration Canada’s (RTEC) 75% interest in the Fort à la Corne project in central Saskatchewan, Canada.

With the completion of the deal, Star Diamond now has complete control of the project.

As per the agreed terms, Star Diamond issued 108,204,112 common shares to RTEC, resulting in RTEC and its affiliates holding a 19.9% stake in Star Diamond’s common shares.

The two entities also signed an investor rights agreement, providing RTEC with pre-emptive rights to maintain its ownership percentage during Star Diamond’s future financings.

Furthermore, RTEC has consented to standstill provisions, under which it may increase its 19.9% ownership if Star Diamond is approached with a buyout offer.

According to Star Diamond, the Fort à la Corne property is its most significant asset, as these kimberlites sit near established infrastructure including paved highways and the electrical power grid, which provide significant advantages for future mine development.

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The deal was announced in November last year, with Star Diamond signing a binding agreement with RTEC.

As part of the agreement, Star Diamond not only agreed to acquire the stake in the project but also gained ownership of the trench cutter drill rig and the Bulk Sample Plant on-site, which includes the TOMRA XRT diamond sorting machine.

At that time, Star Diamond president and CEO Ewan Mason said: “Acquiring 100% ownership of the project will be a major accomplishment for Star Diamond and its shareholders.

“We are grateful to Rio Tinto for the significant monetary investment and expertise it has contributed to the project over the past more than five years, which has meaningfully advanced what Star Diamond believes is one of the most promising diamond projects in the world.”