In the red
Junior's investment in Diavik tops $100 million

Doug Ashbury
Northern News Services

Yellowknife ( May 17/00) - Aber Resources, the company with a stake in two NWT diamond properties, reports red figures for fiscal 1999.

Over the year ended Jan. 31, Aber lost $5.6 million compared to a $302,374 gain the previous year.

The latest financial figures include writing off $8.5 million in mineral properties and $3.5 million in costs associated with the closure of the Toronto-based company's Vancouver officers.

"All exploration properties other than Camsell Lake, which includes the Snap Lake project, and the Diavik project were written off after the decision to stop general exploration and focus on Aber's two major properties," the company said in a statement.

Aber owns 40 per cent of the Diavik project and a third of the Snap Lake project.

In fiscal 1999, Aber invested $23.9 million in Diavik -- mainly for the feasibility study on the project, the permitting process, construction engineering and exploration.

The previous year Aber invested, net of premiums for flow-through shares, $15.23 million in Diavik.

As of Jan. 31, Aber's investment in Diavik was $106.1 million. Also, the company said it will issue results from an independent feasibility study of the Diavik project this week. Aber's 1999 revenue totalled $8.6 million -- up 68 per cent from $5 million a year earlier. The revenue in both years was attributable to interest income.

Expenses increased to $15.9 million, up from $3 million a year earlier.

As of Jan. 31, 2000, Aber had $196.3 million in cash and short-term investments, compared with $121.2 million a year earlier.