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Diamond plant to double staff: spokesperson

Guy Quenneville
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, December 16, 2009

SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE - Crossworks Manufacturing, the NWT subsidiary of the HRA Group of Companies - a worldwide cutting and polishing company could potentially double its 11 staff in the new year, Dylan Dix, HRA's worldwide marketing director, said Friday.

Also, the company was recently named a "select diamantaire" by Rio Tinto, owner of the Diavik Diamond Mine.

"When you are a long-term client of the major producers, two of them have specific names for that," explained Dix. "De Beers call you a sight holder and Rio Tinto calls you a select diamantaire. Basically it means you are a long-term client and you have guaranteed supply of rough."

Crossworks' new designation for Rio Tinto is more than just a brand, said Dix, adding that Crossworks' allocation from Diavik will be entirely cut and polished in Yellowknife. Previous allocations were handled both in Yellowknife and HRA's plant in Vietnam.

Similarly, all diamonds that Crossworks receives from De Beers Canada's Snap Lake mine will be treated in Yellowknife.

"The key to success in the NWT is to receive economically viable rough and have the support of the government in securing these allocations," Dix said via e-mail. "The secondary industry is completely reliant on the GNWT working with the mines to ensure that viable rough is made available and that manufacturers can access the 10 per cent that is said to be part of the NWT's allowance.

"Our facility is profitable and will continue to grow with a significantly increased production in 2010."

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