TORONTO, April 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
Nature of Interest in DDMI HWDLP holds an undivided 40% interest in the assets, liabilities and expenses of the Diavik Diamond Mine and the Diavik group of mineral claims. The Diavik Diamond Mine and the exploration and development of the Diavik group of mineral claims is a joint arrangement between DDMI (60%) and HWDLP (40%), and is subject to the risks normally associated with the conduct of joint ventures and similar joint arrangements. These risks include the inability to exert influence over strategic decisions made in respect of the Diavik Diamond Mine and the Diavik group of mineral claims. By virtue of DDMI's 60% interest in the Diavik Diamond Mine, it has a controlling vote in virtually all Joint Venture management decisions respecting the development and operation of the Diavik Diamond Mine and the development of the Diavik group of mineral claims. Accordingly, DDMI is able to determine the timing and scope of future project capital expenditures, and therefore is able to impose capital expenditure requirements on HWDLP that the Company may not have sufficient cash to meet. A failure to meet capital expenditure requirements imposed by DDMI could result in HWDLP's interest in the Diavik Diamond Mine and the Diavik group of mineral claims being diluted.
Diamond Prices and Demand for Diamonds The profitability of the Company is dependent upon production from the Diavik Diamond Mine and on the results of the operations of its luxury brand operations. Each, in turn, is dependent in significant part upon the worldwide demand for and price of diamonds. Diamond prices fluctuate and are affected by numerous factors beyond the control of the Company, including worldwide economic trends, particularly in the US, Japan, China and India, worldwide levels of diamond discovery and production, and the level of demand for, and discretionary spending on, luxury goods such as diamonds and jewelry. Low or negative growth in the worldwide economy, renewed or additional credit market disruptions, natural disasters or the occurrence of terrorist attacks or similar activities creating disruptions in economic growth could result in decreased demand for luxury goods such as diamonds and jewelry, thereby negatively affecting the price of diamonds and jewelry. Similarly, a substantial increase in the worldwide level of diamond production or in diamonds available for sale through recommencement of suspended mining activity or the release of stocks held back during recent periods of low demand could also negatively affect the price of diamonds. In each case, such developments could have a material adverse effect on the Company's results of operations.
Cash Flow and Liquidity The Company's liquidity requirements fluctuate from quarter to quarter and year to year depending on, among other factors, the seasonality of production at the Diavik Diamond Mine, the seasonality of mine operating expenses, exploration expenses, capital expenditure programs, the number of rough diamond sales events conducted during the quarter and the volume, size and quality distribution of rough diamonds delivered from the Diavik Diamond Mine and sold by the Company in each quarter, along with the seasonality of sales and salon refurbishment and expansion in the luxury brand segment. The Company's principal working capital needs include investments in inventory, prepaid expenses and other current assets, and accounts payable and income taxes payable. There can be no assurance that the Company will be able to meet each or all of its liquidity requirements. A failure by the Company to meet its liquidity requirements could result in the Company failing to meet its planned development objectives, or in the Company being in default of a contractual obligation, each of which could have a material adverse effect on the Company's business prospects or financial condition.Economic Environment The Company's financial results are tied to the global economic conditions and their impact on levels of consumer confidence and consumer spending. The global markets have experienced the impact of a significant US and international economic downturn since the fall of 2008. This has restricted the Company's growth opportunities both domestically and internationally, and a return to a recession or weak recovery, due to recent disruptions in financial markets in the US, the Eurozone or elsewhere, the 2011 disaster in Japan and political upheavals in the Middle East, could cause the Company to experience revenue declines across both of its business segments due to deteriorated consumer confidence and spending, and a decrease in the availability of credit, which could have a material adverse effect on the Company's business prospects or financial condition. The credit facilities essential to the diamond polishing industry are largely underwritten by European banks that are currently under stress with the European sovereign debt issue. The withdrawal or reduction of such facilities could also have a material adverse effect on the Company's business prospects or financial condition. The Company monitors economic developments in the markets in which it operates and uses this information in its continuous strategic and operational planning in an effort to adjust its business in response to changing economic conditions. Currency Risk Currency fluctuations may affect the Company's financial performance. Diamonds are sold throughout the world based principally on the US dollar price, and although the Company reports its financial results in US dollars, a majority of the costs and expenses of the Diavik Diamond Mine are incurred in Canadian dollars. Further, the Company has a significant deferred income tax liability that has been incurred and will be payable in Canadian dollars. The Company's currency exposure relates primarily to expenses and obligations incurred by it in Canadian dollars and, secondarily, to revenues of Harry Winston Inc. in currencies other than the US dollar. The appreciation of the Canadian dollar against the US dollar, and the depreciation of other currencies against the US dollar, therefore, will increase the expenses of the Diavik Diamond Mine and the amount of the Company's Canadian dollar liabilities relative to the revenue the Company will receive from diamond sales, and will decrease the US dollar revenues received by Harry Winston Inc. From time to time, the Company may use a limited number of derivative financial instruments to manage its foreign currency exposure. Licences and Permits The operation of the Diavik Diamond Mine and exploration on the Diavik property requires licences and permits from the Canadian government. The Diavik Diamond Mine Type "A" Water Licence was renewed by the regional Wek'eezhii Land and Water Board to October 31, 2015. While the Company anticipates that DDMI, the operator of the Diavik Diamond Mine, will be able to renew this licence and other necessary permits in the future, there can be no guarantee that DDMI will be able to do so or obtain or maintain all other necessary licences and permits that may be required to maintain the operation of the Diavik Diamond Mine or to further explore and develop the Diavik property. Regulatory and Environmental Risks The operation of the Diavik Diamond Mine, exploration activities at the Diavik property and the manufacturing of jewelry and watches are subject to various laws and regulations governing the protection of the environment, exploration, development, production, taxes, labour standards, occupational health, waste disposal, mine safety, manufacturing safety and other matters. New laws and regulations, amendments to existing laws and regulations, or more stringent implementation or changes in enforcement policies under existing laws and regulations could have a material adverse effect on the Company by increasing costs and/or causing a reduction in levels of production from the Diavik Diamond Mine and in the manufacture of jewelry and watches. As well, as the Company's international operations expand, it or its subsidiaries become subject to laws and regulatory regimes that could differ materially from those under which they operate in Canada and the US. Mining and manufacturing are subject to potential risks and liabilities associated with pollution of the environment and the disposal of waste products occurring as a result of mining and manufacturing operations. To the extent that the Company's operations are subject to uninsured environmental liabilities, the payment of such liabilities could have a material adverse effect on the Company.