BHP Billiton announced today it is reviewing its diamonds business, which includes the Ekati mine in the Northwest Territories and the Chidliak exploration project in Nunavut.

The review will evaluate the potential sale of all or part of the company’s share of the projects.

A press release cited the lack of large, long-term and expandable projects as the reason for the review.

"Many years of extensive exploration suggest there are few options to develop new diamond mines that are consistent with this approach," stated a press release.

The review is expected to be completed by January.

Ekati, which is 80 per cent owned by BHP Billiton, was Canada’s first diamond mine, beginning production in 1998.

BHP Billiton owns 51 per cent of the Chidliak exploration project on Baffin Island, with Peregrine Diamonds Ltd. owning 49 per cent.