Harry Winston Diamond Corporation Updates Status of Ekati Acquisition

    Harry Winston Diamond Corporation Updates Status of Ekati Acquisition

  PR Newswire

  TORONTO, January 17, 2013

TORONTO, January 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

Harry Winston Diamond Corporation (TSX:HW, NYSE:HWD) (the "Company") reports
that C. Fipke Holdings Ltd. ("Fipco") has commenced an action in the Ontario
Superior Court of Justice against BHP Billiton Canada Inc. and certain of its
affiliates (collectively, "BHP Billiton"), the Company and its subsidiary,
Harry Winston Diamond Mines Ltd., as well as against Dr. Stewart Blusson
("Blusson") and Archon Minerals Limited ("Archon"). The claim alleges that
the offers made by BHP Billiton to Fipco do not comply with Fipco's
pre-emptive rights under the joint venture agreements for the Ekati Mine, and
that the Company was complicit in this alleged non-compliance.

As disclosed in the Company's news release dated November 13, 2012, the
Company has agreed to purchase from BHP Billiton an 80% interest in the Core
Zone Joint Venture and a 58.8% interest in the Buffer Zone Joint Venture. As
contemplated in the share purchase agreements, BHP Billiton offered its
interests in the joint ventures to Fipco, Blusson and Archon, the minority
joint venture parties. Fipco, which holds a 10% interest in each of the Core
Zone and Buffer Zone Joint Ventures, also alleges in its statement of claim
that, among other things, the Company's debt financing arrangements for the
acquisition have interfered with Fipco's ability to arrange its own
financing. The claim seeks an order of the court prohibiting the Company from
purchasing BHP Billiton's interests unless and until BHP Billiton provides
Fipco with revised offers. Blusson, who holds a 10% interest in the Core
Zone, and Archon, which holds a 31.2% interest in the Buffer Zone, have not
issued a claim against BHP Billiton or the Company in respect of this issue,
and have advised that they do not intend to do so.

The parties to the litigation have entered into an agreement which provides
for the trial and any appeal to be conducted on an expedited basis, with a
view to obtaining a final ruling no later than April 15, 2013. The agreement
provides that, if such ruling is in favour of the Company and BHP Billiton,
the Company's purchase of BHP Billiton's joint venture interests in the Ekati
Mine may be completed before May 15, 2013 without re-triggering the
pre-emptive right provisions of the joint venture agreements.

The Company and BHP Billiton believe that the claim by Fipco is entirely
without merit, and intend to vigorously defend the action in order to proceed
with the purchase and sale of the Ekati Mine. The parties are continuing with
the regulatory approval process, and the Company expects to be in a position
to complete the transaction following resolution of the litigation.

About Harry Winston Diamond Corporation

Harry Winston Diamond Corporation is a diamond enterprise with premium assets
in the mining and retailing segments of the diamond industry. Harry Winston
supplies rough diamonds to the global market from its 40 percent ownership
interest in the Diavik Diamond Mine.  The Company's luxury brand segment is a
premier diamond jeweler and luxury timepiece retailer with salons in key
locations, including New York, Paris, London, Beijing, Tokyo, Hong Kong and
Beverly Hills.

The Company focuses on the two most profitable segments of the diamond
industry, mining and retailing, in which its expertise creates shareholder
value. This unique business model provides key competitive advantages; rough
diamond sales and polished diamond purchases provide market intelligence that
enhances the Company's overall performance.

Forward-Looking Information

Information included herein that is not current or historical factual
information, including information about mining activities at the Diavik
Diamond Mine and estimated production from the Diavik Diamond Mine, may
constitute forward-looking information or statements within the meaning of
applicable securities laws. Forward-looking information is based on certain
factors and assumptions regarding, among other things, mining, production,
construction and exploration activities at the Diavik Diamond Mine, world and
 US  economic conditions, future diamond prices, and the level of worldwide
diamond production. Actual results may vary from the forward-looking
information.  While the Company considers these assumptions to be reasonable
based on the information currently available to it, they may prove to be
incorrect. Forward-looking information is subject to certain factors,
including risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ
materially from what we currently expect. These factors include, among other
things, the uncertain nature of mining activities, including risks associated
with underground construction and mining operations, fluctuations in diamond
prices, and changes in US and world economic conditions. Readers are cautioned
not to place undue importance on forward-looking information, which speaks
only as of the date of this disclosure, and should not rely upon this
information as of any other date. While the Company may elect to, it is under
no obligation and does not undertake to, update or revise any forward-looking
information, whether as a result of new information, further events or
otherwise at any particular time, except as required by law. Additional
information concerning factors that may cause actual results to materially
differ from those in such forward-looking statements is contained in the
Company's filings with Canadian and United States securities regulatory
authorities and can be found at http://www.sedar.com and http://www.sec.gov ,
respectively.

For further information:

For more information, please visit  http://www.harrywinston.com . or for
investor information, visit  http://investor.harrywinston.com .

Contacts: Mr. Richard Chetwode, Vice President, Corporate Development -
+44(0)7720970762  rchetwode@harrywinston.com Ms. Laura Kiernan, Director,
Investor Relations - +1(917)297-4781 or  lkiernan@harrywinston.com   Ms.
Kelley Stamm, Manager, Investor Relations - +1(416)205-4380 or 
kstamm@harrywinston.com
 
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