In an alliance between two Toronto-based firms, Kinross Gold Corp. will invest $150 million for a direct stake in Harry Winston Diamond Corp. and an indirect interest in its minority holdings in the Diavik diamond mine.

According to terms of the agreement, Kinross will buy 15.2 million shares of Harry Winston at $3 a share, equaling about 19.9 percent of shares outstanding following the transaction. With the remaining $104.4 million of its investment, Kinross will acquire a 22.5 percent interest in the 40 percent joint-venture interest Harry Winston holds in the Diavik Diamond Mine in Canada’s Northwest Territories.

Upon consummation of the agreement, Kinross will be offered a seat on Harry Winston’s board.

Harry Winston intends to use the proceeds to pay down debt and for other corporate purposes, including funding its portion of the cost of expanding the Diavik mine. The companies have agreed to consider other opportunities in diamond mining as part of their new relationship.

The company said it would temporarily suspend dividend payments because of the difficult economic environment.

Aber Diamond Corp. acquired high-end jeweler Harry Winston in 2006 and changed its named to Harry Winston Diamond Corp. the following year.