On the back of a fourth-quarter push in diamond production that increased 58% year-on-year and 21% compared to Q3 2017, Rio Tinto ended the year 2017 with a 20% rise in rough diamond production to 21.63 million carats from 17.95 million carats in 2016. In Q4 alone, Rio Tinto unearthed 7.21 million of those 21.63 million carats, a tremendous increase over the 4.57 million carats extracted in the same period a year earlier.
Diversified mining conglomerate Rio Tinto will expand its fleet of autonomous haul trucks at its world-class iron ore operations in the Pilbara by more than 50 percent by 2019 after signing agreements with leading manufacturers Caterpillar Inc. and Komatsu Ltd. to convert traditional trucks to autonomous vehicles, the company announced today. A total of 29 Komatsu haul trucks will be retrofitted with Autonomous Haulage System (AHS) technology starting next year.
It appears that Indian resources conglomerates Vedanta (controlled by London-based Indian billionaire Anil Agarwal) and Adani (controlled by fellow billionaire Gautam Adani) are considering bidding for a $9 billion diamond project in the country that was abandoned by Rio Tinto this year, reports Reuters. The central state of Madhya Pradesh was likely to invite bids in the first week of November to explore the deposit, which is estimated to have 32-34 million carats of diamond reserves, a senior state government official said. “We’re advertising only for that area in which (Rio Tint
GIA senior industry analyst Russel Shor, in his recent article, "Diamond Producers Aim for Lower Qualities in Today’s Market", explains how sophisticated mining techniques enable major diamond miners to target their drilling to meet polished diamond demand.
Today we have announced total cash returns to shareholders of $3 billion. By driving performance, focusing on cash and allocating it with discipline we are delivering superior cash returns to our shareholders. These are strong results: operating cash flow was $6.3 billion and we met our $2 billion cash cost reduction target six months early. We are now shifting gear to focus on the untapped value from our productivity programme and continue to strengthen our portfolio to build higher returns for the future.
Rio Tinto has unveiled the largest Fancy Red diamond in the history of its Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender at a world exclusive preview in New York. The 2.11 carat gem, named ‘The Argyle Everglow’, is the centrepiece of the 2017 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender – an annual showcase of the rarest diamonds from Rio’s Argyle mine in Western Australia. The GIA classified the gem as a notable diamond with a grade of Fancy Red VS2. Argyle Pink Diamonds manager Josephine Johnson said The Argyle Everglow “represents rarity within rarity” of diamonds, and will drive the global demand from collectors.
Rio Tinto reports rough diamond output at its Argyle Mine in Australia reached 3.2 million carats in Q2 2017, representing a 7% increase over output in the first quarter of the year, but an 8% decline compared to the 3.5 million carats recovered in Q2 2017. For the first half of 2017, production fell 9% to 6.2 million carats from 6.9 million carats in the first half last year. The company attributes the decline to lower ore volumes processed following wet weather and additional maintenance required in the second quarter of this year.
After months of speculation and a rejected takeover attempt, Canadian miner Dominion Diamond Corporation has entered into an arrangement agreement with The Washington Companies to acquire all of Dominion’s outstanding common shares for US$14.25 per share in cash, or a total equity value of approximately US$1.2 billion. The transaction represents a 44 percent premium to Dominion’s unaffected share price of US$9.92 on March 17, 2017. Dominion rejected Washington's initial advance of $1.1 billion, or $13.50 a share last March, calling it "opportunistic" and saying it undervalued the company.
The Argyle diamond coin trilogy sold within a month, according to a press release from Rio Tinto. "The Australian Trilogy", is an US$1.4 million (AUD$1.8 million) one-of-a-kind coin collection featuring a pink, purple pink and violet diamond from Rio Tinto’s Argyle Diamond Mine in the east Kimberley region of Western Australia. Released by The Perth Mint, The Australian Trilogy was sold to an anonymous collector from Asia within a month of its unveiling.
Rio Tinto and The Perth Mint have showcased a A$1.8 million (US$1.36 million) one-of-a-kind coin collection featuring three coloured diamonds from the Argyle Diamond Mine. Known as The Australian Trilogy, the beautiful collectable comprises three precious metal coins each hand crafted with a pink, purple pink and violet diamond unearthed from Rio Tinto’s Argyle Diamond Mine in the east Kimberley region of Western Australia.
Rio Tinto press release: Rio Tinto has appointed Patrick Boitumelo as President and Chief operating officer, Diavik Diamond Mines. "Patrick has extensive operational, stakeholder management and corporate strategy experience at a senior level across a number of businesses in the mining industry, including diamonds, soda ash and salts, nickel, iron ore, copper and copper by-products. Most recently he was general manager of engineering and projects at Kennecott Utah Copper in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA."
Dominion Diamond Corporation today (March 17) released its guidance for sales, Adjusted EBITDA, unit operating costs, and capital and exploration expenditures for fiscal 2018 (ending January 31, 2018); they expect sales to be between $875 and $975 million, an increase of 62% compared to fiscal 2017 sales, assuming the mid-point of fiscal 2018 guidance is achieved. They reaffirmed their production guidance released earlier this year for the Ekati Diamond Mine and Diavik Diamond Mine.
Diamond industry analyst and author of the Zimnisky Global Rough Diamond Price Index, Paul Zimnisky, takes us on, "A Trip Through the Diamond Industry in March 2017." If there is one trip you make this weekend, we recommend this one.
The month of March will again see a full schedule of rough diamond tenders and sales in Antwerp.
Rio Tinto has lowered by 66% its estimate of the mineral resources available at its Argyle diamond mine in Australia: the estimate now reflects solely the current mine plan, whereas the previous estimate included resources calculated with an extension of the mine taken into account. This extension is now under review. In a statement released last week, Rio Tinto writes, "During 2016, estimated Argyle Mineral Resources exclusive of ore reserves decreased by 29 million tons (Mt), from 44Mt to 15Mt" as a result of this recalculation.
Last year Rio Tinto’s diamond revenue slid 12%, leading them to review their plans to extend the life of the Argyle diamond mine, considering the global demand for rough had otherwise strengthened, writes The West Australian. Rio Tinto spent $US2.5 billion expanding the Argyle mine below ground with an expected lifespan reaching 2021. Should they decide not to continue with the planned underground extension, the mine’s closure could come considerably sooner. They are yet to announce whether they will continue with the second stage of the underground block cave at the East Kimberley mine.
Rio Tinto has announced it will relinquish its interest in the Bunder diamond project in India "due to commercial considerations" and will gift it to the Government of Madhya Pradesh. The move is not entirely unexpected, as Rio Tinto announced back in August 2016 it would not proceed with the development of Bunder and would be seeking to close all project infrastructure.
Rio Tinto posted strong fourth quarter production in its diamond division, with increases at its Argyle Mine in Australia as well as the Diavik Mine in NWT Canada, in which Rio Tinto owns a 60 percent interest (Dominion Diamond 40%). At Argyle, Rio Tinto produced 3.6 million carats in Q4, a 6% increase over Q4 production in 2015. For the year 2016, carat production was four per cent higher than 2015 following the ramp-up of the underground mine, with higher ore throughput partially offset by a lower recovered grade. Total 2016 production at Argyle was just under 14 million carats.
Dominion Diamond Corp. reports that production from the Diavik Diamond Mine for the fourth calendar quarter of 2016 ended 10% higher than in the same quarter of the prior year, reflecting higher processing volumes that were partly offset by lower recovered grade. Under a joint arrangement, Rio Tinto operates the mine and Dominion Diamond pays 40 percent of the mine’s operating and capital costs while receiving 40 percent of the mine’s diamond output.
High price purchases of 'fancy colored' diamonds, once the almost exclusive domain of collectors and connoisseurs, have become more commonplace in recent years, writes The Wall Street Jounal, as investors seek to take advantage of soaring appreciation of these rarest of stones. "Prices are being driven higher by investors who are hoping the hot market stays hot, many of whom have been disappointed by returns from other assets, say industry insiders. Over almost eight years, from the start of 2009 to Sept.
Rio Tinto has appointed luxury Dubai-based jeweler Dhamani to become one of its Select Ateliers, an exclusive list of jewelers given direct access to Australia’s rare Argyle pink diamonds. The launch of this new appointment correlated with the brand’s new line of pink-diamond jewelry, the DPINK collection, showcasing more than US$25 million of Argyle pink diamond jewelry. “Dhamani are an exciting Middle East luxury jeweler with over four decades of heritage and superb craftsmanship,” said Josephine Johnson, manager of Argyle Pink Diamonds.
Israeli authorities have placed Israeli diamond and mining mogul Beny Steinmetz under house arrest over allegations of bribery and corruption in Guinea linked to his BSG Resources (BGSR) mining company. One of Israel’s wealthiest men, Steinmetz has been arrested in Israel over claims that he paid millions of dollars in bribes to secure mineral assets in one of the world’s poorest nations.
Diversified mining giant Rio Tinto will “robustly” defend itself against any legal action by BSG Resources (BSGR) - owned by the notorious Israeli mining figure Beny Steinmetz - which is reportedly planning to sue the company over its alleged contribution to the loss of BSG’s mining rights for the Simandou iron-ore project in Guinea, writes Mining Weekly. BSG is reportedly seeking billions of dollars in damages.
“What we want is to improve the quality of our portfolio. I would love to have more diamonds to be very explicit. That’s a priority area.”
- Rio Tinto Group chief Jean-Sebastien Jacques on wanting to expand and invest in diamond mines rather than divest.
Karelian Diamond Resources, the AIM-listed diamond exploration company focused on Finland, has published its results for the year ended 31 May 2016, "A year in which highly encouraging progress has been made towards achieving its objective to discover, or acquire, and develop diamond deposits in Finland", and has announced a proposed capital reorganization to be voted on December 9, 2016.
The Foxfire diamond is the largest known uncut, gem-quality diamond mined in North America. The diamond will be on display for three months at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, Nov. 17 through Feb. 16, 2017. This will be the first time it has been made available to the public. Weighing more than 187 carats, the Foxfire diamond will be presented alongside the renowned Hope diamond in the Harry Winston Gallery.
According to a company press release, Rio Tinto’s 2016 Pink Diamonds Tender collection of 63 rare pink, red and violet diamonds from its Argyle mine has delivered a record result, reflecting strong global demand for these increasingly rare diamonds. Known as The Chroma Collection, the 2016 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender comprised the highest quality, size and colour composition in the Tender’s 32 year history and was highly sought after, with winners from 10 countries including a strong representation from the sophisticated US collector market.
Rio Tinto has released its third quarter production results, reporting that diamond production increased 3.4 percent to 4.4 million carats in the three months ended September 30. The company’s share of production at the Diavik Mine in Canada jumped 22% to 927,000 carats (Rio Tinto holds 60 percent of Diavik, the remainder of which is held by Dominion Diamond Corporation). Meanwhile, production at the 100%-owned Argyle mine in Western Australia fell 0.6% to 3.5 million carats.
Mining company Rio Tinto, a leading producer of smaller rough diamonds for the Indian market, aims to focus on the affordable diamond jewelry sector in India, according to a company official. "Affordable diamond jewelry has an average ticket price of Rs. 35,000 ($520)," said Vikram Merchant, director of Rio Tinto's India representative office. "This segment roughly constitutes 50 percent of the diamond jewelry industry in India."
Diamond industry analyst Paul Zimnisky writes that there few remaining diamond development projects in the pipeline big enough to have an important impact on global production following the development of the Gahcho Kué in Canada and Rio Tinto's withdrawal from the Bunder project in India. Gahcho Kué (51% De Beers/49% Mountain Province Diamonds), the world’s largest new diamond mine, is due to start commercial production in Q1 of next year with annual output of 4.5 million carats and a 12-year lifespan.
Rio Tinto’s 2016 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender is being showcased in Hong Kong against the backdrop of the annual Hong Kong Gems and Jewellery Fair. The 2016 Tender collection features 63 unique diamonds. The centerpiece of the collection is The Argyle Violet, the largest violet diamond unearthed from the Argyle mine and the largest diamond in the 2016 Tender.
Rio Tinto has appointed UK luxury jeweler, Boodles, as a Select Atelier for Argyle Pink Diamonds. Josephine Johnson, manager of Argyle Pink Diamonds said, "Boodles are an exciting British fine jeweler with over two centuries of heritage, who continue to deliver contemporary and beautifully crafted designs with the finest of fancy colored diamonds. We are delighted to welcome them as an Argyle Pink Diamonds Select Atelier.” Boodles joins a group of master craftsman and luxury jewelers selected to create jewelry set with Argyle pink diamonds.
India will auction a diamond project that global miner Rio Tinto is abandoning, or allocate it to a state firm, the mines secretary said on Tuesday, adding that the government would move fast to take advantage of the Bunder deposit which is located about 500 km (300 miles) southeast of New Delhi. It was discovered by Rio Tinto in 2004, and is estimated to contain about 27.4 million carats of diamonds. Rio Tinto said last week it would pull out of the project, on which it has spent about $500 million, by the end of the year to conserve cash and cut costs.
Despite its decision to withdraw from the Bunder project in India, Rio Tinto Diamonds says it will remain with the diamond business. “We firmly believe the fundamentals of the global diamonds market remain robust,” Simon Farry, vice president for sales and marketing for copper and diamonds said in a statement to JCK. “The decision to withdraw from Bunder was based on commercial considerations specific to the project as part of Rio Tinto’s ongoing efforts to conserve cash and reduce costs right across our business.”
Rio Tinto on Friday decided to close its diamond mine project in Madhya Pradesh after being asked to explore the possibility of underground mining and wait until a river linking project was completed. The project had faced a series of environmental issues. Wildlife groups said the country’s first private diamond mining project would severely damage the wildlife corridor between the Panna Tiger Reserve and the Navardehi Wildlife Sanctuary.
Rio Tinto has launched its Australian Diamonds™ program in China "to lend further market support to its Argyle diamonds and in response to the growing consumer and trade interest in diamond provenance". Bruno Sane, general manager of marketing for Rio Tinto Diamonds, said: “Increasingly the value of a diamond is tied to where and how the diamond was mined, how it was cut and polished and the process of bringing it to sale. This is a very reasonable expectation that is steadily reshaping the diamond industry for the better.”
The Indian government has deferred granting permission to mining giant Rio Tinto to open a diamond mine in Madhya Pradesh, saying the plan endangers a dense forest area and a tiger corridor between the Panna Tiger Reserve and Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary, writes Live Mint. The project for forest clearance has been pending since 2014. Rio Tinto says there are 53.7 million tons of diamondiferous Kimberlite ore at the site, containing an estimated 34.2 million carats of diamon
Rio Tinto Diamonds is to provide an audited mine-to-polished chain of custody for stones from its Argyle mine this month, while a Canadian Diamonds program covering its 60% share of production from the Diavik mine in the North West Territories will start later this year, writes Rob Bates in JCK Online. The programs have two aims, said Bruno Sané, Rio Tinto Diamonds’ general manager of marketing. For the trade, it guarantees the diamonds are not lab grown: “The screening technology today is less reliable with small and brown diamonds. The browns are usually rejected as type IIs.
Rio Tinto reports it has sold the Perth Mint’s Kimberley Treasure, the world’s first coin to feature a rare red diamond from its Argyle Diamond Mine in the east Kimberley region of Western Australia. The million dollar coin is made from one kilogram of 99.99% fine gold and set with a radiant cut 0.54 carat Argyle red diamond and sold within 48 hours of its unveiling.
The buyer of the coin is Tiara Gems and Jewellery, a Dubai based company specializing in rare and important fancy color diamonds, unique collectibles and heirloom pieces of jewelry.