Australian-British multinational mining conglomorate Rio Tinto has released its third quarter production results, reporting a stong performance from its operations in Australia (Argyle) and Canada (Diavik). At the Argyle diamond mine in the remote East Kimberley region of Western Australia, quarterly production of 4.76 million carats was 36 percent higher than the third quarter of 2016, and a full 48 percent higher than Q2 2017 due to the processing of higher grade alluvial tailings. For the first nine months of the year, Argyle production has increased 6 percent to nearly 11 million carats.
At the Diavik mine in in Canada's remote Northwest Territories, in which Rio Tinto owns a 60 percent interest (Dominion Diamond Corp. 40), the 1.18 million carats recovered in the third quarter of 2017 were 27 percent higher than the corresponding period in 2016, and 5 percent higher than in Q2 due to higher recovered grades. For the first nine months of the year, production at Diavik is up 14% to 3.4 million carats. Development of the A21 pipe remains on schedule.
Rio Tinto furrher notes that its diamond production guidance for 2017 has been revised to between 19 and 22 million carats (previously 19 to 24 million carats). Just last week (October 11), bidding closed on the 2017 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender collection. Themed “Custodians of Rare Beauty”, the collection weighed a total of 49.39 carats – including four Fancy Red diamonds, four Purplish Red diamonds, two Violet diamonds, and one Blue diamond. It featured the company's largest red diamond, the Argyle Everglow: a 2.11 carat radiant shaped Fancy Red diamond.