Rio Tinto has released its fourth quarter production results for 2015, reporting production of 4.27m carats of rough diamonds, or a 50% increase from the 2.84m carats mined in Q4 2014. This brought total production for 2015 to 17.4m carats, a 25% increase over the 13.9m carats recovered in 2014. At its Argyle Mine in Australia, the 2015 ramp-up of production from the underground mine delivered a 47% increase in carats produced compared to 2014. In Q4 2015, Argyle produced 3.37m carats, representing an 86% increase over Q4 2014.
The figures are presented in the Canada-based miner's preliminary mine plan for 2016. The firm also reported processing volumes in the fourth calendar quarter of 2015 were 9% lower than the same quarter of the year before due mostly to three weeks of maintenance shutdowns in the processing plant. Diamonds recovered in the fourth calendar quarter were 3% lower than the same quarter of the previous year, reflecting lower processing volumes which was partially offset by a higher recovered grade.
The discovery in of the 187.7 carat rough diamond, the Diavik Foxfire was very unusual. It is the largest gem quality rough diamond on record in Canadian history. Given the relatively limited mine lives of all Canadian mines, there may never be a diamond this size ever coming out of North America again.
- Rio Tinto Diamonds managing director Jean-Marc Lieberherr on the Diavik Foxfire & Canadian diamonds
Dominion Diamond Corp, which owns the Ekati diamond mine and a 40% share of Diavik – Canada’s largest diamond mine – says two of its independent directors have resigned, as the board of Canada’s largest publicly traded diamond producer faces shareholder pressure for a shakeup due to its plunging share price.
Press release: "Rio Tinto has unveiled one of the largest diamonds ever discovered in Canada. The 187.7 carat gem-quality rough diamond, known as The Diavik Foxfire, was discovered at the Diavik Diamond Mine in the remote Northwest Territories of Canada, 220km south of the Arctic Circle.
Dominion Diamond Corporation reports that its third quarter diamond sales 2016 (August through October) from the Ekati and Diavik Diamond Mines were $145.0 million, a 35% drop from $222.3 million in Q3 fiscal 2015. Profit before income taxes for Q3 FY 2016 was $4.1 million compared to $59.1 million in Q3 of the previous fiscal, a decline of 90%. The company sold a total of 795,000 carats for a average of $182 per ct.
Dominion Diamond has reported the results of its Diavik Diamond Mine production for Q3 of 2015. Processing volumes in Q3 of 2015 were 15% lower than the same quarter of the prior year, while diamonds recovered in Q3 were 24% lower than the same quarter of the prior year, indicating that the firm is bringing production into line with global conditions.
Rio Tinto will cut back its production of diamonds this year and focus on bringing more affordable jewellery to the Chinese market as ample supply and waning demand for the precious gemstones weigh on prices, writes Financial Review. The miner announced on Friday it would "pause final product processing in the fourth quarter at Argyle in light of current market conditions" and now expects to produce 18 million carats this year, down from its previous estimate of 20 million.
According to their press release, Dominion Diamond (Ekati & Diavik Mines, Canada), sales for the second fiscal quarter 2016 (May through July) were $209.7 million, representing a 24% decline from Q2 2015 ($277.3 million). The company said that sales were "robust... despite a cautious market and a time of seasonal weakness in demand." The H1 decline for the 2016 fiscal year thus far is 12%, from $452.8 million to $397.4 million.
The news release is in annex below.
Rio Tinto’s total rough diamond output jumped 23% YoY to 4.696 million carats during the three months ending June 30, according an operations review released by the company on Thursday. The company attributed the significant increase in output to the continued ramp-up of production at the Argyle underground mine in Western Australia. Output at the company’s wholly-owned Argyle mine climbed 37% to 3.374 million carats, as the amount of diamond ore processed surged 68% to 1.2 million tons.
The Diavik Diamond Mine, a joint venture between Rio Tinto (60%) and Dominion Diamond Corporation (40%) has released its 2014 Sustainable Development report, elaborating on safe mining and processing, the impact on the local aboriginal community in terms of employment and investment in local businesses and energy management.
Canadian miner, Dominion Diamond Corp, has updated its reserves and resources statement on a 100% basis for the Diavik mine in which it has a 40% stake, adding a further 3.9 million tonnes of ore that contained about 13 million carats of rough stones.