WORLD’S BIGGEST MINE TO STOP OPERATIONS IN 2020
Rio Tinto’s Argyle mine in Western Australia, perhaps the best known diamond mine in the world thanks to its constant yield of coveted pink and red diamonds since the mine started commercial production in 1983, is set to halt operations in 2020.
Arnaud Soirat, Rio Tinto’s head of copper and diamonds, was interviewed at the mine site last weekend, and he commented about the miner’s plans for next year. According to Bloomberg and other news sources, Soirat said: “There is going to be a fair bit of supply which is going to come out of the market. In late 2020 we’ll be stopping operations and will start the rehabilitation of the site”.
Argyle has been responsible for 90% of the world’s pink diamonds, and its impending closure is said to be one of the reasons revenues from Argyle stones have gone up. In 2018, Argyle grossed revenues of $259 million – a 26% increase over 2017. The rise in revenue was attributed to higher sales “impelled by a stronger US economy and higher prices for the mine’s iconic pink diamonds”. Recently, Rio Tinto introduced the 2019 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender collection, comprising 64 diamonds and weighing a total of 56.28 carats.