Rio Tinto reaches 100 million carats at Diavik mine

Rio Tinto reaches 100 million carats at Diavik mine

Rio Tinto (LSE,ASX:RIO) has announced a milestone at its Diavik diamond mine in Canada which has produced 100 million carats of rough diamonds since the mine began in 2003.

The Diavik mine, Canada’s largest diamond mine is located on an island in a remote sub-arctic lake. It mainly generates gem quality diamonds made for exclusive jewellery in all major consumer markets worldwide.

Simon Trott, Rio Tinto Diamonds, Salt & Uranium managing director said: “We are delighted to reach this milestone and I am enormously proud of the teams who have helped make this happen safely and responsibly in some of the harshest operating conditions in the world.”

The mine has led to employment, training and building opportunities in the local communities.

An estimated half of the mine’s 1100 employees live in the north of Canada and a quarter are Aboriginal. Over US$5.2 billion has been spent to support the mine and over 70 per cent is with local Aboriginal-owned companies.

Marc Cameron, Diavik diamond mines president and chief operating officer noted: “This production milestone is especially gratifying given our strong safety record, our focus on ethics and the environment, and an unwavering commitment to delivering substantial and lasting benefits to all of our stakeholders.”

The development of a fourth pipe at the mine called ‘A21’ was approved in 2014. The A21 pipe is estimated to cost $350 million over four years and production is anticipated to commence in 2018.