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Rio Tinto sells final diamonds from iconic Argyle mine

“The variety of diamonds offered on the annual Argyle tender over the past 38 years would barely fill two champagne flutes”

Patrick Coppens, common supervisor, gross sales and advertising for Rio Tinto’s diamonds enterprise

The 2021 Argyle tender, being showcased in Antwerp, Belgium, is the ultimate assortment of diamonds from the ultimate yr of mining operations. 

“The primary Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender was held in Antwerp in 1984 and I’m delighted to host the ultimate epic assortment in Antwerp,” Patrick Coppens, common supervisor, gross sales and advertising for Rio Tinto’s diamonds enterprise mentioned in a media launch. 

The variety of diamonds offered on the annual Argyle tender over the past three a long time would barely fill two champagne flutes, Coppens famous, which highlights the rarity of this remaining assortment. 

Comprising 70 diamonds weighing 81.63 carats, the 2021 tender has a report variety of stones bigger than one carat. It consists of the Argyle Eclipse, a 3.47-carat diamond that’s the biggest Fancy Intense Pink diamond ever supplied on the occasion. 

The complete signature assortment from the 2021 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender (Picture courtesy of Rio Tinto. )

The assortment, known as “The Journey Past”, makes reference to the 1.5-billion-year journey from the formation of the deposit to its discovery and its impression on the world’s diamond and jewelry historical past, Rio mentioned. 

The closure of Argyle eliminated about 75% of Rio’s diamond output, but the impression on the miner’s earnings is predicted to be negligible. Diamonds usher in solely about 2% of its earnings, whereas iron ore — the corporate’s major commodity ⁠— accounts for nearly 60%. 

Argyle, situated throughout the historical Matsu Ranges greater than 3,000 km north of Perth, was Australia’s first large-scale diamond operation. It pioneered the fly–in fly–out mannequin, drawing employees from throughout the nation. 

It additionally triggered the creation and adoption of latest know-how and exploration strategies to make the seek for diamonds extra environment friendly throughout the rugged and distant Kimberley panorama. 

At its peak, Argyle churned out 40% of the world’s diamond output, which made it the largest producer by quantity. 

Argyle Eclipse™, 3.47 carat Fancy Intense Pink diamond. (Picture courtesy of Rio Tinto.)
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