One of the most famous diamond mines in the world, Rio Tinto, increased its diamond production to 4.158 million carats in the third quarter of 2013, up 12 percent year on year. Following the full commissioning of the Argyle underground mine in Western Australia in April 2013, the growth in production was instigated by an increase in the amount of processing of higher grade ore.
A rise of 26% in production at Argyle to 3.085 million carats was enjoyed during the quarter with the amount of ore processed; 2.088 million tonnes, up 20 percent.
Rio Tinto's production at the Canada-based Diavik mine fell 13 percent to 1.003 million carats due to a lower grade ore mined during the quarter. Rio Tinto owns a 60% stake in the mine. It also owns a 78% stake in the Zimbabwe mine, Murowa, its share of production declining to 70,000 carats, or 24%
Rio Tinto’s total diamond production rose 17 percent to 11.529 million carats during the first nine months of the year. Production at Diavik dropped 3 percent to 3.106 million carats during the nine months while production at the Argyle mine, famous for the Argyle pink diamond rose 27% to 8.205 million carats. The company's share of production at Murowa rose 1 percent to 217,000 carats.
The expectation is for Rio Tinto to mine 15.7 million carats of diamonds in 2013 compared to 13.122 million carats recovered from their mines last year.