Rio Tinto Opens New Di­a­mond Pipe At Di­avik

Solitaire - - SPECTRUM -

Rio Tinto opened a fourth di­a­mond pipe, known as A21, at the re­mote sub­arc­tic Di­avik di­a­mond mine in the North­west Ter­ri­to­ries of Canada. The new open pit pipe will pro­vide an im­por­tant source of in­cre­men­tal sup­ply over the next four years to sus­tain pro­duc­tion lev­els at the Rio Tinto op­er­ated mine.

Wally Schu­mann, min­is­ter of in­dus­try, tourism and in­vest­ment with the gov­ern­ment of the North­west Ter­ri­to­ries, was the guest of hon­our at the in­au­gu­ra­tion that was at­tended by in­dige­nous com­mu­nity rep­re­sen­ta­tives, joint ven­ture part­ners and Rio Tinto em­ploy­ees.

The A21 pipe is lo­cated ad­ja­cent to Di­avik’s ex­ist­ing min­ing

op­er­a­tions at Lac de Gras. First ore was de­liv­ered in March this year and the pit is ex­pected to be at full pro­duc­tion dur­ing the fourth quar­ter of 2018, fol­low­ing a fouryear con­struc­tion pe­riod and an in­vest­ment of ap­prox­i­mately $350 mil­lion, shared by Rio Tinto (60%) and joint ven­ture part­ner Do­min­ion Di­a­mond Cor­po­ra­tion (40%).

Rio Tinto Cop­per & Di­a­monds’ chief ex­ec­u­tive, Ar­naud Soirat, said, “This in­vest­ment to sus­tain pro­duc­tion lev­els at Di­avik re­flects the strong out­look we see for the di­a­mond in­dus­try. It is a re­mark­able achieve­ment to de­liver this project safely and ahead of time in such a chal­leng­ing en­vi­ron­ment, po­si­tion­ing Di­avik to con­tinue meet­ing the de­mand for its out­stand­ing di­a­monds.”

The Di­avik di­a­mond mine, lo­cated 300km north­east of Yel­lowknife, cap­i­tal of Canada’s North­west Ter­ri­to­ries, be­gan pro­duc­tion in 2003 and has been a fully un­der­ground min­ing op­er­a­tion since 2012. The mine pro­duces pre­dom­i­nantly gem-qual­ity di­a­monds des­tined for high-end jew­ellery in all ma­jor con­sumer mar­kets around the world.

Di­avik pres­i­dent Patrick Boi­tumelo said, “This new pipe is great news for the North­west Ter­ri­to­ries and will help to de­liver eco­nomic and so­cial ben­e­fits that will en­dure be­yond the life of the Di­avik mine.”

An ae­rial view of Di­avik show­ing the new A21 pipe.

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