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Rio Tinto Output Falls Amid Argyle Closure

Jan 20, 2021 5:59 AM   By Rapaport News
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Rio Tinto’s diamond production fell in 2020 as the miner reduced output from its Argyle site in Australia in preparation for its shutdown.

Total production slid 14% to 14.7 million carats for the full year, the company said Tuesday. Output at Argyle dropped 16% to 10.9 million carats, with the miner retrieving the last rough before the deposit’s closure on November 3.

Rio Tinto’s share of production at the Diavik mine in Canada declined 7% to 3.7 million carats. An increase in the amount of ore processed only partially offset a 10% reduction in the grade, Rio Tinto noted.

Total recoveries contracted 33% year on year to 2.8 million carats for the fourth quarter. A 44% dip to 1.9 million carats at Argyle outweighed an 8% rise at Diavik to 910,000 carats.

The company expects to produce between 3 million and 3.8 million carats from Diavik in 2021.

Rio Tinto fully owns Argyle, and holds a 60% stake in Diavik, with Dominion Diamond Mines owning the remaining 40%.

Image: Rough diamonds from the Diavik mine. (Diavik Diamond Mines)
Tags: Argyle, Argyle mine, Diavik, Diavik mine, Dominion Diamond Mines, Rapaport News, Rio Tinto
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