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Rio Tinto’s 1Q Diamond Output Jumps as Diavik Production Surges

Apr 19, 2016 9:29 AM   By Rapaport News
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Underground mining at the Diavik mine in Canada's Northwest Territories

RAPAPORT... Rio Tinto reported first-quarter diamond production jumped 10 percent as output from its Diavik mine surged because of higher mining rates and availability of a bigger ore stockpile.

Production increased to 4.5 million carats in the three months to March 31. The miner recovered 1.1 million carats from its 60-percent owned Diavik mine in Canada’s Northwest Territories, a surge of 26 percent. Output also increased from the previous quarter after a pause in processing in late 2015.

Rio Tinto said production from its Argyle mine in Western Australia, known for its colored diamonds, rose 5 percent to 3.4 million carats because of higher output from underground mining. The switch away from open-pit excavation at the project, which Rio Tinto owns outright, had initially resulted in a fall in output.

Dominion Diamond Corporation, Rio Tinto’s partner in Diavik with a 40-percent interest, said its share in output soared to 754,000 carats. The mine produced 1.9 million carats in total.

Dominion forecast production from the Diavik in 2016 for both companies will rise 9 percent to 7 million carats. Rio Tinto’s total production in 2016 will be 21 million carats, unchanged from previous guidance, the miner forecast.
Tags: Arglye, Australia, Canada, Diavik, Dominion, Dominion Diamond Corporation, mining, Rapaport News, Rio Tinto
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