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Rio Tinto Diamond Sales Stable

Aug 3, 2017 3:52 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Rio Tinto’s diamond sales were nearly flat in the first half of the year amid steady demand from Indian manufacturers, the miner reported Wednesday.
Revenue from the company’s diamond operations slipped 0.6% year on year to $340 million. Net earnings, meanwhile, fell 14% to $19 million.

“Rough-diamond demand was solid in 2017’s first half as factories in India increased manufacturing capacity based on an improved outlook in key emerging markets, resulting in restocking activity throughout the pipeline,” Rio Tinto said.

The first half of the year saw the Indian cutting industry buying a large volume of smaller and lower-value rough in general as companies released pent-up demand following the nation’s demonetization program in late 2016. The November policy — in which the government invalidated 86% of currency notes — sapped liquidity from medium-sized and smaller diamond companies, resulting in a drop in demand for rough goods.

Signs of improvement in the Asian consumer market have spurred appetite for rough as well.

Rio Tinto’s rough comes from its Argyle mine in Australia — a source of rare pink diamonds as well as large amounts of lower-quality production — and from the Diavik mine in Canada, of which it owns 60%.
Tags: Argyle, Diavik, mining, Rapaport News, Rio Tinto, Rough Diamonds, rough sales
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