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Rio Tinto Output Slides in First Half

Jul 19, 2020 9:23 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Diamond production at Rio Tinto dropped 7% year on year in the first half of 2020 as the miner recovered lower-grade ore at its Diavik mine in Canada.

The company’s share of production at the Argyle and Diavik mines came to 7.7 million carats for the six months ending June 30, it said last week. Diavik yielded 1.8 million carats for the company, a 17% decrease compared to the same period last year as it retrieved lower-grade ore from the underground portion of the mine. Rio Tinto also processed less ore at Diavik during the period. The miner owns a 60% stake in the deposit, with Dominion Diamond Mines holding the remainder.

Output at Argyle slipped 4% to 5.8 million carats, after an increase in the amount of ore processed could not outweigh a reduction in the recovered grade, the miner noted. Rio Tinto is still on track to complete operations at the Australian site at the end of the year, as it reaches its end of life, it said. The company will begin closure activities for Argyle in 2021.

For the second quarter, the company’s diamond production slipped 5% to 4.2 million carats. Its output at Diavik slumped 19% to 963,000 carats, while recovery at Argyle inched slipped 1% to 3.3 million carats during the period.

The miner intends to execute a “value over volume” strategy to match market demand during the challenging period caused by the coronavirus pandemic, it said.

Rio Tinto expects to produce 12 million to 14 million carats in 2020, compared to 17 million carats last year.

Image: An aerial view of the Argyle mine. (Shutterstock)
Tags: Argyle, Coronavirus, Diavik, Diavik mine, Dominion Diamond Mines, Rapaport News, Rio Tinto
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