Following a strategic review evaluating a wide range of options—including divestment—officials at top miner Rio Tinto have announced a decision to retain their diamond mining businesses. Rio Tinto Diamonds and Minerals CEO Alan Davies said consideration of “robust medium- to long-term market fundamentals” drove the decision, along with “growing demand for luxury goods in Asia” and “continuing strong demand in North America.”
“We have valuable, high-quality diamond businesses that are well positioned to capitalize on the positive market outlook,” he said in a statement.
Currently, Rio operates a 100%-integrated diamonds business from exploration through to sales and marketing, and is a top diamond producer through its wholly-owned Argyle mine in Australia, 60% of Canada’s Diavik mine and a 78% stake in Zimbabwe’s Murowa mine. The mines allow Rio to produce diamonds for all market segments. Rio also has an advanced diamond project in India.
Rio’s production share from the three operating diamond mines is sold via its sales and marketing headquarters in world diamond capital Antwerp, Belgium, with representative offices in Mumbai, Hong Kong and New York. Rio also operates a niche cutting and polishing factory in Perth, Australia, for rare pink diamonds from Argyle.