Argyle diamond mine open in WA
Rio Tinto says its new $2.2 billion underground diamond mine at Argyle will produce up to 20 million carats a year. Rio opened the mine in the remote East Kimberley region of Western Australia on Tuesday, labelling it a major milestone for the company.
It says the mine will extend Argyle's overall mine life until at least 2020. "That will help to feed the global deficit in diamonds around the world," Argyle managing director Kim Truter told a group of around 160 guests at the opening at Argyle on Tuesday.
Mr Truter said since the mine opened in 1983 it had produced 800 million carats, or around 160,000 tonnes of diamonds, which are sold to Japan, the US, India and China as well as Australia. Underground exploration at Argyle began in 2004 as the open cut resource began to diminish.