Rare diamond discovered in Western Australia

Books Wednesday 24/April/2019 15:33 PM
By: Times News Service
Rare diamond discovered in Western Australia

Brisbane: A Rio Tinto mine in western Australian has produced one of the largest gem quality white diamonds in its 35 year history.

According to a press release, the 28.84 carat gem quality white diamond was recovered from the east Kimberley mine in March 2019 and only recently unveiled to the public.

Arnaud Soirat, Chief Executive of Rio Tinto's Copper and Diamonds portfolio said "We are delighted with this discovery which is a testament to the extraordinary Argyle orebody that continues to deliver these miracles of nature, even as it nears the end of mine life."

The finding could be the last of significance for the mine which will be closed in 2020. In its operational history, the mine has produced over 90 percent of Australia's diamonds.

"We don't see many this shape or colour, or that clarity, generally out of the mine," Argyle's General Manager of operations Andrew Wilson told the national broadcaster.

"We've probably seen 20 of those in the last 36 years of operations, of the plus-20-carat size."

The Argyle mine has been in operation since 1983 and is the world's largest coloured diamond mine. According to Rio Tinto, gem quality white diamonds greater than 20 carats have comprised around 0.00007 percent of Argyle's production.

Named Argyle Octavia™ in recognition of its beautiful octahedral shape, the rough diamond will be sold by tender in Antwerp later this year, according to Rio Tinto.

"Let's hope there's somebody who's got a passion for West Australian Argyle diamonds," Wilson said.

"Hopefully we have that opportunity to see it on a beautiful piece of jewellery."