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Diavik’s Depletion Dents Rio Tinto Output

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LEAH MEIROVICH • 20-07-2023

Diamond production at Rio Tinto’s Diavik deposit in Canada slipped 16% year on year in the second quarter as portions of the mine reached the end of their life spans.

Output from the mine came to 970,000 carats for the three months that ended June 30, Rio Tinto said Tuesday. During the period, ore became depleted at one of the underground pipes as well as at a section of the open-pit mine, the company explained.

However, the total was 2% higher than the 954,000 carats Rio Tinto recovered in the first quarter. Production for the first half fell 10% year on year to 1.9 million carats, from the processing of 873,000 tonnes of ore. That compares with 1 million tonnes in the first six months of 2022.

Diavik is currently Rio Tinto’s only diamond asset. The mine was originally due to be completed in 2025. Rio Tinto invested $40 million to extend the project’s life into 2026, adding more than 2 million carats of rough production.

The company expects total production at Diavik of 3 million to 3.8 million carats for the full year, compared to 4.7 million carats in 2022.

Image: An aerial view of the Diavik mine. (Diavik Diamond Mines)

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