Posted on October 15, 2014 by

Pink Diamond Report: Rio Tinto’s Argyle Mine Status Update

Oval Cut Fancy Vivid Purple-Pink Diamond

The source of the largest volume of the world’s natural pink diamonds, Rio Tinto’s Argyle diamond mine in Western Australia, will remain open until at least 2020. Rio Tinto transitioned from its well-known open pit mining to an underground mine in the East Kimberley region of Western Australia in April 2013. The momentous shift will allow the Argyle diamond mine to continue operations for the next half-decade.


Rio Tinto’s new underground diamond mine, valued at $2.2 billion, is expected to produce an average of 20 million carats of diamonds every year. The diamond mine is renowned for having borne several of the world’s finest pink diamonds. As of last year, the Argyle diamond mine had delivered 800 million carats of rough diamond over a 25-year period. That volume included a modest but steady global source of incredibly rare and highly valuable pink diamonds.


Pear Shaped Fancy Vivid Purplish Pink Diamond

This 0.23 carat pear-shaped Fancy Vivid Purplish Pink diamond is from the Argyle mine in Western Australia.


Most pink diamonds originating from the Argyle mine are small, averaging between 0.75 to 0.8 carats, but possess extraordinary color that is exclusive to that mine. Less than one-tenth of one percent of the output from the mine consist of pink diamonds, yet Argyle’s pink diamond yield makes up 90 percent of the world’s pink diamond supply. The overwhelming majority of Argyle’s production – 20 million carats – consists of brown diamonds of varied nuances.


Argyle’s open pit mine has generated fewer and fewer diamonds over time, which led the mining giant to investigate alternative underground operations in 2004. The subterranean diamond mine contains nearly 25 miles of underground tunnels. The Argyle mine is the top source of natural fancy colored diamonds. No other mine anywhere else in the world can provide what the Western Australian mine has provided once it completely ceases production.


Rio Tinto's Argyle open pit diamond mine

Rio Tinto has transitioned from an open pit mine to an underground operation.


As expected, with the natural fancy colored diamond inventory – and, in particular, that of pink diamonds – waning and demand for such stones reaching an all-time high, the prices of such investment-worthy valuables are only going to skyrocket. Argyle has reaped the profits of the pink diamond boom – prices of pink diamonds emerging from the Argyle mine continue to appreciate at a rate of 10 to 15 percent each year. Although the mine is tentatively scheduled to remain in operation until 2020 at the earliest, no official statement from Argyle has been released to clarify its future beyond 2020.


Learn even more about this amazing and rare diamond color by reading our fancy pink diamond guide for buyers and investors.


If you’re crazy for natural pink diamonds and don’t want to miss out on owning one yourself, shop our pink diamond collection today! All of our pink diamonds are 100 percent natural and never color-treated. Diamond Envy offers a large selection of conflict-free fancy pink diamonds at competitive prices. We stand behind every diamond and jewelry item we carry and offer an unbeatable 60-day money back guarantee with free shipping both ways.

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One Response to Pink Diamond Report: Rio Tinto’s Argyle Mine Status Update

  1. Erin says:

    I’d LOVE an Argyle pink diamond!!!