Rio Reveals Rare Diavik “Stars of the Arctic” Diamonds

- October 3rd, 2018

Soon to be tendered by international specialists, the three prominent large rough diamonds from the Diavik mine in Canada have been named the Stars of the Arctic.

Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO,LSE:RIO,NYSE:RIO) and Dominion Diamond Mines have unveiled three of the finest large rough diamonds from their Canadian diamond mine, all of which are to be tendered to worldwide diamond specialists.

Extracted from the Diavik diamond mine in Canada’s Northwest Territories, 220 kilometers south of the Arctic Circle, the diamonds are being collectively referred to as the Diavik Stars of the Arctic.

The three diamonds display a rare combination of size, quality and color, and are set to headline Rio’s upcoming “specials” tender, which showcases rough diamonds greater than 10.8 carats.

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The names of the Diavik Stars of the Arctic were inspired by constellations in the north sky. Vega of the Arctic is the biggest, weighing in at 177.71 carats; it is one of the largest and most valuable gem-quality rough diamonds ever produced in Canada.

The other two diamonds are Altair of the Arctic at 59.1 carats, a white gem-quality rough diamond, and Capella of the Arctic, a 24.82-carat yellow diamond.

“Diavik diamonds are over two billion years old and it has taken 15 years of production to unearth these extraordinary diamonds, underscoring the ongoing importance of the Diavik orebody in the context of the global diamond industry,” Diavik Diamond Mines President and Chief Operating Officer Patrick Boitumelo said in a statement.

According to Rio, the Diavik mine produces predominantly gem-quality diamonds meant for high-end jewelry in major consumer markets worldwide. The discovery of Capella of the Arctic, a large yellow diamond, is very rare as Diavik only produces five of these diamonds each year on average.

Diavik is a joint venture between Rio Tinto (60 percent) and Dominion Diamond Mines (40 percent), and began production in 2003. It has been a fully underground mining operation since 2012, and recently opened its fourth pipe, A21, which will help provide incremental production.

Dominion Diamond Mines was acquired by the Washington Companies for $1.2 billion last year.

The Diavik Stars of the Arctic will be showcased in Antwerp, Belgium and Israel to international large diamond specialists before bids close on October 25.

Image courtesy of Rio Tinto.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Olivia Da Silva, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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