The Argyle Diamond Mine is one of the world's largest producers of diamonds and the world’s largest producer of natural coloured diamonds. Argyle Diamonds is 100 per cent owned and managed by Rio Tinto Limited.
The Argyle Diamond Mine was commissioned in 1985, and has since produced more than 791 million carats of diamonds.
For more than 26 years the iconic Argyle ore body has been mined as an open pit. As the ore continues at great depth Argyle is focussed on its future as an underground mine. Construction of an underground mine below the open pit is underway and production is scheduled to commence in 2013, with full ramp up in 2014. This project will extend the life of the mine until at least 2020.
For more information on Argyle’s underground mine, see the Argyle Diamonds Underground Mine Facts at a Glance.
The diamonds recovered at the mine are sent to Rio Tinto Diamonds’ sales and marketing office in Antwerp Belgium, where they are sorted and prepared for sale. The majority of the diamonds from the Argyle mine are sold as rough diamonds, primarily to an Indian customer base comprising diamond traders and manufacturers.
The rare pink diamonds from the Argyle mine are all cut and polished and sold as loose polished diamonds to an international customer base. The Argyle Pink Diamonds business has its headquarters in Perth, Western Australia, also the location of its state-of-the art cutting facility. The Perth facility cuts and polishes the finest pink diamonds from the Argyle Mine that are then sold via an exclusive tender.
Argyle is committed to a number of key priorities that are essential to the success of its mining operations. These include the safety of all employees, the preservation of the environment and the development of strong and enduring relationships with local communities.
Argyle contributes significantly to Western Australia's economy through the creation of hundreds of jobs and the generation of millions of dollars in exports. Regionally Argyle is a significant contributor to the East Kimberley in employment, infrastructure, tourism and flow-on business. Since the mine commenced, royalties paid to the state government have exceeded A$1 billion. Argyle also contributes a significant amount to the Commonwealth government by way of income tax. In addition Argyle contributes funds to charities, educational, cultural and community based programmes and special projects.
A message of welcome from Kim Truter, Managing Director of the Argyle Diamond Mine.