Jul 19, 2017

Rio Tinto H1 Diamond Production Down 5%; Processing Volumes Dip at Argyle, Up at Diavik

Rio Tinto released its production update for the quarter ended June 30, 2017, reporting a 2% drop in diamond production compared to the same quarter a year earlier, and a 5% y-o-y drop for the first half of the year. The Company recovered 4.34 million carats in Q2 as against 4.44 mn carats in the same period a year earlier, for a total of 8.49 mn cts during the first half of 2017 as compared to 8.96 mn carats recovered in H1 2016.

The miner said that at Argyle, second quarter carat production was 3.22 million carats or 8% lower than the 3.49 mn cts produced in Q2 2016. It attributed the drop to lower ore volumes processed following wet weather and additional maintenance required in the quarter.

At Diavik, Rio Tinto’s 60% share of production stood at 1.12 mn cts in the second quarter of 2017, or 18% higher than the 0.95 mn cts produced in the corresponding period in 2016 due to both higher processed volumes and higher recovered grades. The Company added that development of the A21 pipe remains on schedule. Total production at Diavik was 1.87 mn cts during the quarter as against 1.58 mn cts in the corresponding period a year earlier.

Rio Tinto said that its diamond production guidance for 2017 remains unchanged at 19 to 24 million carats.