Rio Tinto’s iconic Argyle diamond mine has produced one of the largest gem quality white diamonds in its 35-year history.

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Image courtesy of ©Rio Tinto

The 28.84 carat gem quality white diamond was recovered from the east Kimberley mine in March 2019.

Named Argyle Octavia™ in recognition of its beautiful octahedral shape, this rough diamond will be sold by tender in Antwerp later this year.

Arnaud Soirat, chief executive of Rio Tinto’s Copper and Diamonds portfolio said that company was delighted with this discovery.

“This is a testament to the extraordinary Argyle orebody that continues to deliver these miracles of nature, even as it nears the end of mine life,” said Mr Soirat.

Rio Tinto’s Argyle diamond mine, operating since 1983, is renowned as the world’s largest coloured diamond mine, with a much more sporadic production of large white diamonds. Since commencement of the mine in 1983, gem quality white diamonds greater than 20 carats have comprised around 0.00007 per cent of Argyle’s production.

Andrew Wilson, General manager of Argyle Diamonds said that the Argyle Octavia™ is unique in its size, shape and beautiful provenance and “will take its place in Argyle’s history as one of a few special large white diamonds ever to be produced from the mine.”

Rio Tinto is expected to close the Argyle mine operations in 2020.


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