Rio Tinto and Dominion Diamond Mines have revealed three large rough diamonds from their Canadian diamond mine that will be tendered to diamond specialists from around the world. Collectively known as the Diavik Stars of the Arctic, the three rough diamonds showcase a rare combination of size, quality and colour from the Diavik diamond mine in the remote Northwest Territories of Canada, 220 kilometres south of the Arctic Circle.
The Diavik Stars of the Arctic will headline Rio Tinto’s forthcoming ‘Specials’ tender, which showcases rough diamonds greater than 10.8 carats. Taking their inspiration from constellations across the night skies of the North, The Diavik Stars of the Arctic comprise:
- Vega of the Arctic, 177.71 carats; one of the largest and most valuable gem quality rough diamonds ever produced in Canada.
- Altair of the Arctic, 59.10 carats; a white gem quality rough diamond.
- Capella of the Arctic, 24.82 carats; a yellow diamond.
The Diavik diamond mine owned by Rio Tinto (60 per cent) and joint venture partner Dominion Diamond Mines (40 per cent) began production in 2003 and has been a fully underground mining operation since 2012. It recently opened its fourth pipe, the A21, which management says will provide an important source of incremental production.
The Diavik mine produces predominantly gem quality diamonds. The discovery of the Capella of the Arctic, a large yellow diamond, is very rare, with the mine on average producing only five of these diamonds each year, in effect less than 0.001 per cent of annual production.
The Diavik Stars of the Arctic will be showcased in Antwerp and Israel to large diamond specialists from around the world before bids close on October 25.