Rio Tinto announced that its Argyle diamond mine has produced one of the largest gem quality white diamonds in its 35-year history. The 28.84 carat gem quality white diamond was recovered from the east Kimberley mine in March this year.
Named the Argyle Octavia in recognition of its beautiful octahedral shape, this rough diamond will be sold by tender in Antwerp later this year.
Rio Tinto Copper and Diamonds Group Chief Executive Arnaud Soirat said, “We are delighted with this discovery which 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.”
Rio Tinto’s Argyle diamond mine, operating since 1983, is known 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 a minuscule (around 0.00007 percent) portion of Argyle’s production.
Argyle Diamonds General Manager Andrew Wilson said, “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.”