The Rio Tinto-owned Argyle diamond mine in Western Australia, that is slated for closure next year, racked up a pre-tax loss of $89.9 million (A$128.6 million) in 2018, despite revenue of $259 million (A$370.6 million) that was 26 percent higher than in 2017 and cash flow of $103.8 million (A$148.4 million), that was double what it reported the previous year, according to Australia’s Financial Review.
The loss is chalked up mainly to the $101.7 million (A$145.4 million) non-cash expense related to the closure of the mine.
The Argyle mine processed 10 per cent more ore than it did in 2017, but produced 18 per cent fewer diamonds. Higher sales volumes, impelled by a stronger US economy and higher prices for the mine’s iconic pink diamonds helped generate the higher revenue.
Argyle has started 2019 with 22 percent lower diamond production in the first three months of the year in a year on year comparison. Output was down 13 percent compared to the last three months of 2018.