Rio Tinto’s iconic Argyle diamond mine has produced one of the largest gem-quality white diamonds in its 35-year history – a 28.84-carat stone recovered from the east Kimberley mine in March.
Named Argyle Octavia™ in recognition of its 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, remarked, “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 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 percent of Argyle’s production.
Andrew Wilson, general manager of Argyle Diamonds, commented, “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.”