Rio Tinto Confirms Commitment to Chinese Diamond Industry

Rio Tinto confirmed its commitment to the Chinese diamond
industry in a speech given by Jean-Marc Lieberherr, general manager for the
sales and marketing of all diamonds from Rio Tinto’s mines, at the 2010 China
Diamond Conference in Shanghai on Dec. 1.

According to a press release, Lieberherr’s speech
highlighted the fact that China has entered a fast growth stage that will
change the face of the diamond jewelry market.

“The emerging middle class demographic in China is an ideal
entry point for affordable diamond jewelry,” said Lieverherr. “Increasingly,
Chinese consumers will be seeking to differentiate themselves through fashion
and fashion jewelry and this will be the driver of future growth in retail
diamond jewelry demand.”

Rio Tinto recently launched its strategic partnership with
leading Chinese retailer, Chow Tai Fook, to develop a fashion jewelry category,
separate to the existing bridal market in China.