The gem market “remains robust,” the company says
Despite its decision to walk away from the Bunder project in India, Rio Tinto Diamonds (RTD) says it’s committed to the diamond business.
“We firmly believe the fundamentals of the global diamonds market remain robust,” Simon Farry, vice president for sales and marketing for copper and diamonds said in a statement to JCK. “The decision to withdraw from Bunder was based on commercial considerations specific to the project as part of Rio Tinto’s ongoing efforts to conserve cash and reduce costs right across our business.”
Rio Tinto currently owns the Argyle mine in Australia and 60 percent of the Diavik mine in Canada. Following government pressure, it sold its interest in the Murowa mine in Zimbabwe last year.
Farry says those two properties will “continue to provide an important source of ongoing supply to the diamond industry. The development of our fourth pipe at Diavik is proceeding on schedule and will be an important source of incremental supply, ensuring the continuation of existing production levels…. Furthermore, Rio Tinto’s relationship with the Indian diamond industry continues to thrive, with the majority of our diamonds cut and polished in Gujarat state.”
He adds that RTD is also continuing its sales and marketing efforts, including its Australian and Canadian trackable diamond programs.