May 17, 2020

Diamonds are forever: Largest rare diamond from Rio Tinto mine revealed

Rio Tinto
Argyle mine
The Violet Argyle
Argyle Pink Diamo
Dale Benton
1 min
The 'impossibly rare' Argyle Violet looks set to cost A$4 million. Photo: Rio Tinto
The Argyle Violet, the “impossibly rare” diamond, first discovered in Western Australia in 2015, is set to be sold for more than A$4 million...

The Argyle Violet, the “impossibly rare” diamond, first discovered in Western Australia in 2015, is set to be sold for more than A$4 million.

Found in the Australian Rio Tinto Argyle mine, the largest violet diamond to come from the mine was polished from a 9.17 carat rough diamond into a 2.83 carat oval shape and will be the centrepiece of the 2016 Argyle Pink Diamonds tender.

Violet diamonds are extremely rare, with only 12 carats of polished violet diamonds being produced in Argyle’s 32 years.

Rio Tinto Diamonds general manager of sales, Patrick Coppens said “Impossibly rare and limited by nature, The Argyle Violet will be highly sought after for its beauty, size and provenance.”

Rio Tinto owns and operates the Argyle diamond mine in the remote East Kimberley region of Western Australia. Operating since 1983, the mine has produced over 800 million carats of rough diamonds. It is one of the world's largest supplier of diamonds and the world's largest supplier of natural coloured diamonds.

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Jun 29, 2021

Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations

battery metals
2 min
Vale’s $150mn investment in operations at Thompson, Manitoba will extend mine life by 10 years

Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.

Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel

The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.

“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.

“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”

Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba

Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.

“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.

“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”

The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history.  Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.

“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.

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