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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May 11, 2021

Gerald Group resolves iron ore dispute with Sierra Leone

Gerald Group
SL Mining
Iron ore
Marampa iron ore mine
2 min
Gerald Group, the US commodity broker, set to restart iron ore shipments from Marampa mine with subsidiary SL Mining

Gerald Group, the US commodity trader, will pay Sierra Leone $20mn and cede a 10% stake in an iron ore project as part of the resolution to a nearly two-year dispute that led to the shutdown of production, the two sides revealed.

SL Mining

Gerald's wholly-owned subsidiary SL Mining filed for arbitration in August 2019 over a royalty payment dispute and suspended the Marampa mine the following month. Sierra Leone's government responded by cancelling its mining licence. 

As part of the agreement signed on Friday, Sierra Leone will take a non-dilutable 10% stake in a new company that will replace SL Mining and resume operations at Marampa by June 1, Gerald said in a statement.

Iron Ore

Gerald will make two $10mn payments this year and will have the immediate right to ship its current stockpile of about 707,000 tonnes of iron ore, it said.

Both sides will withdraw their legal claims before the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), the statement added.

Gerald’s chairman and CEO Craig Dean commented: "I am delighted that we have been able to resolve our differences and have a fresh start and new beginning with the government of Sierra Leone."

SL Mining

 

Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's Mines Minister Timothy Kabba told a news conference on Tuesday that the agreement was a milestone for the country.

"Whatever the pain we may have borne or dreaded throughout these two years ... this outcome justifies our action," he said.

Gerald estimates that Marampa holds about 1 billion tonnes of iron ore with a potential lifespan of 30 years.

Gerald Group

Back in 2019, Dean spoke with Mining about the development of Marampa and commented: "SL Mining offers a substantial opportunity for Gerald Group as our Marampa mine in Sierra Leone is producing two million tonnes per annum of high grade iron ore in the first phase of development, with expansion possibilities of greater than six million tonnes per annum of high-grade iron ore during its operational life. If you analyse the iron ore market it has transformed, even from a couple of years ago when prices were very low. Now prices have stabilised we’re in a favourable position with our first shipments leaving for China.

"Our goal is to make ‘Marampa Blue’ an internationally recognised premium grade iron ore brand. We intend to expand the delivery of high-grade 65% iron ore concentrate to markets in Europe and Africa.”

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