The Diavik Diamond Mine
(IDEX Online News) – Following in the footsteps of BHP Billiton, mining company Rio Tinto today (Tuesday) announced it has begun a strategic review of its diamond business. As part of the review, the company will be exploring options for potentially divesting from its diamond interests in Australia, Canada, Zimbabwe and India.
Harry Kenyon-Slaney, the chief executive of Rio Tinto’ Diamonds & Minerals sector said the company regularly reviews its businesses to ensure they “remain aligned with Rio Tinto’s strategy of operating large, long-life, expandable assets.”
He said that although the diamond market outlook was very positive with growing demand and a lack of new discoveries limiting supply, given its scale, Rio Tinto was “reviewing whether we can create more value through a different ownership structure.”
The company’s possible exit from the diamond industry is not an immediate proposition. “This process may take some time,” said. Kenyon-Slaney. “We’re committed to keeping stakeholders informed about any key developments, and in the meantime are reassuring employees and the governments in the states and countries where we operate that it is very much business as usual.”
Rio Tinto has a 100 percent interest in the Argyle mine in Australia, a 60 percent stake in the Diavik mine in Canada and a 78 percent interest in the Murowa mine in Zimbabwe. The company also has a 100 percent interest in Bunder, an advanced diamonds project in India.