Western Australia’s Argyle mine closed today (10 October) after more than 30 years of being in operation.
The mine, owned by Rio Tinto, was known to have been the source of the world’s most prized pink diamonds, which have gone on to be sold to Ernest Jones and H Samuel in the UK.
UK jeweller Le Vian has incorporated diamonds from the Argyle mine into its Chocolate Diamonds branded jewellery, which has over 40% brand recognition among American adults.
Eddie LeVian, CEO of Le Vian, said: “We are now seeing increased requests for Chocolate Diamonds over one carat in size and we are finding Chocolate Diamonds of over 5 carats are exceedingly rare to find and we expect this trend may continue.
“The historic closure of the Argyle mine marks the end of an important and inspiring chapter for diamond mining.”
He added: “When it opened in 1983, few guessed it would become the world’s largest diamond mine by volume, producing over 825 million carats in its lifetime and over 90% of the world’s rare pink and red diamonds – with Argyle’s most sought after pinks often fetching prices of well over $1m per carat.
“In an industry which prizes the rarity of nature’s treasures, insiders will now be watching closely how Argyle pink diamond prices perform.”
In a statement, Rio Tinto said: “After more than 30 years of operation, our iconic Argyle diamond mine will close.
“We are working closely with our employees during the transition to closure, to help them secure new opportunities inside or outside of Rio Tinto following the mine’s closure.”