Diamond production of Australia-based miner Rio Tinto at its Argyle Diamond Mine reached 6.880 million carats in the first half of the year, up 4 percent from the same period a year ago, the company announced.
The company attributed the increase to the continued ramp-up of underground production, resulting in higher ore volumes processed, which was partially offset by lower-grade stones.
Lower carats recovered at the Diavik Diamond Mine in Canada during the period in review, meanwhile, reflected lower grades, partially offset by higher ore availability, Rio Tinto said. Rough output at Diavik was 5 percent lower at 2.078 million carats as opposed to 2015 figures.
“Second-quarter carat production at Diavik was 16 percent lower than the first quarter largely due to lower recovered grades and slightly lower ore availability due to a planned maintenance shutdown in the plant during the second quarter,” the company said.
Rio Tinto said its diamond production guidance for 2016 is now at a range of 18 million to 21 million carats from 21 million carats previously.