Production at Rio Tinto’s Diavik mine in Canada slipped in the first quarter after the miner had trouble accessing ore from its open pit.
Output fell 4% year on year to 954,000 carats for the three months ending March 31, Rio Tinto said last week. Production was 28% lower than the previous quarter. During the period, the company faced temporary restrictions on retrieving material from the mine site, it explained.
The miner processed 427,000 tons of ore during the quarter, a 14% drop from the same period the year before and a 20% fall from the previous quarter.
During the first quarter, Rio Tinto revealed it would spend $40 million to initiate underground mining below its existing A21 open pit. That expansion is set to add an extra year and 1.4 million carats of rough to the mine’s life. Diavik is expected to end commercial production in the first quarter of 2026.
The company predicts total diamond recoveries for the full year will come to between 3 million and 3.8 million carats, after production for 2022 reached 4.7 million carats.
Image: The Diavik mine. (Rio Tinto)