Revenue and profit from Rio Tinto’s diamond division dropped in the first half of the year after it completed mining at several portions of its Diavik deposit in Canada, leading to lower availability of goods.
The unit reported underlying earnings of $44 million for the six months ending June 30, the miner said Wednesday. That’s a 52% decrease from the $91 million recorded a year earlier, when strong demand saw manufacturers replenish inventory.
Revenue plunged 46% to $250 million during the period as the miner had a lower volume of rough for sale compared to the year before. An underground kimberlite pipe as well as a section of the open pit reached end of life during the period, Rio Tinto explained. The miner also deferred some supply to sell during the second half.
Production slipped 10% to 1.9 million carats at Diavik. Rio Tinto expects to produce 3 million to 3.8 million carats in 2023. That compares with 4.7 million carats in 2022. The mine, which is the company’s only diamond asset, is due to be depleted in 2026.
Image: Rough diamonds. (Rio Tinto)