Latest News

Strong Rough Prices Buoy Rio Tinto Revenue

February 22, 2023  |  Leah Meirovich
Rio Tinto Diavik mine

Rio Tinto’s rough sales jumped 63% to $816 million in 2022 as prices rose amid reduced supply and strong diamond-jewelry sales.

“In 2022 we saw higher diamond prices compared with 2021, following a pandemic-related buildup of demand and low inventory levels,” the miner said Wednesday.

Underlying earnings for the division climbed 53% to $151 million for the year, as Rio Tinto sold a larger proportion of stones from its Diavik mine in Canada after taking full ownership in November 2021.

Diamond production for the full year grew 21% to 4.7 million carats. The company increased its share of production when it acquired joint-venture partner Dominion Diamond Mines’ 40% stake in Diavik. Until the end of last year, the miner received only a 60% portion. The extra supply of rough offset a drop in the grade of ore the company mined at the site, management noted. Still, output for the year missed the company’s original forecast of 5 million to 6 million carats.

Diavik is Rio Tinto’s sole diamond mine following the closure of Australia’s Argyle mine in November 2020. Last year, the company put its Star-Orion South exploration project on hold while it weighed a possible exit from the joint venture with Star Diamond. It has yet to announce a decision on that matter.

Rio Tinto plans to produce between 3 million and 3.8 million carats of rough from Diavik in 2023. The decrease compared with 2022’s total reflects the winding down of the deposit, which is set to reach its end of life in 2025.

Image: An aerial view of the Diavik mine. (Rio Tinto)


Rio Tinto Diavik mine Strong Rough Prices Buoy Rio Tinto Revenue

Share with others