(ORDO NEWS) — Pink diamonds can be worth up to $ 3 million per carat at current prices. This is due to a future mine closure crisis.
The world’s largest pink diamond mine has closed after depleting precious gemstones, global mining giant Rio Tinto said Tuesday.
The Argyle mine in remote Kimberley in Western Australia produces over 90 percent of the world’s pink diamonds, which are in demand due to their incredible rarity.
The seam was discovered in 1979, and four years later, an Anglo-Australian firm began mining there. More than 865 million carats of rough diamonds have been produced since then, according to Rio Tinto, including a small but steady flow of valuable pink stones.
Argyll employees and indigenous landowners attended the mine closure ceremony to mark the completion of the work.
The company expects the decommissioning and dismantling of the 37-year-old facility to take about five years.
“A new chapter will now begin as we begin the process of gradually closing Argyll and restoring the land to return it to traditional custodians,” said mine manager Andrew Wilson.
Over the past two decades, the value of pink diamonds has risen 500 percent, Rio Tinto’s Sinead Kaufman told ABC.
The completion of operations at Argyle could lead to further increases in diamond prices, jewelers said. At current prices, gems can be worth up to $ 3 million per carat.
Diamonds are generally transparent, but jewelry such as those mined in Argyll turns pink due to the intense heat and pressure during their creation. These conditions deform their crystal lattices and alter the reflection of light passing through the body of the diamond.
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