|Rio Tinto announced it had unearthed one of Canada’s largest-ever, gem-quality rough diamonds at its Diavik diamond mine in the Northwest Territories, a 187.7-carat stone called the Diavik Foxfire.|
The gem, was showcased at Kensington Palace in London, and was later assessed at Rio Tinto’s diamond sales and marketing hub in Antwerp. Rio Tinto, which expects the stone to produce at least a 50 carat polished diamond, did not estimate the gem’s value.
Discovered in August 2015, the diamond is the second or third largest rough diamond mined in Canada and the largest ever for a Rio Tinto diamond mine.
| The rough was first noticed in the processing plant, where it caught the attention of a very experienced operator who stopped the machines and pulled the rock out before it got crushed. The diamond is VVS clarity or better, with a tinge of yellow color.|
The stone was sold at private tender.
|Rio Tinto operates the mine and owns a 60 per cent share, with Dominion Diamond Corp holding the remainder. Late last year, Rio Tinto approved the $350 million expansion at Diavik, with production seen starting in late 2018.|
The mine produces six to seven million carats annually of mainly large, white gem quality diamonds. Production is expected to continue until 2023.