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World’s biggest diamond mine Argyle closing

World’s biggest diamond mine Argyle closing

Tag:GS1 || Geography || World economic geography || Mineral resources

Why in news ?

  • The world’s biggest diamond mine is being shut by Rio Tinto Group after almost 4 decades. (1983)

Details :

  • Name of the mine– Argyle mine.
  • Location- North-West Australia.
  • Owner- Rio Tinto Group.
  • It is the largest diamond producing mine in the world by volume, averaging annual production of 8 million carats.
  • Since operations began in 1983, Argyle’s open pit mine has produced over 75,00,00,000 carats.
  • Only 5% of mined diamonds here are of gem quality.
  • It is the only known significant source of pink diamonds, producing over 90% of the world’s supply.

What’s so unique about pink Diamonds ?

  • They are the rarest diamonds in the world.
  • One in a million diamonds discovered worldwide might be pink.
  • A pink diamond is worth between 15 and 50 times as much as an equivalent white.

Why the mine is closing?

  • The Argyle mine will exhaust its supply of economically viable stones by 2020.
  • Hence it is scheduled to close by the end of next year.

About Kimberley Process Certification Scheme :

  • It is the process established in 2003 to prevent “conflict diamonds” from entering the mainstream.
  • Conflict Diamonds or Blood Diamonds are diamonds mined in a war zone and sold to finance an insurgency or war.
  • The process was set up to ensure that diamond purchases were not financing violence.