Rio Tinto released its production update for the quarter ended March 31, 2017 (Q1 2017), reporting an 8% year-on-year drop in overall carat production to 4.152 million carats as compared to the 4.522 mn carats produced in the same quarter in 2016.
The Company said that this included 3.016 mn cts produced at its 100% owned Argyle mine in Australia, which was 11% below the comparative figure for the same quarter a year ago. The fall was attributed to due to lower ore volumes processed as well as lower recovered grades.
At the Diavik mine in Canada, the Company’s share (60%) amounted to 1.136 mn carats, almost the same as the 1.131 mn carats which was its share of total carats recovered in the same quarter a year earlier. Rio Tinto said that the lower ore throughput at the mine was offset by higher recovered grades. It also reported that the development of the A21 pipe remains on schedule.
Rio Tinto said that diamond production guidance for 2017 remains unchanged at 19 to 24 million carats.