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Rio Tinto completes fourth diamond pipe at Diavik Diamond Mine

The final diamond pipe has been completed and unveiled at one of the worlds most successful diamond mine operations.

Rio Tinto officially opened a fourth diamond pipe, known as A21, at the company’s Diavik Diamond Mine in the Northwest Territories, earlier this week.

The pipe, which will be an “important source of incremental supply” over the next four years, is part of a $350 million construction investment announced back in November 2014.

located adjacent to Diavik’s existing mining operations at Lac de Gras., the A21 kimberlite development required rockfill dike construction to encircle the ore body located just offshore of existing mining operations at Lac de Gras. Diavik utilized the same innovative design and engineering technologies used to construct the Diavik mine’s two other dikes that enabled mining of three existing pipes.

Rio Tinto Copper & Diamonds chief executive Arnaud Soirat said “This investment to sustain production levels at Diavik reflects the strong outlook we see for the diamond industry.

“It is a remarkable achievement to deliver this project safely and ahead of time in such a challenging environment, positioning Diavik to continue meeting the demand for its outstanding diamonds.”

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The Diavik Diamond Mine, located 300 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife, capital of Canada’s Northwest Territories, began production in 2003 and became a fully underground mining operation in 2012. The mine produces predominantly gem-quality diamonds destined for high end jewellery in all major consumer markets around the world.

Since 2003, the Diavik mine has produced over 100 million carats.