Rio uncovers large diamond as prices set for decline

diavik-foxfire.rio tinto rough diamond image www.worldwidediamonds.info

Rio Tinto has unveiled a 187.7 carat rough diamond, as miners predict a decline in rough diamond prices ahead.

The diamond, one of the largest ever discovered in Canada, has been called the Diavik Foxfire, and was uncovered at the Diavik mine just 220 kilometres south of the Arctic Circle.

The unveiling of the rough diamond comes as prices for the stones decline.

Rio Tinto Diamonds managing director, Jean-Marc Lieberherr, explained the reduction in demand from China coupled with a lack of available credit in the industry has wreaked havoc on the sector.

“There is a need for the rough prices to adjust to the economic value of the polished price and that trend is in motion at the moment,” Lieberherr told Bloomberg.

Prices for rough diamonds have fallen by nearly a fifth this year, and expected to continue falling for a sixth quarter.

However there is an expectation that this current situation will reverse mid-next year, as traders and cutters begin releasing supply.

“The polished pipeline is a little bit overloaded and it will probably take until about the middle of next year to come back to normal levels,” Lieberherr stated.

“The last 12 to 18 months have been tough for the industry.”

The larger producers, De Beers and Rio Tinto, have all lowered production in an effort to support prices, while Australian diamond magnates are facing financial difficulties in the low market.

Late last month the second largest single diamond ever – a 1111 carat stone – was uncovered.

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Henry Sapiecha

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