Rio Tinto Diamonds launches Diavik auction platform, changes CFO

Rio Tinto Diamonds (LON:RIO) launched Thursday a sales platform to auction a portion of its Diavik diamond production outside of its usual supply agreements with diamantaires.

The online trading place is aimed at increasing efficiency for diamantaires’ rough sourcing activities. I t uses a proprietary auction mechanism, where specific product segments are offered for sale to a wider community of invited companies.

"The new auction platform complements our existing business model of placing a majority of our production through supply agreements, with a more limited proportion of production made available for sale to a wider selection of customers," Patrick Coppens, general manager of sales for Rio Tinto Diamonds, said in a statement.

Coppens added the platform was designed based on extensive customer feedback, indicating that customers would value a user-friendly and time-efficient system. The auction platform was built using technology that enables customers to manage the bidding process, product portfolio and budget allocation in real time, as well as receive instant feedback on their bids.

The company also announced the appointment of Paul Dean as the new Chief Financial Officer.

Dean, a graduate from Oxford University, has held a number of senior roles in publicly listed companies, most recently as Group Finance Director of Ultra Electronics Holdings plc., a FTSE 250 global electronics business.