Rio Tinto unearths 177 carat diamond in the rough at Diavik mine

The newest 'stars' of the Arctic have been unveiled at the Diavik diamond mine in Canada’s Northwest Territories. Rio Tinto and JV partner Dominion Diamond Mines have revealed three of the finest large rough diamonds from their Canadian diamond mine.

Collectively known as The Diavik Stars of the Arctic, the three rough diamonds have a rare combination of size, quality and colour. The Diavik Stars of the Arctic will headline Rio Tinto’s forthcoming "Specials" tender, which showcases rough diamonds greater than 10.8 carats.

Taking inspiration from constellations across the night skies of the North, The Diavik Stars of the Arctic are: the Vega of the Arctic,  177.71 carats, one of the largest and most valuable gem quality rough diamonds ever produced in Canada;The Vega of the Arctic,  177.71 carats, [is] one of the largest and most valuable gem quality rough diamonds ever produced in Canada the Altair of the Arctic, 59.10 carats, a white gem quality rough diamond; and the Capella of the Arctic, 24.82 carats, a rare yellow diamond.

"Diavik diamonds are over two billion years old and it has taken 15 years of production to unearth these extraordinary diamonds, underscoring the ongoing importance of the Diavik orebody in the context of the global diamond industry," Diavik Diamond Mines president and COO Patrick Boitumelo said in a statement.

The Diavik Diamond Mine is 60% owned by Rio Tinto and 40% owned by joint venture partner Dominion Diamond Mines. Production began in 2003 and has been a fully underground mining operation since 2012.

The Diavik mine produces predominantly gem quality diamonds destined for high end jewellery in all major consumer markets around the world. The Diavik Stars of the Arctic will be showcased in Antwerp and Israel to large international diamond specialists before bids close on October 25.