Rio Tinto’s unique diamonds portfolio is key to market development in China

Newly-married couple in China.

Speaking on the eve of exclusive viewings of the prestigious Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender, Mr Davies said “the demand for diamond jewellery in China is expected to grow strongly into the next decade, underpinned by an increase in wealth and a growing middle class.

“Rio Tinto’s new Argyle underground mine will help meet China’s growing demand for diamonds and will ensure the future supply of a diamond production profile that is uniquely placed to develop new types of jewellery for the Chinese market.”

Whilst the Argyle mine’s small volumes of extremely rare pink diamonds are renowned as the most concentrated form of wealth on earth, Argyle also produces large volumes of affordable diamonds that are ideally suited to creating fashion accessories for the emerging middle class in China.

Traditionally, the Chinese jewellery market has been dominated by large white diamonds used on bridal occasions – a trend that has been imported from the west – but there has been a structural change in the China market.

Chinese consumers are increasingly seeking diamond jewellery as a daily fashion accessory. To tap into this new category of diamond purchasing, one of Rio Tinto’s key initiatives has been to partner with Chinese diamond jewellery manufacturer and retailer, Chow Tai Fook, to promote Argyle diamonds in the jewellery giant's stores.

argyle pink diamonds

Rough champagne diamonds. Argyle produces the majority of the world’s champagne and cognac diamonds: around US$150 million of rough champagne diamonds are produced annually.

Mr Davies said “The resulting Australian Colours collection has surpassed all expectations and is now available in more than 1,000 Chow Tai Fook stores throughout
greater China. It is a pleasure to be in Hong Kong to see first-hand the benefits of our market development activities.”

Mr Davies was also on hand to showcase the 64 diamonds catalogued for the 2013 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender, including the largest Fancy Red diamond from the Argyle mine. The Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender comprises the best of a year's production of pink diamonds from the Argyle mine in Western Australia.

argyle pink diamonds two

Argyle's rough product, with the exception of the pink diamonds, is shipped to Antwerp for sale through Rio Tinto Diamonds.

About Rio Tinto Diamonds

Rio Tinto operates a fully integrated diamonds business from exploration through to sales and marketing. It is one of the world's major diamond producers through its 100 per cent control of the Argyle mine in Australia, 60 per cent of the Diavik mine in Canada, 78 per cent interest in the Murowa mine in Zimbabwe and 100 per cent interest in the Bunder project in India.

Rio Tinto's share of the production from its three operating diamond mines is sold through its sales and marketing office in Antwerp, with representative offices in Mumbai, Hong Kong and New York. It also operates a niche cutting and polishing factory in Perth for the rare pink diamonds from its Argyle mine. Rio Tinto is a leading supporter of the Kimberley Process, as well as a founding member of Responsible Jewellery Council. Website: www.riotintodiamonds.com

About Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto is a leading international mining group headquartered in the UK, combining Rio Tinto plc, a London and New York Stock Exchange listed company, and Rio Tinto Limited, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange. Rio Tinto's business is finding, mining, and processing mineral resources. Major products
are aluminium, copper, diamonds, thermal and metallurgical coal, uranium, gold, industrial minerals (borates, titanium dioxide and salt) and iron ore. Activities span the world and are strongly represented in Australia and North America with significant businesses in Asia, Europe, Africa and South America. Website: www.riotinto.com