Mining giant Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) unveiled Wednesday its 187.7-carat Diavik Foxfire diamond, one of the largest precious stones ever unearthed in Canada, found at the remote at the company’s 60% owned Diavik Mine, in the Northwest Territories.
The two billion-year-old Diavik Foxfire diamond, showcased during an exclusive preview at Kensington Palace in London, has also been bestowed an indigenous name — Noi?eh Kwe — to honour the area of the Caribou crossing, the company said in a statement.
Rough-diamond prices have fallen about 18% this year and are heading for a sixth straight quarterly decline, the longest streak since at least 2004, according to data from U.K.-based WWW International Diamond Consultants.
Cooling demand for diamond jewellery in China, the largest buyer after the U.S., and a credit crunch in the industry has weakened demand for the gems.
The Diavik Foxfire will be showcased in London before returning to Antwerp for careful assessment and planning for the next stage of its journey.
The Diavik mine, located 220km south of the Arctic Circle, is a significant contributor to Canada’s northern economy. Since 2000, Diavik has spent Cdn$4.8 billion with local businesses and Cdn$2.5 billion of this with northern Aboriginal businesses and their joint ventures.
Dominion Diamond Corp owns the remaining stake in Diavik mine.