Rio's 'special' diamonds up for tender

26th October 2020

PERTH ( – Diversified miner Rio Tinto has announced that a selection of rough diamonds from the company’s Canadian and Australian mines will be tendered to diamond specialists in October and November.

Headlining Rio’s forthcoming “specials” tender, which showcases rough diamonds greater than 10.8 ct, is Lot number 1, Diavik Helios, a 74.48 ct Fancy yellow diamond. The Diavik Helios takes its name from the pure yellow sunlight emitted by the mythical Greek God of the Sun.

Fancy yellow diamonds are rare finds from the Diavik diamond mine in Canada, which primarily produces high quality white diamonds.

“Since the Diavik mine began production in 2003 it has produced on average only five large yellow diamonds each year, in effect less than 0.001% of Diavik’s annual production,” said GM of sales snd marketing for the diamond division, Patrick Coppens.

“The Diavik Helios is an exceptional diamond in terms of its colour saturation and clarity and will be in strong demand from coloured diamond specialists around the world.”

The specials tender is also notable for including the last of the rough diamonds in this category from the Argyle mine in the East Kimberley region of Australia.

Rio noted that 28 399 ct of rough Argyle diamonds are included, showcasing the famed Argyle coloured diamonds, together with a beautiful 26 ct white gem quality rough Argyle diamond.

“Since it began production in 1983, the Argyle mine has produced more than 865-million carats of rough diamonds. With the mine closing at the end of 2020 the Argyle rough diamonds presented at this tender are a final rare and collectible offering from one of the world’s greatest diamond mines,” Andrew Wilson, GM of the Argyle mine said.

The tender will be physically showcased in both Antwerp and Tel Aviv, together with virtual and online viewings to cater for Covid-19 restrictions. Bids close on November 9.