Australian Argyle Diamond Mine Closure: A Unique Online Event

| 3 min read

From Thursday, December 3rd, we’re bringing you a one-off, online-only Australian Argyle event to mark the closure of this unique Diamond mine. We have eight beautiful, exclusive, but very limited quantity designs to bring to you. Read on for the full story.

We may be familiar with the gemstone treasures they unearth, but very few of us are familiar with the names of the mines from which they originate. No so with Australia’s world-famous Argyle Diamond Mine, which ended 37 years of continuous Diamond mining on Tuesday, November 3rd 2020. As the mine closed forever, the New York Times has released an article titled 'Shopping for a Diamond Is About to Change', showing just how big a part Australian Argyle Diamonds and their impeccable standards have played in the industry in recent times.

The remarkable story began back in October 1979, with the discovery of a single Diamond-yielding Kimberlite pipe at the site. Geologists had been sceptical that any significant deposits of Diamond remained to be found in Australia. Yet, the mine went on to tell one of the most remarkable Diamond mining stories of all time in the following years, with mining proliferating as further deposits of the stone were found.

Mining in earnest began in 1983 with alluvial mining operations quickly being superseded by open-pit mining in 1985. In the last four decades, around 865 million carats of Diamonds have been mined at the site, with 42.8 million carats mined in 1994 alone, the peak year for the Australian Argyle operation.

Argyle Diamond Mine Australia

In 2013, in a concerted effort to keep the mine open for as long as possible, the Australian Argyle mine converted to an underground mine allowing the miners to go deeper still in their hunt for more jewels. But the economies of mining are delicately balanced, and - generally speaking - the deeper you go, the more expensive the operation is to run. As mining costs began to outweigh Diamond yield, the tough decision was made by owners Rio Tinto that the mine was to close.

In its time, the Australian mine produced over 90% of the world’s supply of natural Pink Diamonds - a phenomenal percentage of the total worldwide yield. Understandably, the very act of closing the mine has pushed up the prices of Pink Diamonds already, and it isn’t easy to know if another reliable supply of these remarkable Diamonds will ever be found.

The provenance and integrity of the mine has also added to its appeal. This integrity is set to continue as Rio Tinto now embark on a five-year plan to decommission and dismantle it, and to rehabilitate the land before passing it back to its indigenous custodians. This rehabilitation and a further period of monitoring the site will continue to contribute to the local economy for years to come.

But for the Diamonds, that is it. At Gemporia, we’ve been fortunate enough to bring you some of the finest Argyle Diamonds from Australia, particularly the world-class white and champagne varieties. As with the rest of the world, our supplies are now diminishing, and in no time at all, we’ll be saying goodbye to our final Australian Argyle pieces. To celebrate the stones found in this remarkable mine, we’re holding an extraordinary online-only event with a very limited number of our remaining designs, beginning on Thursday, December 3rd. Don’t miss one of your very last chances to own a piece of Diamond history with a provenance that is now gone forever.


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