Diamonds in Australia

Australia’s Argyle diamond mine finalized 37 years of production in 2020, decreasing national output of the gems by 90 percent and removing the world’s top source of pink stones.

With Argyle closed, miners are pinning their hopes on two past-producing mines: Ellendale and Merlin.

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Australia’s Argyle diamond mine finalized 37 years of production in 2020, decreasing national output of the gems by 90 percent and removing the world’s top source of pink stones. With Argyle closed, miners are pinning their hopes on two past-producing mines: Ellendale and Merlin. Both Australian operations are known for their unique stones, although so …

Argyle Diamond Mine Closure: What’s Next for the Sector in Australia?

Click here to read part one of this article, which covers the closure of the Argyle diamond mine.

When the mining equipment permanently shut down at Western Australia’s Argyle mine in November 2020, the country’s diamond sector entered a transitional period.

As the world’s fourth largest diamond-producing asset shuttered, domestic output of the gems instantly declined by as much as 90 percent.

The future of the Australian diamond-mining sector is now heavily reliant on exploration, with several companies vying to discover another formidable source of rare diamonds.

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The future of the Australian diamond sector is now heavily reliant on exploration, with firms vying to make another large discovery.

Argyle Diamond Mine Closure: The End of a Sparkling Era

Pink and red diamonds are among the most special gems in the world. The value of these highly sought-after natural stones speaks for itself, but their rarity has arguably increased since the closure of Rio Tinto’s (ASX:RIO,LSE:RIO,NYSE:RIO) Argyle mine.

The asset, which ceased mining activity on November 3, 2020, had been in operation since 1983. In that time, 865 million carats of rough diamonds were produced.

The unique geological chemistry of the Western Australia location birthed the rarest hues, including champagne, cognac, blue, violet and of course, the coveted Argyle pink and red diamonds. Millions of carats of white diamonds were produced at the prolific property as well.

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The unique geological chemistry of the Western Australia location birthed the rarest hues, including champagne, cognac, blue, violet and of course the coveted Argyle pink and red diamonds.

5 of Australia’s Rarest and Most Valuable Diamonds

There are three famed diamond mines in Australia: Argyle, Ellendale and Merlin.

Combined, the mines have supplied millions of carats worth of gems to the global market, and individually they have produced some of the rarest, most exquisite stones ever recovered.

In previous years, Australia has ranked fourth in global diamond production with annual output of roughly 14.2 million carats. However, the country is unlikely to take a top spot in 2021.

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Australia ranks fourth in diamond production with annual output of roughly 14.2 million carats. Learn about five of the country’s most unique gems.

ASX-Listed Diamond Stocks

ASX-listed diamond stocks have faced headwinds recently. In 2020, COVID-19 disruptions brought broad declines across the sector as many buyers chose not to make luxury purchases.

Although assets like gold, uranium and bitcoin rebounded fairly quickly, the diamond industry wasn’t able to pick back up until well into the second quarter of 2020.

Then, when coronavirus-related trends began to improve later in the year, Australia’s diamond industry was impacted by the closure of the renowned Argyle mine in Kimberley.

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COVID-19 disruptions brought broad declines across the diamond-mining sector in 2020, but some companies are still making headway. Learn about six of them here.

3 ASX Mining Stocks to Watch

In February, Western Australia took the top spot on the Fraser Institute's yearly survey of best jurisdictions for mining investment. South Australia took the number six spot.

The Canadian think tank uses several criteria to determine the most hospitable locales for mining investment. The annual list is often a precursor to increased mining activity in top-ranking regions.

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A recent release from Canaccord Genuity lists 14 Australian stock picks, three of which are mining companies well known in their respective sectors.

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