YELLOWKNIFE, NT, July 25 /CNW/ - Diavik Diamond Mines Inc. (DDMI), the
operator of the Diavik Diamond Mine is pleased to report on work during the
second quarter of 2008.
Ore production accelerated in the second quarter in line with plan due to
improved operating conditions. Ore was mined predominantly from the A154 South
kimberlite pipe, with smaller tonnages mined from the A154 North and A418
pipes. The A418 ore was mined as part of ongoing pre-stripping of waste
overburden to prepare the second open pit. This initial ore is low grade
weathered kimberlite capping the pipe and diluted with overlying glacial till.
Full scale open pit production from A418 is scheduled to begin in earnest late
this year. Natural grade variation in the A154 pipes combined with the low
grade nature of the A418 production of ore mixed with waste overburden
material resulted in 2.522 million carats of diamonds being recovered during
the quarter, 23 per cent below the same quarter of 2007. Diamond production is
now forecast to be from 10 to 10.5 million carats in 2008.
Safety performance remains solid showing a significant year on year
improvement. Year to date there were 2 lost time injuries and 4 medical
treatment cases. Year to date the Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) is
0.18 and the All Incident Frequency Rate (AIFR) is 0.54. Diavik has set a
LTIFR target of 0.37 and an AIFR target of 0.89 for 2008 and is therefore on
track. In June, the Diavik Mine Rescue Team took honours in two events at the
annual Northern Mine Rescue Competition. Diavik was informed its safety
performance had garnered it the Canadian John T. Ryan Regional Safety Award
for Select Mines, the third time since Diavik began operations five years ago.
The Premier of the NWT presented the award to Diavik workforce
At mid-year there were 798 operations workers. Two thirds were northern
and of these, half were Aboriginal. In addition, Diavik has hired 22 northern
summer students and 11 University Co-op students. Diavik continued its
commitment to community partnerships during the quarter with the launch of
construction of the Territorial Dementia Centre in Yellowknife, and support of
the City of Yellowknife clean-up campaign.
Work continues at significant pace to prepare the mine site for
underground mining. Below surface, tunnelling work has now passed 8 kilometres
with tunnel advance rates accelerating during the quarter. Construction is
progressing as planned on the new crusher and paste backfill plant, on
expansions to the water treatment and power plants, and on foundations for
mine change rooms and additional permanent accommodation facilities.
Underground mining is projected to begin in 2009 and to replace open pit
mining by 2012. In other capital work, a $50 million project was approved to
make additions and modifications to the ore processing plant to recover very
small diamonds, reflecting good market demand for that product. The first
recovery of small diamonds is expected towards the end of 2009.
The Diavik Diamond Mine is located 300 kilometres northeast of
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories and is an unincorporated joint venture
between DDMI (60%) and Harry Winston Diamond Mines Ltd. (40%). Both companies
are headquartered in Yellowknife, Canada. DDMI is a wholly owned subsidiary of
Rio Tinto plc of London, England, and Harry Winston Diamond Mines Ltd. is
wholly owned by Harry Winston Diamond Corporation of Toronto, Canada. DDMI is
the operator of the project. For further information contact Tom Hoefer,
Principal Adviser, Communications & Government Relations at Tel: (867)
669-6500, or visit the DDMI website at www.diavik.ca.
About Rio Tinto
Rio Tinto is a leading international mining group headquartered in the
UK, combining Rio Tinto plc, a London and NYSE 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, energy (coal and
uranium), gold, industrial minerals (borax, titanium dioxide, salt, talc) and
iron ore. Activities span the world but are strongly represented in Australia
and North America with significant businesses in South America, Asia, Europe
and southern Africa.
This announcement includes "forward-looking statements" within the
meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section
21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. All statements other
than statements of historical facts included in this announcement, including,
without limitation, those regarding Rio Tinto's financial position, business
strategy, plans and objectives of management for future operations (including
development plans and objectives relating to Rio Tinto's products, production
forecasts and reserve and resource positions), are forward-looking statements.
Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties
and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or
achievements of Rio Tinto, or industry results, to be materially different
from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by
such forward-looking statements.
Such forward-looking statements are based on numerous assumptions
regarding Rio Tinto's present and future business strategies and the
environment in which Rio Tinto will operate in the future. Among the important
factors that could cause Rio Tinto's actual results, performance or
achievements to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements
include, among others, levels of actual production during any period, levels
of demand and market prices, the ability to produce and transport products
profitably, the impact of foreign currency exchange rates on market prices and
operating costs, operational problems, political uncertainty and economic
conditions in relevant areas of the world, the actions of competitors,
activities by governmental authorities such as changes in taxation or
regulation and such other risk factors identified in Rio Tinto's most recent
Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the United States Securities and
Exchange Commission (the "SEC") or Form 6-Ks furnished to the SEC.
Forward-looking statements should, therefore, be construed in light of such
risk factors and undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking
statements. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this
announcement. Rio Tinto expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking
(except as required by applicable law, the City Code on Takeovers and Mergers
(the "Takeover Code"), the UK Listing Rules, the Disclosure and Transparency
Rules of the Financial Services Authority and the Listing Rules of the
Australian Securities Exchange) to release publicly any updates or revisions
to any forward-looking statement contained herein to reflect any change in Rio
Tinto's expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions
or circumstances on which any such statement is based.
For further information:
For further information: Tom Hoefer, Principal Adviser, Communications &
Government Relations at Tel: (867) 669-6500, or visit the DDMI website at