LONDON, UK, Dec. 2, 2015 /CNW/ - Rio Tinto has unveiled one of the largest diamonds ever discovered in Canada.
The 187.7 carat gem-quality rough diamond, known as The Diavik Foxfire, was discovered at the Diavik Diamond Mine in the remote Northwest Territories of Canada, 220km south of the Arctic Circle.
The Diavik Foxfire diamond was showcased during an exclusive preview at Kensington Palace in London.
Rio Tinto Diamonds managing director Jean-Marc Lieberherr said "We are delighted to showcase this exceptional, two billion-year-old Canadian diamond. Its ancient beginnings, together with the fortitude, finesse and innovative technology required to unearth a diamond in the challenging sub-arctic environment, make it a true miracle of nature."
The Diavik Foxfire has also been bestowed an indigenous name, Noi?eh Kwe which references the strong ties to the land and its legacy. Grand Chief Edward Erasmus from the Tlicho government said "I am very pleased that this has been named to honour the area of the caribou crossing, as this has been important to the Tlicho since time immemorial."
Local communities have been widely consulted about the operation and impact of the Diavik mine, with this engagement leading to considerable employment, training and capacity building opportunities.
Diavik Diamond Mines president and chief operating officer Marc Cameron said "In a landscape so pristine and precious to traditional lifestyles, we have seen and continue to see an inspired collaboration between local indigenous people and a modern mining company."
The Diavik Foxfire will be showcased in London before returning to Antwerp for careful assessment and planning for the next stage of its journey. It is likely that the 187.7 carat rough diamond will yield at least one very large polished diamond with, its ultimate destiny in an exclusive heirloom piece of jewellery.
Note to editors
Rio Tinto owns a 60 per cent interest in, and operates, the Diavik Diamond Mine in Canada's remote Northwest Territories.
Diavik commenced production in 2003 and has an annual production of some 6-7 million carats of predominantly large, white gem-quality diamonds.
Diavik is a significant contributor to Canada's northern economy, since 2000, Diavik has spent C$4.8 billion with local businesses and C$2.5 billion of this with northern Aboriginal businesses and their joint ventures.
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SOURCE RIO TINTO PLC
Image with caption: "The 187.7 carat gem-quality rough diamond, known as The Diavik Foxfire, was discovered at the Diavik Diamond Mine in the remote Northwest Territories of Canada. (CNW Group/RIO TINTO PLC)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20151202_C2256_PHOTO_EN_557106.jpg
For further information: Communications Manager, Rio Tinto Diamonds : Robyn Ellison, M +61 417 968 359, E [email protected]; Communications Advisor, Diavik Diamond Mines : Doug Ashbury, T +1 867 669 6500 x 6525, M +1 867 445 4578, E [email protected] ; Media Relations, EMEA/Americas : Illtud Harri, T +44 20 7781 1152, M +44 7920 503 600; David Outhwaite, T +44 20 7781 1623, M +44 7787 597 493; David Luff, T +44 20 7781 1177, M +44 7780 226 422; Media Relations, Australia/Asia: Ben Mitchell, T +61 3 9283 3620, M +61 419 850 212; Bruce Tobin, T +61 3 9283 3612, M +61 419 103 454; Matthew Klar, T +61 7 3625 4244, M +61 457 525 578, Rio Tinto plc: 6 St James's Square, London SW1Y 4AD, United Kingdom, T +44 20 7781 2000, Registered in England , No. 719885; Rio Tinto Limited : 120 Collins Street, Melbourne 3000, Australia, T +61 3 9283 3333, Registered in Australia, ABN 96 004 458 404