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December 2005

Rio Tinto, owner of Argyle, announced an additional $900 million will be spent on underground mining at Argyle, with an extra $150 million spent on open pit mining in 2008 in preparation for the underground mining.

This will extend the mine’s life to 2018. Production

is expected to reach approximately 60 percent of Argyle’s historical annual average of 34 million carats.

Rio Tinto Chief Executive Leigh Clifford said: “The Argyle brand and its signature stone – the pink diamond- will continue to play an important role in the global diamond market.”

Keith Johnson, chief executive of Rio Tinto Diamonds, added: “This is a particularly good decision for the East Kimberley area, the Indian cutting and polishing industry and the affordable fashion jewelry industry, each with a degree of dependence on the Argyle business.” 

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