Rio to keep diamonds business

After pushing for the potential divestment of its global diamond assets, Rio Tinto has now opted to retain its assets.

The miner initially announced it was looking to get out of the sector late last year as part of a wider 'strategic review' of its business.

A potential buyer for its Daivik diamond mine in Canada was slated in April, however the deal soon fizzled out.

BHP was also exiting from its diamond assets at the same time, selling off its controlling stake in the EKATI mine to Harry Winston, in an effort to bring greater focus to its iron ore, petroleum, and coal operations.

Explained Rio's position change, its diamonds and minerals chief Alan Davies stated that “the medium to long-term market fundamentals for diamonds remain robust, fuelled by growing demand for luxury goods in Asia and continuing strong demand in North America. 

“We have valuable, high-quality diamonds businesses that are well positioned to capitalise on the positive market outlook.

“After considering a number of alternative strategic ownership options it is clear the best path to generate maximum value for our shareholders is to retain these businesses.”

The Argyle mine is Rio's only Australian diamond operations.

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