Rio Tinto has announced its Q4 and full-year figures for 2019 with production at both the Argyle and Diavik mines down 8 percent over 2018.
The miner said these results were due to lower recovered grade at Argyle, which was partially offset by stronger mining and processing rates. At Diavik, the drop was due to lower ore availability and grade from the underground operations. However, this was partly offset by higher tons and grade from the A21 open pit.
At the 100-percent owned Argyle mine in Australia, production was 5 percent higher than the same period of 2018. This resulted in a production level of 3.36 million carats for the three-month period ended December 31, 2019. However, these figures were down 5 percent over Q3 2019.
At the company's 60-percent Diavik mine in Canada, its share of diamonds recovered during the quarter was down 22 percent over 2018 to 840,000 carats.
Looking forward, Rio Tinto said its production forecast for 2020 is 12 million-14 million carats. This guidance reflects the expected closure of Argyle in the fourth quarter of 2020 and lower grades at Diavik.