Rio Tinto, announcing its financial results for the year 2019, revealed that sharp declines in both revenue and earnings from its diamond business resulted in the segment reporting a net loss of US$ 21 million for the year, a steep drop when compared to the profit of US$ 118 million it reported a year earlier.
The company said that revenue for the year from its diamond business stood at US$ 619 million (2018: US$ 695 mn) while EBITDA dropped to US$ 151 mn (2018: US$ 301 mn).
Overall production was down by 8% to 17.03 million carats from 18.43 Mct in 2018.
Rio Tinto said that both Argyle (100% owned) and Diavik (60%) contributed to the production decline. At Argyle, carat production was down by 8% due to a lower recovered grade – this was partially offset by record underground mining and processing rates. At Diavik, carats recovered were down by 8% due to lower ore availability and grade from the underground operations – this was partly offset by higher tonnes and grade from the A21 open pit.
The miner said that guidance for 2020 remained unchanged from the earlier announced 12 to 14 Mct, but added that it was subject to the ongoing evaluation of the impact of the Covid-19 virus, which could create significant uncertainty for all its businesses in the near term.
Rio Tinto said that the diamond guidance reflects the expected closure of Argyle in the fourth quarter of 2020 and lower grades at Diavik.
News Source : gjepc