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Argyle Diamonds

Alongside the East Kimberley's wealth of natural wonders is Rio Tinto's Argyle diamond mine. Argyle Diamonds played a major role in the Kununurra community, with support and sponsorship of various East Kimberley events. 

At various times, Argyle employed up to 750 employees with the majority working at the mine site. Argyle commenced mining its main ore body in 1985, and has since produced more than 800 million carats of diamonds. The majority of which are destined for the jewelry industry.

Argyle is the world's leading source of the highly prized, rare pink diamond which has become Argyle's signature stone. Sought-after by collectors, investors and connoisseurs the world-over, the finest pink stones are retained by the company in Perth, where they are cut and polished in Argyle's own facility and sold by international tender. These exquisite signature stones vary in colour from pale pink to intense purple reds and command prices up to twenty times that of a white diamond.

Argyle is also the world's largest producer of natural champagne and cognac diamonds. The US, the world's largest diamond jewelry market, has demonstrated a large appetite for Argyle's champagne diamonds.

Argyle Diamond Mine and Aboriginal Land Owners

One of Argyle Diamond's most important relationships is with the Traditional Owners of the mining lease. The signing, in 2005, of an Indigenous Land Use Agreement and Participation Agreement between Argyle and Traditional Owners of the mining lease area formally established a relationship between the two parties, helping to deliver long-term economic benefits to Aboriginal communities in the East Kimberley, while protecting Aboriginal cultural and environmental interests throughout the life of the mine.

This includes supporting community development initiatives that will improve social and economic prospects for Aboriginal communities, and forging partnerships with local Aboriginal people to manage the environmental and cultural impact of mining activities. The Argyle lease occupies the traditional lands of the Gidja and Mirriuwung people.

Argyle believes it has the capacity - and the responsibility - to make a positive and long-term difference to its stakeholders. This approach is lead by Argyle's Chief Operating Officer, Kevin McLeish, who strongly believes that organisations such as Argyle must show respect and concern for the environments in which they operate, and for the people that their business activities impact upon.

Because Argyle operates in a region of significant economic and social disadvantage, one of the organisation's key priorities is to help build a stronger and more robust East Kimberley economy, that is not dependent upon the mine's operations. To this end, it is initiating training, employment and business development programs, especially for Indigenous people, which will improve the region's skills base and increase the number and profile of self-sustaining businesses. It is also building partnerships with local organisations, communities and businesses to develop health and education programs that will improve social outcomes in areas of greatest need.

Finally, it is supporting Traditional Owners to become the drivers of economic and community development, so that growth and improvement will continue for Aboriginal communities long after Argyle has 'closed up shop'.

Argyle Diamond Mine is now closed and a full repatriation of the site is underway with the Traditional Owners guiding the way. 

If you want to try (and perhaps buy) some sparkling Argyle Diamonds head to Nina's and Kimberley Fine Diamonds.

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