21 Aug 2019
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An Outback Diamond Empire
Australia
By: Diamond World News Service
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Aug 10 2019 1:35PM
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Reference: 22416  

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This rugged country not only has a rich history of gold production but is also one the most urbanized continents in the world that gives impetus to the entire diamond industry across the globe. Pink, purple, yellow, red, champagne, cognac or blue, Australia produces a range of unicorn coloured diamonds that are truly magical

The World’s smallest continent and sixth largest country, Australia is well known for its superlative performances when it comes to sports, deeply entrenched cultural idiosyncrasies and highly urbanized cities. But people often forget that the country was witness to one of the most dazzling gold rushes back in the day that led to its financial boom back in 1851.

Golden age
The initial gold rushes were shrouded in secrecy as the country was colonized by the British Empire who suppressed the news of gold findings as they believed it would reduce the workforce and destabilize the economy. However, as the rumours started gaining traction, the government reconsidered its decision and allowed the exploitation of the precious metal and also offered rewards to those who were able to find payable gold. It was this relaxation of policies that converted these convict colonies into urban, progressive cities fit for trade and commerce.

The present day gold industry remains an important component of Australia’s export earnings. With 130 gold mines located within the borders of the country, the gold industry continues to shine and provide employment to thousands of Australian miners. According to the Gold Industry Group, Gold accounts for 45 per cent of Australia’s metals and minerals exploration spend. In the year 2017/18 gold miners spent $80 million on gold exploration and produced more than 288 tonnes of gold accounting for 9 per cent of global gold production.

In the pink of health
In 1979, miners hit the jackpot when they discovered the Argyle Mine in the remote areas of Kimberley region of eastern Australia. What sets the Argyle mine apart from another diamond mine in the world is its penchant for producing stunning, rare and high quality pink diamonds. It is said that this Rio Tinto owned mine is the worlds most prolific mine in the world by volume and is responsible for yielding 90 per cent of all red and pink stones in the world.

The mine earlier produced large quantities of brown diamonds as well, but they were considered scarp and yielded very low prices. However, the Argyle mine was able to create a spin on this and renamed them as ‘champagne’ and ‘cognac’ thus making them one of the most sought after fancy diamonds in the world.
Bright, canary yellow diamonds find their home at west Australia’s Ellendale diamond mine. Ellendale was mined between 2002 and 2015, and is still considered to contain marketable diamonds. The mine has been known to produce gem and industrial quality diamonds and previously provided about half of the world’s highly valued fancy yellow diamonds. The Ellendale Diamond contributes around half of the world’s supply of fancy yellow diamonds. According to Kimberley’s website, Ellendale is one of only three hard-rock diamond mine locations in Australia. Diamonds were first discovered at Ellendale in an olivine lamproite pipe in November 1976.

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