Production at the Argyle diamond mine in
Australia is expected to fall almost 20% to 33 million carats this year,
according to the minority owner. The decline will be due mostly to temporary
construction work involved in expanding the AK1 open-pit mine, says Douglas
Bailey, chief executive of Ashton Mining Ltd., which owns 38% of Argyle.
(The majority owner is RTZ, also known as Rio Tinto Ltd.). The owners have
marketed Argyle diamonds on their own since breaking from the De Beers network
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