About rough diamonds in Australia
A rough diamond is a diamond in its natural state that has not yet been cut. "Cutting" is the multi-step process performed on mined rough diamonds to convert them into gems.
In 2011, Australia's Economic Demonstrated Resources (EDR) of industrial diamonds was ranked second in the world. Australia is also the fifth largest diamond producer by weight.
The average value per carat for Australian diamonds is relatively low by world standards. Antwerp in Belgium is the world's primary diamond trading and distribution centre. India is the world's largest centre for the manufacturing (cutting and polishing) of diamonds.
Currently there are two diamond mines operating in Australia. These are the Argyle and Ellendale mines located in the Kimberley Region of Western Australia. There is also active diamond exploration within Australia, including at the Merlin mine in the Northern Territory.
There are two major diamond producing companies in Australia—Argyle Diamonds and Kimberley Diamond Company NL (Gem Diamonds Limited). The vast majority of Australia's rough diamond production (well over 90 per cent by volume) is generated by the Argyle mine, which is fully owned by Rio Tinto.
Australia is also one of 49 participants in the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS). The KPCS is a joint government, industry and civil society initiative to stem the flow of rough diamonds used by rebel movements by banning the trade of rough diamonds with non-participants.
For more information about diamonds in Australia, see the Geoscience Australia website.
For more information about minerals in Australia, see Australian Mineral Commodities or Related pages.