Australian rare yellow diamond mine ceases operation

Sydney, July 2 (IANS) A girl’s best friend is likely to become more expensive as a Western Australia mine producing almost 50 percent of the world’s rare yellow diamonds has suspended operations.

The Ellendale Diamond mine owners Kimberley Diamonds notified the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) late on Wednesday its subsidiary company – Kimberly Diamond Company that held the mine’s operating licence – has been placed into voluntary external administration.

Shares last traded at 12 cents before being put into a trading halt, according to Xinhua news agency.

Australian media reported on that Thursday 93 jobs were at risk, with workers worried they would not be paid wages owed.

Kimberly Diamonds blamed a decline in the quality of the gems recovered and an unexpected slump in prices.

“In particular, prices achieved at the auction held last week in Antwerp were significantly lower than those forecast, resulting from a sharp, unexpected decline in the rough diamond market,” the ASX statement said.

The company said the voluntary administration does not apply to the company’s other subsidiaries and interests in Botswana and Spain.

Diamonds were first discovered at the Ellendale Diamond Field in Western Australia Kimberley region 38 years ago.

Rare yellow diamonds, formed due to nitrogen impurities, are used as gem-stones in jewellery.

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