By Robb M. Stewart
MELBOURNE--Rio Tinto PLC (RIO) Wednesday said it has appointed Kim Truter as managing director of the company's Argyle mine in Australia, the world's largest producer of colored diamonds and the only consistent producer of rare pink diamonds.
Mr. Truter has held a number of senior roles at the Anglo-Australian mining company, including most recently as president and chief operating officer of the Diavik diamond mine in Canada.
The appointment comes as Rio considers the possible sale of its diamonds operations, which also include the Murowa mine in Zimbabwe and advanced Bunder mining project in India. Rio produces roughly 20% of the world's rough diamonds by volume, according to the company's website.
"The Argyle diamond mine is an iconic Australian operation and it plays an important role in Rio Tinto's global diamonds business," Mr. Truter said in a statement.
The mine is located 2,500 kilometers from Perth in Western Australia state. Production began in 1985 and the company said it has since produced almost 800 million carats.
The Argyle operation is currently switching to an underground mining operation below the existing open pit, which Rio has said will extend its mine life to at least 2019.
Rio in March said it was reviewing its options for its diamonds business despite a positive outlook for diamonds, with demand growing and supply limited by a lack of new discoveries.
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