Mumbai, August 13, 2009 - The regional diamond cutting centres of Surat and Bhavnagar were the focus of attention this week, as a senior delegation of Rio Tinto Diamonds executives visited both centres and met with key manufacturers involved in the processing of production from the Argyle Diamond Mine in Western Australia.
Mr Bruce Cox, Managing Director of Rio Tinto Diamonds, who led the delegation, commented, “I am delighted to be visiting the heartland of the Argyle manufacturing centres here in the state of Gujarat. The value addition undertaken here is critical to the successful distribution of our diamonds through the pipeline “. Mr Cox also made it very clear that Rio Tinto Diamonds’ future is inextricably linked to the Indian manufacturing sector and, “We are committed to working together on regional initiatives that will ensure profitable growth for our customers and our customers’ customers.”
The Rio Tinto Diamonds delegation attended the opening of a new trading office in Bhavnagar for long standing customer, Dianco, from the D. Navinchandra group. Dianco has built on its 15 years experience in the distribution and manufacture of Argyle product by opening its Bhavnagar office to directly assist the many small manufacturers that have historically processed much of the Argyle production.
Mr Manoj Mehta, one of the principal partners of Dianco, commented on the opening of their new trading office, “following the success of our Surat office, we are very pleased to now be operating directly from Bhavnagar. This positions us even closer to our customers and the direct distribution channels into the cutting centres of India.”
As part of their visit, Rio Tinto Diamonds executives also met in the Surat trading office of long standing customer, Diambel NV, where they discussed the future of the Argyle mine, its current transition to underground mining and the resulting extended mine life through to at least 2018. Several manufacturers who work with Diambel NV were present and Paresh Sanghvi, who heads up Diambel NV’s rough diamond sales function, was delighted to host the delegation.
“As a specialist distributor and manufacturer of Argyle diamonds, this has been an important meeting of minds and has allowed us to discuss future opportunities, face to face with Rio Tinto Diamonds. It is very important that we work together to ensure the future for the Indian cutting and polishing industry”, said Mr Sanghvi.