Rio Tinto Diamonds honored one of India’s diamond industry veterans, Shanti Mehta of D. Navinchandra and Co., as a key participant in the 26 year history of the Argyle diamond mine.
At a private event in Mumbai recently, Mehta was presented with a commemorative copy of the new publication, Barramundi Dreaming: The Argyle Diamonds Story, which details the colorful behind-the-scenes stories of the development of the Argyle diamond mine.
“D. Navinchandra has played a pivotal role in the rich portrait of people and places that have shaped the history of the Argyle mine and contributed to its reputation as a bold and innovative company,” according to Jean-Marc Lieberherr, the general manager of sales and marketing for Rio Tinto Diamonds. “Not only were they one of our first customers, they were at the forefront of laser technology and played an important role in establishing the manufacturing capability for Argyle diamonds in India.”
Lieberherr also paid tribute to Mehta’s leadership and loyalty in 1996 when Argyle commenced independent marketing, and later in 2004 in his support for the Argyle underground mine development. The Argyle underground mine development is a challenge in size and complexity and will extend the life of Argyle until at least 2019. It is the biggest underground mining project in Australia and when completed will produce on average around 20 million carats of diamonds per year.
“As the Argyle underground mine moves into its final stages of construction, new chapters of the Argyle story are being written. These chapters will most certainly include India, where skilled workers are trained to unlock the beauty of Argyle diamonds, factories have flourished and a manufacturing and retail industry has made these beautiful gems affordable to those who once only dreamed of owning a diamond,” said Lieberherr.