Rio Tinto is releasing a sustainable jewellery range
Rio Tinto launches sustainable jewellery range
Despite predictions it will exit the diamond business, mining giant Rio
Tinto has continued its diamond jewellery marketing efforts by launching
a sustainable jewellery collection titled ‘Nature’s Beauty’.
The collection is made up of earrings, rings, necklaces and cufflinks, and features gold from Rio Tinto’s Kennecott Utah Copper mine in the US and white and champagne diamonds from its Australian Argyle Diamond Mine.
‘Nature’s Beauty’ was previewed at the JCK Luxury show in Las Vegas and will be trialed as a pilot project in the US.
A statement from Rio Tinto said that results from focus group research indicated that consumers valued sustainability in considering jewellery purchases.
“Today’s consumer is looking for assurance that the jewellery they buy has been produced to the highest ethical, social and environmental standards,” said Jean-Marc Lieberherr, chief commercial officer Rio Tinto Diamonds.
As well as previewing the new sustainable jewellery range, Rio Tinto used the JCK Luxury Show to launch its ‘Diamonds with a story’ marketing campaign.
The flurry of marketing activity comes at an interesting time for the company. In March, Rio Tinto announced it was contemplating the future ownership structure of its diamond holdings, setting off rumours that it was intending to exit the diamond business.
JCK senior editor Rob Bates recently wrote about Rio Tinto’s motivations in expanding its diamond jewellery promotion efforts while apparently intending to sell its diamond business.
“This seeming incongruity makes a little more sense if you think about ways a possible sale could possibly play out,” Bates wrote. “There is the hope that Rio’s interest in the impacted properties [Diavik in Canada, Murowa in Zimbabwe, Argyle in Australia, and Bunder, its proposed mine in India] will be sold as a unit. This makes sense, as diamond operations tend to require scale.
“This could be financed with a public offering, or some other financial instrument, and would make Rio Tinto Diamonds among the largest diamond-mining ‘pure players’,” Bates added. “And in fact, the industry’s future may be in ‘pure plays’; that is currently how most gold is mined.”
Rio Tinto to share the story of its diamonds
Posted July 31, 2012