Rio Tinto has announced the appointment of Matthew Breen as the new chief operating officer of the Diavik Diamond Mine. Effective December 8, 2023, Breen will take the reins, succeeding Angela Bigg, marking the beginning of a new chapter in the mine’s evolution.
Matthew Breen, who previously held the position of general manager of operations at Diavik, brings over two decades of extensive operational leadership experience across various operations and geographic locations. His promotion underscores the company’s commitment to internal talent development and the continuity of the mine’s mission.
Angela Bigg, the outgoing chief operating officer, has served at Diavik for six years, during which she provided strong leadership and guidance during challenging periods. After her successful tenure, she is now set to embark on a leave of absence before returning to Rio Tinto in a different leadership capacity.
Diavik’s A21 pit. Photo: Rio Tinto
Sinead Kaufman, chief executive of Rio Tinto Minerals, expressed her excitement about Matthew Breen’s new role, “I am delighted that Matt will be leading the team at Diavik Diamond Mine as it continues to supply our customers with high quality, responsibly sourced Canadian diamonds while preparing to leave a positive legacy in partnership with our community and government partners,” she says.
Kaufman also took a moment to acknowledge Angela Bigg’s contributions, stating, “I would like to thank Angela for her six years at Diavik during which time she has shown strong leadership and care during challenging times.”
In response to his appointment, Matthew Breen conveyed his appreciation for the opportunity, “It is a privilege to be given the opportunity to lead Diavik Diamond Mine. The team of innovative and hard-working individuals at Diavik are inspirational, and without their dedication and effort, we would not be the world-class diamond mine we are today. I will ensure that we continue on our path of excellence to leave a lasting, positive legacy in the Northwest Territories,” he says.
Matthew Breen’s appointment signifies Rio Tinto’s commitment to the continued success and responsible management of the Diavik Diamond Mine. As the new chief operating officer, he will play a pivotal role in leading the mine and its 1,230 employees into the next phase of its development, ensuring that it remains a global leader in the diamond industry.