The now-closed Argyle mine produced almost 90 percent of Australia’s diamonds, but until five years ago, the Ellendale mine in Western Australia was also a significant player in the world’s coloured diamond market.
The Ellendale mine was established in the 1970s and once provided half the world’s yellow diamonds with an exclusive arrangement with Tiffany and Co helping bring Australian yellow diamonds to the world stage. But the mine was mothballed five years ago when the operating company was liquidated. After ‘refurbishments’ by the WA government, two Australian companies have pursued exploration leases in the mine area, with the hope of re-establishing a commercial operation.
Yellow diamonds can command between two and four times the price of white diamonds and while they’re not quite in the price range of pinks, they’re scarce and scarcity drives demand.