Beyond the multitude of Argyle’s various shades of brown diamonds, yellow diamonds comprise the largest group of fancy colours available. According to Kimberley Diamonds Ltd. (KDL), which purchased the Ellendale diamond mine in Western Australia from Gem Diamonds in 2013, the mine supplies around 50 percent of the world’s fancy yellow diamonds, currently producing about 120,000 carats per year. According to Carson Glover, Tiffany & Co. spokesman, since 2009, Tiffany has had exclusive rights to all fancy yellow rough diamonds from the Ellendale mine and will continue to do so “for the full life of the mine.”
At the same time, KDL announced a special offering of approximately 750 carats of high-quality fancy yellow diamonds, as well as approximately 26,500 carats of commercial production, all from the Ellendale mine. The stones were offered through online rough trading platform eDiamond Belgium in a sale that will conclude in October 2014. Since Petra acquired Kimberley Underground operations in 2010, including the Dutoitspan pipe, it has recovered three high-quality fancy yellow diamonds, ranging from 8 carats to 27 carats in size. Petra spokesperson Cathy Malins says, “We think there is good potential to increase recoveries if we have a higher proportion of our tonnages coming from Dutoitspan.”
The Australian firm of KDL is not related to the Kimberley diamond mine of South Africa, now owned by Petra Diamonds. The South African Kimberley mine is known for producing spectacularly large yellow diamonds, but not in the quantities coming from Ellendale. The Zimmi mining area in Sierra Leone occasionally produces vivid canary yellow diamonds from its alluvial fields and is also known to produce olive green diamonds. The Ekati mine in Canada sometimes yields pale yellow stones.