One of the world's largest precious yellow diamond mines in Western Australia has been placed into administration, putting at least 93 jobs at risk
One of the world's largest producers of precious yellow diamonds, Kimberley Diamond Company, has shuttered its mine after receiving weak prices at auction in Belgium.
At least 93 jobs are at risk after the parent company Kimberley Diamonds suspended operations at its subsidiary's Ellendale Diamond Mine in north Western Australia.
The company's subsidiary Kimberley Diamond Company was placed into administration after suffering a hit to its revenues from lower diamond grades, smaller diamond sizes and lower prices.
"Prices achieved at the auction held last week in Antwerp were significantly lower than those forecasted, resulting from a sharp, unexpected decline in the rough diamond market," Kimberley Diamonds said in a statement.
"As a result, Kimberley Diamond Company is unable to continue trading solvently and the board has been left with no option but to place Kimberley Diamond Company into external administration."
Kimberley Diamond Company has 93 permanent employees at its Ellendale mine, but the company declined to say how many jobs would be lost.
It says the Ellendale project is the world's leading source of rare fancy yellow diamonds and makes up around 50 per cent of the world's supply.
Sule Arnautovic, Trajan John Kukulovski and Chris Williamson of Jirsch Sutherland were appointed as administrators of Kimberley Diamond Company on Wednesday afternoon.
Kimberley Diamonds said the voluntary administration does not apply to the parent company, only the subsidiary that holds the Ellendale mining licence.
The subsidiaries which hold the interests in the Lerala Diamond Mine in Botswana or the Lomero-Poyatos project in Spain are also unaffected.
Diamonds were first discovered at the Ellendale Diamond Field in the west Kimberley 38 years ago.
Shares in Kimberley Diamonds have been suspended and last traded at 12 cents.