Ellendale Diamond Field
Ellendale Diamond Field
- High value fancy yellow diamonds are a signature of the Ellendale Diamond Field.
- Between 2009 and 2015, Tiffany & Co had exclusive rights to purchase 100% of the fancy yellow diamonds produced at Ellendale.
- Ellendale fancy yellow diamonds are typically highly lustrous and shiny surfaced.
- Many of the Ellendale diamonds have undergone a process called resorption, resulting in the loss of more than 50% of their original weight.
- The diamonds are often rounded tetrahexahedroids or dodecahedra.
History of the Ellendale Field
- The Ellendale Diamond Field was discovered in November 1976 by a group of companies known as the Ashton Joint Venture.
- The focus shifted away from Ellendale to the Argyle diamond mine in 1979.
- Geologists from the Kimberley Diamond Company (KDC) later recognized diamond enrichment over the Ellendale pipes.
- After a legal battle, KDC obtained the Ellendale mining lease from the Ashton Joint Venture.
- The development of the Ellendale deposits was left in limbo for more than two decades.
Ellendale 9 (E9)
- Hard rock mining began at the Ellendale 9 (E9) pipe in May 2002.
- Mining at E9 continued under various owners until mid-2015.
- Diamonds were first discovered at the Ellendale 4 pipe, but mining started at E9.
- E9 is located approximately 15km northwest of E4.
- E9 mining operations ceased in 2015 when Kimberley Diamond Company entered into administration.
Ellendale 4 (E4)
- Mining operations at the E4 pipe began in 2005.
- The E4 mine was put on care and maintenance in 2009 due to economic factors.
- High Australian dollar and dwindling reserves made the E4 pipe uneconomic.
- E4 is located in the Ellendale Diamond Field.
- Mining activities at E4 ceased in July 2015 when Kimberley Diamond Company entered into liquidation.
Abandonment of the E9 and E4 hard rock pits
- Mining activities at the E9 and E4 hard rock mines abruptly ceased in July 2015.
- Kimberley Diamond Company entered into administration and subsequent liquidation.
- The E9 and E4 mine pits were declared abandoned mine sites in December 2015.
- The Western Australia Mining Rehabilitation Fund Act 2012 governed the declaration of the abandoned mine sites.
- The future re-opening of the collapsed and flooded hard rock pits is being studied.
Ellendale Diamond Field Data Sources