Famed for its rare pink diamonds, as Rio seeks to cut costs in a division the mining giant plans to exit.
The Argyle mine in the remote north of Western Australia began
operating in 1983 and is the world's largest supplier of scarce and
pricey pink diamonds.
According to the company, it accounts for about one-fifth of the world's natural diamond production.
The decision to cut jobs comes as resources companies across
country defer or cancel expansion projects and shed jobs in an effort
to fight rising operating costs and slumping commodity prices.
already is looking to cut a number of jobs at its coal operations in
eastern Australia and has said it will close one mine there before the
end of the year rather than find ways to extend its operating life.
"Like others in the industry, Argyle is facing increasing costs," spokesman Bruce Tobin said.
Mr Tobin declined to say how many employees would be laid off.
is moving operations at Argyle underground from the current open pit in
an effort to extend the mine's life to at least 2019.
Anglo-Australian company in March launched a review of its diamonds
business with the aim of selling or separately listing the mines.