From Mine to Market - the Diamond Story
We were commissioned to photograph two photo-essays: One documenting the journey made by a raw diamond from 'Mine to Market' and the second, a behind-the-scenes reportage of the world of the Select Diamantaire.
The project began at the Diavik Diamond Mine, 300 miles north of the town of Yellowknife, deep in the Northwest Territories of Canada. This mine - carved out of the granite on reclaimed land from Lac de Gras - is one of the richest in the world. From Canada, the the team moved into the polishing rooms of the diamontaires on 47th Street New York, and then onto the cutting and polishing factories of Mumbai, India. Throughout the duration of the project, the team visited the Rio Tinto offices in Antwerp three times. Arguably the most important location of all; Antwerp has been the worldwide centre of the diamond business for past several hundred years.
In all, the shoot took more than six months to complete - not including the many weeks spent retouching and grading all of the images. The resulting photographs were incorporated into two books, a web site and various other pieces of promotional material.
Client: Rio Tinto
Creative Director: Tom Ancona
Photographer: James Bareham
Retouching: The New Cruelty