Rio Tinto Diamonds is all set to release a unique way to take a tour of their Diavik operation; through virtual reality.
The Oculus Rift VR headset technology will make its first mining-related appearance tomorrow at the JCK Luxury show, the world’s biggest diamond jewellery trade show.
Users will be able to wear the headset to enter a completely immersive, computer generated version of the remote Canadian Diavik diamond mine, all from the comfort of a Rio Tinto trade booth in Las Vegas.
The virtual tour has been developed in conjunction with New York-based firm Bravo Media.
Rio Tinto Diamonds North American office manager Brandee Dallow said that the interactive technology will bring the mining experience to life in a very compelling way.
“Our goal in showcasing Oculus Rift at this year's JCK Show is to start the dialogue with our customers and other members of the diamond jewellery industry about the new approaches available to better capture the next generation consumer,” she said.
"It is important for the diamond industry, from the trade through to the final consumer, to gain an understanding of where Rio Tinto's diamonds come from and how they are mined. The mine to market story is very important to us and so we are delighted to present this new tool to the industry.”
Ms Dallow said Rio Tinto Diamonds has a long track record of harnessing technology and innovation in the diamond industry, including X-ray sorting machines, laser technology to prepare diamonds for cutting and polishing, and innovations for mining, processing and renewable energy.