After years of discussion between the Antwerp diamond industry and the Belgian Government, in 2015 it was decided to introduce the “Diamond Regime” tax system, pending European Commission approval. Today the EC announced that the fiscal regime does not constitute State aid, and gave the green light to what has come to be known as the "Carat Tax". Implementation of this new tax regime will put an end to complex discussions between the Antwerp diamond industry and tax authorities on the control and valuation of diamond traders' stock.
Gem International Resources Inc. reports that its operating partner Global Gems International (GGI) has started the initial work program to begin evaluation and production of diamonds from high priority areas highlighted as favorable for hosting alluvial diamond deposits on the 3,000 sq. km. Dala alluvial mining license in Lunda Sul Province, Angola.
Lucara Diamond Corp. will be installing more of the highly successful XRT technology to process finer size fractions at its Karowe mine in Botswana. The project, through the installation of four new XRT diamond recovery units and the associated conveying and screening infrastructure, will target the recovery of diamonds in the size range between 4mm and 8mm.
The plan, which includes new business and commercial space, homes, hotels and student dorms, will be discussed next Sunday by the Local Planning and Building Committee, according to the Globes daily. The current 750,000 square meter complex will be expanded to 1.75 million square meters with the future diamond exchange business district being 2.5 times larger. Of this area, 1.4 million square meters will zoned for business and up to 120 square meters for commerce; about 1,000 hotel rooms will also be built in the area.
ALROSA is holding an International Auction of Special Size Rough Diamonds 10+ carats and a Polished Diamond Tender from August 23 to September 3 in the run-up to the Second Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok. There will be 19 rough diamond lots with a total weight of 1,098 carats. The diamonds are from ALROSA and JSC Almazy Anabara. The largest rough diamond being offered for sale at the auction weighs 401.97 carats.
The final phase of the building of Debmarine's new diamond exploration and sampling vessel is now under way after its arrival in Cape Town last week. The SS Nujoma arrived in Cape Town on Saturday after a three-week maiden voyage from Norway, where the ship was built by Norwegian shipbuilder Kleven Verft over the last 15 months.
South Africa’s richest man, Christo Wiese, sees opportunities to consolidate diamond operations in the region after buying a stake in diamond miner Trans Hex Group Ltd. Wiese, 74, told Bloomberg that he has always been “fascinated’’ by diamonds and saw good value in them. “There are opportunities for consolidating diamond operations in southern Africa.
ALROSA will participate in the Second Eastern Economic Forum on September 2-3 as its official partner. The Eastern Economic Forum is held annually in Vladivostok in accordance with the Decree of President Vladimir Putin. The aim of the Forum is to promote the accelerated development of the economy of Eastern Russia and expand international cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.
Despite the fears that the UK economy would tank following the vote in June to leave the European Union, figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that jewelry and watch retailers saw a 17% jump in sales in July. Retail sales generally surged by almost 6% on July last year, and are up 1.4% since June, Professional Jeweller reported. However, the jump in sales is likely due to good weather coupled and tourists taking advantage of the weak pound to visit and shop in Britain.
When shopping on the web, there are some limits to how high consumers will go, writes JCK's Rob Bates in a survey of the highest-selling jewelry items bought online. While the industry was once obsessed about whether consumers would buy a $5,000 ring online, the question now is how much higher will they be prepared to go and where is the cyber version of threshold resistance? Looking at various sites, JCK found some extremely expensive items for sale, but it doesn’t seem that many people are buying them.
US aerospace company Lockheed Martin has filed a patent for a new kind of 3D printer. The patent, filed on April 4 by inventor David G. Findley, describes a new way of 3D printing which would use a pre-ceramic polymer and nanoparticle filler to create synthetic diamond objects of just about any shape, says a report in www.3dprintingindustry.com. The main aim of the printer will most likely be to make drill bits, sharp objects and possibly lightweight armor, but will also give jewelry makers untold design possibilities.
The UAE is considering the introduction of so-called blockchain technology to the global diamond trade in a bid to help prevent conflict diamonds getting on to the market, according to a report in the UAE's The National. Blockchain is an Internet-based book-keeping system that provides a permanent record of financial transactions. Applying it to the diamond business could establish a tamper-proof record of the provenance of diamonds.
Stellar Diamonds plc, the London listed diamond development company focused on West Africa, has agreed a proposed transaction with Octea Mining Limited to combine Stellar’s Tongo kimberlite diamond project with Octea’s adjacent kimberlite diamond project, Tonguma, and to bring both assets into production under the same production infrastructure in Sierra Leone.
State-owned diamond company Sodiam, which markets Angolan diamonds, is the African state's second-biggest exporter and is the only non-oil firm on Angola’s list of the top 10 exporters in the first quarter of 2016. The biggest exporter is state oil company Sonangol, the country’s Finance Ministry said. Sodiam exported diamonds with a value of around $190 million in the first quarter. Angola exported $1.3 billion of rough diamonds in 2015, according to Kimberley Process figures.
Rio Tinto on Friday decided to close its diamond mine project in Madhya Pradesh after being asked to explore the possibility of underground mining and wait until a river linking project was completed. The project had faced a series of environmental issues. Wildlife groups said the country’s first private diamond mining project would severely damage the wildlife corridor between the Panna Tiger Reserve and the Navardehi Wildlife Sanctuary.
Stellar Diamonds suspended its share trading on London's AIM on Friday due to a possible reverse takeover transaction. The London-listed diamond developer said the deal would require the publication of an admission document and be subject to shareholder approval. It also stressed that there is no guarantee that the potential transaction will be completed. As a result, trading in the company’s shares on AIM were suspended until either an admission document is published or the company announces that the potential transaction will no longer be proceeding.
Jewelry Television (JTV) in the United States reported a 16 percent jump in revenue for the fiscal year which ended in June as the company expanded its customer base. Its customer numbers increased by 12 percent, the company said. During the last three months of that period, the customer count jumped by14 percent while sales surged 15 percent higher, Rapaport reported. Sales over the past two years have risen 37 percent. JTV broadcasts live programming 24 hours a day, seven days a week to 86 million U.S. households and also sells jewelry online.
A new exchange offering diamonds as an asset class in Singapore with the aim of creating an investment market and benchmark price for the precious stones recorded a relatively low turnover in the first half of this month. Singapore Diamond Investment Exchange Pte. Ltd. (SDiX) posted turnover of just under $3.5 million in the first two weeks of August, according to data provided by SDiX, up from $1 million in May, the first month of trading.
Dominion Diamond Corporation reports that fiscal 2017 second quarter diamond sales were $160.0 million, down from $209.7 million a year before from its Ekati and Diavik diamond mines. At Ekati, production was 0.9 million carats from 0.6 million tons of ore processed versus 0.9 million carats recovered from 1.0 million tons processed a year before. Sales in the second quarter were lower than the prior year primarily due to a high proportion of lower value goods from the Misery Satellites available for sale in the quarter.
The Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) pledged to fight a decision by the First International Bank of Israel (FIBI) to tighten its lending standards for the trade. FIBI raised collateral requirements for diamond industry members, leading IDE President Yoram Dvash to write to bourse members, vowing to lobby state authorities and persuade the bank to reconsider the decision. Dvash claimed FIBI’s demands are stricter than those applicable to other sectors and alleged the move was influenced by “pressure” from Israel’s financial regulator, Rapaport reported.
Almost two months after the British electorate's decision to leave the EU and with the financial effect still unclear, Retail Jeweller magazine is surveying its readers to uncover how UK jewelers are being impacted by the Brexit vote. The survey aims to also find out what the jewelry industry believes being outside the EU might hold for them. Results of the survey will be published in the November issue of Retail Jeweller together with comment and analysis.
The London Diamond Bourse (LDB) will hold an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) to discuss the issue of leases in the historic Hatton Garden diamond area that are set to skyrocket. Leases will rise due to the opening soon of a station in nearby Farringdon of the Crossrail system which will vastly improve access and train times to the area.
Junior miner Canterra Minerals Corporation, a Canadian company specializing in diamond exploration in the Northwest Territories whose team was involved in the discovery of two of Canada's four diamond mines - Snap Lake and Ekati - is the latest firm to join the diamond exploration rush shaping up in the western Athabasca Basin, Saskatchewan - the "Saudi Arabia of Uranium." Canterra signed a property option agreement with
A new initiative to encourage the involvement of younger diamantaires in the industry is moving ahead, with its first major networking event to take place on September 15 during the Hong Kong Gems and Jewellery Fair. The event will be broadcast live to Belgium, Israel, and India where other Young Diamantaire events are being planned, Rapaport reported. The Young Diamantaires project grew out of a need to encourage trade members aged under 45 to become involved in the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB), explained Rami Baron, Chairman of the WFDB’s Promotion committee.
ALROSA, the world leader in diamond mining, has become a member of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) since 11 August 2016, writes RJC in a press release. "Consumers around the world are giving great importance to the origin of diamonds in jewelry. We believe it is important to demonstrate to the consumer that diamond mining is a socially responsible business that creates jobs, supports local communities and cares about the environment.
Synthetic diamond manufacturer Scio Diamond, based in the U.S., reported a 7.5% rise in revenue (+ $12,886) for the first quarter of the 2017 fiscal year, ended June 30, increasing to $185,061. However, it also came with a larger (+39%) loss - from $848,585 in Q1 2016 to $1,181,675 in Q1 2017.
Record high prices for gold (the price of gold rose 25% in the first half of 2016, its strongest performance in 35 years) has led to a record surge in H1 investment demand of 1,063.9t, which was 16% higher than the previous H1 high from 2009, as continued growth in Q2 2016 (+15%) brought total H1 gold demand to 2,335t - the second highest first half on record, according to the World Gold Council.
The Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) yesterday announced that it has received a $30,000 grant from the Diamond Empowerment Fund (DEF) to support the second year of programming at the mobile school in the mining village of Kankala, of the Kasai Occidental province, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Diamond Empowerment Mobile school was one of the first two in DDI’s “Sending Schools to Kids” remedial education program – offering children the opportunity to leave the mines and go back to school, w
Excelsior Capital Ventures (ECV) LLC is to provide "substantial liquidity" to the mid-stream diamond and jewelry industry. The New York based firm, founded by Nehal Modi, said it expects to begin lending operations on October 3 and will provide loans secured by diamond and precious metal inventories, according to a statement. Modi said, "We are in an environment where the diamond and jewelry industry is experiencing a significant contraction in lending. There is a dire need for new capital and greater liquidity in order to expand the companies and industry at large."
Gem Diamonds, a global diamond producer with diamond mining operations in Lesotho and Botswana, head offices in London and sales, marketing and manufacturing capabilities in Antwerp, saw revenues ($109.1 million) and profits ($13.4 million) fall by 7.5% and 13% respectively in H1 2016 as its two mines trended in opposite directions.
White Pine Trading LLC, a diamond trader and fine jewelry and luxury watch purchaser, is launching a listing service to provide smaller diamond dealers a distribution channel for GIA-graded stones. The platform will provide access to leading trading networks, regardless of a member’s size, funding or supply, and also aims at improving members’ access to brick and mortar and online retail outlets, according a report on Idex Online.
Two economists have urged Botswana to undergo a second economic transformation. In a report compiled by Econsult Botswana, economists Dr Keith Jefferies and Sethunya Sejoe warned that diamond mining is unlikely to drive economic growth in future, but rather a foundation for current economic activity and income levels. “Second, as mines get deeper and more difficult to exploit, costs of production go up and hence profits – and the sector’s contribution to GDP and government revenues – will gradually decline,” they said.
Communities in the Marange diamond mining area have called on the newly-established Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) to halt operations, alleging it is worse than the previous mining firms, writes NewsDay. The government earlier this year terminated the operations of nine diamond companies following their failure to renew operating licences.
In an extensive article featuring spectacular images of ALROSA's Mir diamond mine, Britain's Daily Mail claims that it is so vast that helicopters are banned from flying over it in case they are sucked in. The Mir mine, located 5,000 miles east of Moscow, "creates a vortex potentially strong enough to suck helicopters into its depths," says the Mail while adding that the value of the diamonds so far mined at the operation together with estimated reserves come to £13 billion (almost $17 billion).
Pangolin Diamonds Corp., a Toronto-based diamond exploration and development company in the heart of Botswana, has announced that Gareth Penny has been elected to the board of directors of Pangolin to hold the position of non-executive Chairman of the Board. Penny has worked in various forms of mining over the past three decades, including with De Beers and Anglo American, the last five of which he was Group CEO of De Beers.
“To Tell the Truth” is the tagline of Chow Tai Fook's brand differentiation campaign designed to generate consumer confidence by enabling customers to track the journey of its diamonds from source to finger. Campaign Asia-Pacific writes, "Chow Tai Fook claims to have developed a patented technology that allows it to emblazon each diamond with a 'T mark'", or a unique serial number engraved on each stone, enabling the traceability of the stone from its source through processing, cutting, polishing, authentication and design.
According to an article by mining.com, Anglo American's (AA) largest shareholder, South Africa's Public Investment Corporation (PIC), would prefer to downsize the company even further than was accomplished with AA's "radical portfolio restructuring" at the end of last year. The world's number five diversified mining company said it would cut around 85,000 employees and announced plans to reduce the number of mines it operates from 55 to as few as 16 to focus on diamonds, copper and platinum because of better long-term potential.
Russian diamond mining giant ALROSA has recovered a 136.24-carat diamond from the Nyurbinskaya pipe near Yakutsk in the Sakha Republic where most of its operations are located. The gem-quality rough diamond, is 3 Black Makeable 1 Color, measures 29.32 х 23.88 х 21.9 mm and is one of the largest found in the Nyurbin said in a statement. "The extracted stone is a combination-form translucent colorless part of a crystal with columnar interlocking sculpture. The stone contains graphite and sulphide composition.
Andrey Polyakov, President of the World Diamond Council and Vice-President of ALROSA, sat down for an interview with Interfax (translation published exclusively by Rough-Polished), covering everything from the work and mission of the World Diamond Council (WDC), the Kimberley Process (KP), the Diamond Producers Association (DPA) and consumer demand for complete information about jewelry, to the possibility of ALROSA joining the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), setting up a diamond tracking program in China and the consumer markets in India, Brazil and the United States
Diamond industry analyst Avi Krawitz presents his rundown of the India International Jewellery Show (IIJS) that took place last week in Mumbai. While noting that IIJS is currently a niche domestic show focusing on gold jewelry - which saw steady business, with jewelers expecting demand to rise along with gold's upward trend - Krawitz sensed optimism about the diamond market even though domestic diamond consumption has slowed recently. "India’s jewelry industry has some hurdles to climb before the diamond trade can grow domestic supply [and demand - DL].
De Beers has appointed Nigel Simson, currently Senior Vice President of Sightholder Sales, to head a new product planning role, Senior Vice President of Product Planning, that aims to establish closer integration between sales, product planning, and product delivery "enabling the delivery of more tailored product and service offerings for rough diamond customers". Bernard Bradley will take over from Simson as Senior Vice President of Sightholder Sales. They will both be based in Gaborone, Botswana, and will work closely with Paul Rowley, Executive Vice President of Sightholder Sales.
Anton Siluanov, Finance Minister of the Russian Federation, was reelected chairman of the Supervisory Board of ALROSA, the world's largest diamond miner, accounting for more than 29% of global diamond production in terms of carats and 95% of Russia’s overall diamond output. Yegor Borisov, Head of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), was reelected as the first vice chairman and Alexander Galushka, Minister for the Development of the Russian Far East, was confirmed to continue as the vice chairman.
Mountain Province Diamonds Inc. reports that construction of the Gahcho Kué diamond mine was completed during the quarter, the first ore was introduced to the diamond plant on June 20, with the first commissioning diamonds recovered on June 30 and the ramp up to commercial production is underway with the mine is on track to achieve commercial production in January 2017. During the quarter ended June 30, the company entered into agreements with third parties for the valuation, sorting and marketing of its share of the diamond production from the mine.
Earlier this year, India's Jet Airways pulled out of Brussels and relocated their operations to Amsterdam, leaving Brussels Airport without a direct flight to India. Today, after having reached an agreement with Air India, Brussels Airlines has announced that they will start flying directly to Mumbai in March 2017.
Hong Kong recorded a drop of 9 percent in polished diamond imports in the first six months of 2016 due by a drop in deliveries from the major trading centers, according to data compiled by the Diamond Federation of Hong Kong. Shipments dropped to $8.52 billion Rapaport said further extended a declining trend which began at the start of last year. Diamond and jewelry firms in Hong Kong report tough trading conditions, due in large part to a fall in the number of tourists from Mainland China.
If the interest demonstrated at the "Screening & Identification of Synthetic Diamonds" seminar hosted by GIA at last week's India International Jewellery Show is any indication, undisclosed mixing of synthetic and natural diamonds is of great concern in India. The Tribune India writes, "According to industry sources, many small traders are quietly mixing the lab-cultured stones with natural diamonds and palming the consignment off to unsuspecting buyers.
Stornoway Diamond Corporation reported net income for the second quarter (three month period ended June 30, 2016) at $5.8 million, compared to a $9.7 million net loss during the three months ended July 31, 2015.
Southern African diamond mining company DiamondCorp said its diamond sales schedule has been revised to start in Antwerp at the end of this month and then continue monthly for the rest of the year. In a project update on activities at the Lace diamond mine in the Free State Province of South Africa, it said that production from the first mining block on the 310m underground level at the Lace mine successfully restarted last month and is proceeding at the planned rate of 30,000 tons per month.
The 47th Street Business Improvement District in New York is holding two New York Police Department (NYPD) led seminars for the jewelry and diamond trade to learn how to respond to shooters and terrorism awareness. The seminars will take place on August 29 at 576 Fifth Avenue, JCK reports. “Particularly in light of the many violent events the world has recently experienced, these timely seminars by the experts at the NYPD will be valuable for everyone in the jewelry industry,” the 47th Street Business Improvement District said.
Extremely stormy weather in Lesotho has damaged power lines to Gem Diamonds' Letseng mine, leading the miner to say it might need to reassess its full-year guidance for operating costs and ore tonnes treated. However, the company, which mines diamonds at the Ghaghoo mine in Botswana as well as at the Letseng mine in Lesotho said it did not expect carats recovered to be materially affected. Gem Diamonds said full-year guidance for carats recovered would likely be within original guidance.
Paul Zimnisky, author of the Zimnisksy Global Rough Diamond Price Index, writes that the 2016 first half diamond production trends of De Beers and Alrosa - good for 40.7% and 34.7% of global market share value respectively - show diamond production declining as sales climbed significantly compared to H1 2015. These results are consistent with the strategies announced at the start of the year, and were certainly buoyed by a more favorable than expected global economy, the U.S.
A special operations unit from the Catalan police in Barcelona arrested five alleged members of the so-called "Pink Panther" gang of jewel thieves on Friday. The thieves, one armed with a pistol, tried to rob a jewelry store on the city's famous Passeig de Gracia avenue, a police statement said, adding that the officers were waiting for the gang. The operation was part of a larger investigation with different crime units in Spain, and with the collaboration of the Serbian and German police, Reuters reported. The police recovered the jewelry that the gang was trying to steal.
Shares in Pandora have slipped after the maker and retailer of popular jewelry reported a sales and profit miss. The firm is known for raising forecasts due to the ongoing strength of sales. Revenue for the second-quarter rose 20 percent to $645 million, but that was less than the average analyst estimate and the first such miss in more than two years. A 23-percent jump in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization was also less than expected, and that led its stock to fall by almost 7 percent on the Copenhagen exchange.
Diamond manufacturing technology maker Sarine Technologies reports a 45 percent jump in revenue for the second quarter, boosted by a rise in sentiment in the diamond trade worldwide which pushed sales of its manufacturing equipment higher. The firm posted a 37-percent increase for the first half of the year. Profit for the second quarter soared by 125 percent on a year before, and was 153 percent higher for first half.
Online diamond and jewelry retailer Blue Nile reported flat second-quarter sales and lower profits for its fiscal second quarter which ended on July 3 from a year earlier as it was hit by lower average prices for its goods. Net sales were $113.8 million compared with $113.7 million for the same quarter last year. Analysts had been expecting earnings of $114.10 million.
The term ‘mined diamonds’ is slowly entering mainstream language in the press and elsewhere, and I find it troubling. We need clear differentiation between natural diamonds and lab-grown goods, and it needs to be far more distinct than mined vs. lab-grown. Natural diamonds were always diamonds. They were formed billions of years ago and were mined after huge sums of money were put into exploration. Comparing these ancient, historic, difficult-to-find wonders of nature to a simple, mass-produced product invented only recently and pounded out of a factory puts both on the same playing field – and does not make sense. That is why we should not use the word ‘diamond’ in connection with lab-grown goods. ‘Diamond’ should be used exclusively for diamonds.
- Ehud Arye Laniado, on why price of synthetic diamonds should not be pegged to natural diamond prices.
Imports of polished diamonds to the U.S. increased 0.3% to $1.72 billion, writes Rapaport News citing the latest (unspecified) government figures, "underlining continued stability in the largest market for diamond jewelry." The volume of polished imports, however, increased 7.2% to 790,061 carats, and accordingly, the average price fell 6.4% to $2,171 per carat.
South African diamond producer Trans Hex Group Ltd. said a group of companies holding more than 72 percent of its shares have made a mandatory cash offer to acquire the South African diamond producer. Cream Magenta 140 Proprietary Ltd., Metcap 14 Proprietary Ltd. and RAC Investment Holdings Proprietary Ltd. “have come into concert and have made a mandatory cash offer,” Trans Hex said in a statement to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange where it is traded. The offer follows an acquisition of 47 percent of ordinary shares in the company by Cream Magenta and Metcap.