This article is reprinted from Paul Zimnisky Diamond Analytics, courtesy of Paul Zimnisky.
Lucapa Diamond Company secured $14.2 million (AUD $19 million) in funding for the acquisition and advancement of the high- value Mothae Kimberlite Diamond Project located in the southern African country Lesotho. The funding sets Lucapa on track to commence commissioning Mothae in the first quarter of 2018 under a staged, low-risk development plan.
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) launched a new service which tracks the origin of a selection of polished diamonds, which offers retailers a new method of being able to uncover a stone’s history. Since the project is only two years in development, GIA's M2M™ (Mine to Market) program is restricted and is not yet able to provide a complete solution to determining a diamond’s provenance. “If you just gave me any polished diamond, I can’t tell you what mine it came from,” says Matt Crimmin, GIA’s vice president of laboratory operations.
Russia’s dimond mining giant ALROSA recovered a 60.32 carat rough diamond which experts believe could yield up to US$174.5 thousand per carat. The Octahedron crystal is transparent with a yellow hue and was recovered at Mirny’s Mining and Processing Division, from the Gornoye alluvial deposit. It is the only plant in Russia which processes rough diamonds recovered by dredging fleet.
Forevermark diamond, part of the De Beers Group, announced it had inscribed its two millionth diamond, a 3.48 carat round brilliant which now bears the unique inscription of ‘2,000,000’. The diamond was mined, cut and polished in Namibia, then inscribed in the Forevermark Diamond Institute in Surat and will be set in a piece of jewelry at the Forevermark Design innovation Centre in Milan, Italy.
Debra LaBudde launched Memo, an ecommerce site that specializes in fine jewelry. The name of the brand refers to the consignment practices within the jewelry and diamond industry, wich served as the inspiration for her concept. LaBudde noticed there was an untapped market for fine jewelry, “(I saw) an interesting opportunity in the marketplace that, in my mind, hasn’t been well served, and that ultimately could create a larger market.”
Tiffany & Co. reported Wednesday that while U.S. sales varied by location in the first quarter, they were “generally soft” with both foreign tourists and local customers spending less. In the first quarter ended April 30, the New York-based retailer recorded a 4 percent decline in same-store sales in the Americas, with net sales down 3 percent to $392 million. Worldwide net sales rose 1% to $900 million due to growth in Asia-Pacific - Tiffany's second largest market - and an increase in the wholesale sale of diamonds, while comparable store sales were 3% below the prior year.
Diamcor Mining Inc. announce the results of its second tender and sale of rough diamonds from the newly expanded facilities at the Company’s Krone-Endora at Venetia Project in South Africa. Diamcor sold 3,265.07 carats of rough diamonds at the second sale of the quarter for gross proceeds of $702,635.70, resulting in an average price of $215.20 per carat. The tender included the sale of three specials (+10.8 carats): 12.80 ct, 12.89 carat gem quality, and a 13.51 ct rough diamond.
Zimbabwe has taken over income from all diamond mining activities in the country after injecting $80m into the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), a state-owned company mandated to run diamond mining activities, reports miningmx. The Zimbabwe Government’s Finance Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, has now stated, “the diamonds belong to the fiscus” in a time of decline in gem mining operations throughout the country.
Russia's diamond mining giant ALROSA has confirmed it will participate in the development of the newest and largest diamond deposit in Angola - the Luaxe Kimberlite. Luaxe was discovered in 2013 when the Angolan national diamond mining company Endiama and ALROSA carried out the correlation study to identify Angola's diamond potential. The geological research points to reserves evaluated at 350 million carats and a mining lifespan of 30 years, with the potential to produce over 10M carats annually for an estimated value of $35 billion. Production could commence by the end of the decade.
Pallinghurst resources Ltd., a private equity firm focused on mining, who already own 47% of Gemfields Plc, made an offer to acquire the remaining 53% of the gemstone miner in a bid to restructure the company and make it more profitable. Pallinghurst offered investors nearly two shares in Pallinghurst for each share in the colored-stone producer, valuing the miner at $275.6 million. Gemfields’ board has advised its shareholders to not take any action at the moment while they review the offer.
Gem Diamonds - a leading global diamond producer that owns 70% of the Letšeng mine in Lesotho, known for its high-value diamonds, and 100% of the Ghaghoo mine in Botswana, which produces diamonds at the lower-end of the price scale – announced the recovery of a 98.42 carat high quality D-color Type II diamond which will accompany the previously announced 80.58 carat D-color type II for sale in June.
As a result of declining diamond grades and sizes and increased costs, diamond miner Trans Hex has decided to to put its Bloeddrif mine, part of the Lower Orange River operations in South Africa on hold. According to Rough & Polished, the company said taking action is necessary to contain further losses and focus on Trans Hex’ Baken mine. The Bloeddrif mine employs 115 people.
According to government data for the month of March, polished imports to the US dropped 3% to $1.99 billion, or 10% to 970,953 cts in volume. Average price per carat rose 8% to $2,045.
US polished exports grew 7% to $1.58 billion, leaving net polished imports 28% lower at $402 million. January through to March, imports of polished goods slid 11% to $2.45 billion, with polished exports declining 3% to $4.58 billion.
Exploration at the Leslie pipe, an undeveloped section of Dominion Diamond Corporation's operations at the Ekati mine in Canada has revealed a potential of 16.3 million carats at a projected rough-diamond price of $85/ct. According to the company a parcel of 224 carats were recoverd from roughly 680 tonnes of Kimberlite. "The Leslie pipe is our highest-priority pipe amongst kimberlites that have been bulk sampled, as demonstrated by the announcement of its maiden resource”, said Jim Gowans, Chairman of the Board.
Diamond miner De Beers Thursday announced it will start a pilot project in June, selling polished diamonds, manufactured directly from the company’s rough by third parties to registered De Beers Auction buyers. The polished goods will be accompanied by grading reports from both De Beers’ own International Institute of Diamond Grading & Research (IIDGR) and the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
Acording to provisional data released by The Gem & Jewelry Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), India’s polished diamond exports fell by 2% in April to US$1.75 bn, compared with the same month a year earlier. What is telling however is that in the four months of the calendar year, polished exports have risen 2% compared with 2016, reaching $7.65 bn.
Graff Diamonds announced they had added to their collection of exceptional stones by acquiring the 373.72-carat rough diamond sourced from the Karowe mine in Botswana. The stone was once a part of the Lesedi la Rona, the second largest gem quality diamond to ever be discovered and the largest to be unearthed in the last century. According to Graff the fragment was separated from its famous sibling during the recovery process.
Lucapa Diamond Company completed it’s fourth sale in 2017 from the alluvial diamonds from the Lulo Diamond Project in Angola, achieving an additional $1.3 million in revenues. The miner sold 1,878 carats at an average price of $695 per carat, lower than the $1,317 average the previous month. The latest sale brings total proceeds from the Lulo diamond sales in 2017 to $14.5m, reaching an average of $1,747 per carat.
Everlane’s founder, Michael Preysman, who sells classic designs over the internet by promising “radical transparency”, believes he has identified the issues Millennials have regarding provenance and price. He pledges low-cost, high-quality goods made in factories used by designer brands, thus making them more appealing to their consumers. Everlane has a studio in Soho, New York, where shoppers are encouraged to try on the products and then return home and purchase their goods online, an inventive way of combining retail and ecommerce.
De Beers Group today announced the value of rough diamond sales (Global Sightholder Sales and Auction Sales) for the fourth sales cycle of 2017, provisionally valued at $520 million. The fact that sales remain solid as the summer slowdown looms indicates continuaing upbeat sentiment in the manufacturing sector, spurring demand. Cycle 4 sales were down 11% from the revised figure of $586 million sold at the last sight (contract sales session) and slipped 18% from the fourth cycle a year ago.
Richemont, the second largest luxury goods company in the world, released its consolidated results for the financial year that ended 31 March 2017. Jewelry sales for the group - including Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels - were up 7% to $4.55 billion, a growth considered rare for this section of the group’s portfolio. The report suggests the rise was partially offset by a weak watch division as watch sales dropped by 15% to $4.75 billion.
In late March Canadian mining company Dominion Diamond Corp., the world's third largest diamond producer by market value, received an unsolicited $1.1 billion bid from a privately held conglomerate, Washington Corporations (WashCorp), based in Montana. Since soundly rejecting Washington’s offer, and the surge in share prices, Dominion is laying low.
"When you’re selling your offcuts for almost $20 million, you know something is going right," writes Thomas Biesheuvel for BloombergPursuits. "Lucara Diamond Corp. just sold a 373.7-carat diamond for US$17.5 million.
Canadian - or rather, Québécois - diamonds from mine to finger were cause for celebration in Montreal yesterday, as Maison Birks unveiled the first 200 diamonds from Quebec's Renard diamond mine, owned by Stornoway Diamond Corporation. In the presence of Birks Group President and CEO, Mr.
Sierra Leone's government announced yesterday (May 11) that it would seek higher offers in Antwerp for a massive 709-carat diamond after receiving underwhelming offers at auction in Freetown. British citizen Ziad al-Ahmadi, based in Antwerp and reportedly working for Raydiam BVBA, placed the $7.7 million bid which failed to match the government's unspecified reserve price, and turned out to be far lower than the $50 million the Sierra Leone government had originally hoped for, prompting the decision to try again in Belgium.
Russian diamond mining giant ALROSA reports a drop in rough diamond sales in April 2017, earning US$310.2 million as, "the share of small-size, inexpensive rough diamonds was significantly higher than early in 2016." Polished diamond sales in April amounted to US$7.6 million. In January–April 2017, ALROSA sold 16.9 million carats of rough and polished diamonds, which is 7% higher than the sales in January-April 2016.
Mountain Province has announced its first quarter results (period ended March 31, 2017) from diamonds sold from the new Gahcho Kué mine, of which it owns 49% in a joint venture with De Beers. Mountain Province earned approximately US$37.7 million from three sales in Antwerp of approximately 522,000 carats - for an average price of $72 per carat.
In October Firestone Diamonds announced the recovery of its first diamond from the Liqhobong Diamond Mine in Lesotho since the the re-commissioning of the new plant. Liqhobong is owned 75% by Firestone and 25% by the Government of Lesotho. Firestone has been ramping up production since then, and will hold its third tender in Antwerp as planned.
The sixth edition of the unique "Rough Diamond Days" got underway yesterday (May 10) at the Rough Diamond Bourse (Antwerpsche Diamantkring) in Antwerp, and the traders on the floor are clearly enthusiastic about the format. The event creates a forum for Antwerp-based rough traders - approximately 45 at this edition - to showcase their goods to local and international buyers on an open trade floor, the way it used to be done, and is the only one of its kind.
Angolan diamond mining company ENDIAMA and Russian miner ALROSA announced on Tuesday in Luanda their intention to conduct studies to promote additional investments in the exploitation of kimberlites in Angola. The announcements came from the chairmen of ENDIAMA, António Carlos Sambula, and ALROSA, Sergei Ivanov at the end of an audience with the Angolan Vice-president, Manuel Domingos Vicente. Sergei Ivanov said business with Angola is flourishing and data indicates that 2016 was better than previous year, with net profits of US$137 million, as well as better quality of extracted diamonds.
The first edition of CARAT+, the new diamond and diamond-jewelry exclusive trade show in Antwerp, concluded its final day of trading on a positive note, the organizers announce. Official data indicates that over the three-day period, CARAT+ recorded 2,927 visitors from 29 different countries; they were welcomed by 116 exhibitors from 14 countries. The organizers have already set a date for the second edition: 6 + 7 + 8 May 2018.
Canadian miner Stornoway Diamond Corporation earned US$35.4 million (C$48.5m) from the sale of 459,126 carats rough of stones for the quarter ended March 31, 2017, the first full operating period for the Renard Mine. Commercial production was officially declared on January 1, 2017.
To elevate the KP to the next level of effectiveness, we must look beyond administrative issues and make sure that responsibility and expertise go hand-in-hand in the coming years. We took a strong step forward in this regard at the meeting by rigorously and constructively questioning all aspects related to the origin of the diamond product that consumers ultimately purchase. It is in all of our best interests to continue this productive dialogue so that we can continue to deliver on our promise to eradicate conflict diamonds from the supply chain.
Antwerp's diamond trade experienced modest and mixed results in April: the volume of rough diamond exports stayed flat for the month while rough imports were down mainly as a result of De Beers not holding a sight in April. Volume declines were also recorded for imports as well as exports of polished goods, in part due to the spring holiday season around the world, though the average value of imports outweighed the fall in volume and ended up slightly on a year-over-year basis.
The diamond industry has a sort of 'Holy Grail' when it comes to consumer confidence and putting to rest an issue that critics rely on to deride the trade as unethical and still awash with 'conflict diamonds': guaranteed provenance. Acoording to an interview last week, Andrey Polyakov, president of the World Diamond Council (WDC) and a vice-president of Russian diamond giant ALROSA, believes one key to obtaining that grail is close at hand in the form of a physical 'fingerprint' that would enable diamonds to be tracked to their origin.
Signet Jewelers Limited has announced that it had reached an agreement with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to resolve all claims related to the pay and promotion of female retail sales employees at the company in EEOC v. Sterling Jewelers Inc. The Consent Decree states there were “no findings of liability or
DiamondCorp, the UK-based South African junior diamond miner that underwent an autumn of misfortune including fires and floods at its Lace Mine, has filed to appoint administrators of the company after a business rescue plan failed to result in a solution to their liquidity issues. The decision of the listed holding company to go into administration comes despite being months away from steady-state production, as local bondholders and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (ACMU) frustrated it efforts to refinance, writes Business Day.
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has made an alarming discovery, namely, a natural white diamond covered by a thin (80 microns, or 0.003 inches) synthetic layer that colors it blue – and has warned that more such composites might be on the market. The 0.33-carat stone is a composite of CVD synthetic Type IIb diamond overgrowth on a natural Type Ia diamond.
De Beers Group has announced it is leading a ground-breaking research project that aims to deliver carbon-neutral mining at some of the company’s operations in as few as five years. The company’s scientists are working in close collaboration with a team of internationally-renowned scientists to investigate the potential to store large volumes of carbon at its diamond mines through the mineralisation of kimberlite ‘tailings’, the material that remains after diamonds have been removed from the ore. De Beers Group will investigate the storage potential across its diamond mines globally.
Rapaport has issued a press release on the current rough and polished diamond markets, which boils down to the following: "Amid sluggish polished markets, rough trading remained strong." The second quarter of the year is typically a slow period for diamond trading, and April this year proved no different.
Lucara Diamond Corp. yesterday (May 2) today reported first quarter revenues of $26.1 million, or $405 per carat, which represents nearly a 50% drop from the $50.6 million earned at $649 per carat in Q1 2016. The company explains the results as follows: "The decrease in revenues in Q1 2017 compared to Q1 2016 was due to a lower volume of carats being sold and a decrease in the carat weight of specials sold. A larger volume of +10.8ct specials were sold in Q1 2016 (6,936 carats) compared to Q1 2017 (2,379 carats), which reflected the above average recoveries of specials during Q4 2015.
Canadian junior miner Kennady Diamonds, whose Kennady North diamond project is located in Canada’s Northwest Territories in proximity to the Gahcho Kué Diamond Mine, announced the terms of a non-brokered private placement whereby the Company plans to raise approximately C$10,000,000 (US$7.3 million) through the issuance of a combination of common shares and flow-through common shares. The common shares to be issued under the offering have been priced at C$3.25 per share and the flow-through common shares have been priced at C$4.38 per share.
The French luxury group Kering reported a strong first quarter, with group revenue rising by 31% y-o-y basis to $3.89 billion. Sales from its luxury activities for the same period totaled $2.63 billion, up by a steep 34%. The sales growth in the group’s directly operated store network increased significantly to 36.6%, as a direct result of the remarkable performance in Western Europe and the Asia Pacific area, which reported sales increases of 49.9% and 46.7% respectively.
India's Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) has reported overall growth in the industry for the financial year 2016-17 (April 2016 - March 2017), despite what Executive Director Sabyasachi Ray described as a year of “disruption”, referring to various unexpected developments like Brexit, the election of Donald Trump; and, on the homefront, the demonetisation and looming introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Australia’s term as Chair of the Kimberley Process kicked off today at the KP Intersessional Meeting in Perth, which runs from May 1 – 4. The focus of this year’s meeting is the start of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) review cycle in order to strengthen the Kimberley Process.
Standard and Poor's has reiterated its negative outlook rating for Botswana as a result of, "The country's narrow economic base, which relies heavily on the diamond sector and is vulnerable to external shocks, despite efforts to diversify." Diamonds account for approximately 80% of Botswana’s total exports and about one-third of its gross domestic product, and "remains its main economic locomotive".
On April 21, Guangzhou Diamond Exchange (GZDE) held his first rough diamond sales, the GZDE communicates in a press release. "This is the first rough diamond exhibition and open sales in mainland China." They were able to hold the sale as a result of permission granted by AQSIQ, the ministry in charge of Kimberley Process Certification Scheme in China, as well as customs and other relative authorities, they said. GZDE implemented three selling modes for the rough diamonds: allocation, negotiation and online auction. The sales period lasted two and a half days.
The video is incorrect when it states baldly, “Diamonds can’t be tracked.” True, there is nothing gemologically in a diamond that offers any proof of origin. But there is no reason that diamonds can’t be tracked. Bananas are tracked. Coffee is tracked ... If a manufacturer buys directly from a specific mine, establishing a diamond’s origin should be relatively easy. All it has to do is segregate those specific goods and then make its systems open to audit ... Brilliant Earth, like other e-tailers, stocks virtual inventory. It is also true that the stones it sells sometimes appear on other sites. I wouldn’t call any of that a smoking gun. And I wouldn’t call a company a scam based on one supplier’s purported comments on a hidden-camera video.
- JCK's Rob Bates on the 'Brilliant Earth Diamond Scam" video.
West Africa-focused Stellar Diamonds Project announced it had signed a tribute mining and revenue share agreement with junior Octea Mining for the Tongo-Tonguma diamond project in eastern Sierra Leone.
Elena Levina of Rough&Polished has dropped a bombshell in the form of an investigative report entitled, "The virtual miner - investigation", documenting the incredible scam that goes by the name of the World of Diamonds Group (WOD). Following up on an interview (by Aruna Gaitonde, Editor-in-Chief of Rough&Polished's Asian Bureau, entitled "A diamond surprise - Russia comes to know it has a brand-ne
The International Institute of Diamond Grading & Research (IIDGR), part of De Beers Group, today announced the launch of a world-first Synthetic Diamond Detection training course. It is the first in a series of education services to be rolled out during 2017, according to a press release. The two-day lab-based course will be unveiled in the U.S. towards the end of the JCK Jewelry show in Las Vegas on 8 and 9 June, and in India at the IIDGR Facility in Surat on 15 and 16 May.
The Tiffany & Co. Foundation, established to preserve the world’s most treasured land- and seascapes, granted University of Delaware’s Saleem Ali the funding to launch a knowledge hub for colored gemstones, including signature projects across the globe. This includes Madagascar and South Asia where the projects are focused on miner education as well as health and safety outreach.
Koin International will hold its May rough sales of African diamonds in Antwerp from 8 - 17 May. The tender includes exciting selections of original mine rough productions, including diamonds from Ekapa Minerals (selection of tailings from Kimberley, South Africa), Angola F2M (10.80ct.+ and melee to 4ct. parcels), Diamcor Mining (original run of mine from Krone-Endora mine, South Africa, singles through to melee parcels), Democratic Republic of Congo (Run of Mine) and Guiter Minerals Sarl (Guinea Run of Mine).
The Fancy Color Research Foundation (FCRF) has released its latest Fancy Color Diamond Index update for the first quarter of 2017, which indicates pricing stability across most fancy color diamond categories. Yellow fancy color diamonds are down 2.5% compared to Q1 2016, but have lost only 0.2 percentage points since the previous quarter. Pinks are up 0.8% compared to the same period a year ago, while blue fancy color diamonds jumped 5.7% year-over-year and saw a 1.9% price increase in the first 3 months of 2017 as compared to Q4 2016.