Firestone Diamonds, the newest diamond miner in the Kingdom of Lesotho, is holding its maiden tender of diamonds from their Liqhobong Mine (Firestone 75%, Lesotho 25%) in Antwerp this week. It was the perfect occasion to catch up with Firestone CEO Stuart Brown in the offices of First Element, the tender house hosting the sale.
Stellar Diamonds plc, the London listed diamond development company focused on West Africa, has signed an agreement to operate the Tonguma mine in Sierra Leone, adjacent to the company’s own Tongo mine.
Stornoway Diamond Corporation has issued its annual results, detailing a memorable 2016. Their Renard Diamond Mine officially opened on October 19, 2016, and following the commencement of ore processing on July 15, 2016, commercial production was formally declared on January 1, 2017. The first sale of Renard Diamonds was held during November in Antwerp in Belgium. In total, 38,913 carats were sold at an average price of US$195 per carat, for proceeds of US$7.6 million (C$10.2 m).
Joseph Lipton, inventor and CEO of VULT - a digital diamond exchange platform seeking to turn diamonds into a true tangible asset class - presented his cutting-edge ideas about the future of global wealth at a very special TEDxFultonStreet Salon about “Things You Can’t Have” with other thought leaders in NYC.
The Antwerp diamond industry is readying to send a large delegation to the Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show next week, February 28 - March 4. The Antwerp Diamond Pavilion, organized by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), will host over 80 companies and occupy nearly 1,200 square meters of the Diamond Hall at the AsiaWorld-Expo. As an additional feature this year, exhibitors at the Antwerp Diamond Pavilion will have the opportunity to screen their diamond parcels using HRD Antwerp's
Trans Hex, a JSE-listed diamond exploration and mining company with well-established land operations in South Africa and interests in Angola, says trading volumes have returned to normal as a result of improved market conditions, leading to stronger results at its October 2016, December 2016 and February 2017 tender sales of rough diamond production from its wholly owned South African operations.
Dominion Diamonds has announced that sales of Ekati Diamond Mine and Diavik Diamond Mine diamonds fell 27% in Q4 2017 (November 2016 through January 2017) and 21% overall in FY 2017, despite the quantity of diamonds sold increasing 24% in Q4 and 61% for the year. It has also provided Q4 production results from its Ekati Mine, where carat production increased by 93% compared to the same period in the prior year due to the positive impact of processing of a large proportion of high grade Misery ore.
ALROSA recovered a large diamond of 121.88 carats from Jubilee kimberlite pipe in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), according to a press release (translated by Rough-Polished). The diamond was extracted by the company’s business unit Aikhal Mining and Processing Division (MPD) at the processing plant No.14. The diamond crystal has a yellowish tint, its dimensions are 28 х 18 х 19.5 mm.
In recent weeks there have been growing signs that the volume of synthetic rough diamonds flowing into the pipeline is rising significantly. Most goods appear to be of Chinese origin, and in sizes from one point up to three quarters of a carat. What is particularly worrying is a definite rise in the incidence of synthetics stones in quite large parcels of rough diamonds, which its owners previously had assumed were all natural ... Right now we are seeing particular demand among members of the rough diamond trade, who have a particular need to defend the integrity of their product.
- Joseph Kuzi, CEO and President of Diamond Services, anounces expansion of its synthetic screening service in Hong Kong and New York due to rise of undisclosed rough synthetics in pipeline
Tiffany & Co. announced it would appoint three new independent directors to join its board of directors, making a total of 13 members. Roger Farah, James Lillie and Francesco Trapani will join the board as part of an agreement between Tiffany and stakeholders Jana Partners. “We are excited to be adding such distinguished directors to our Board as part of our ongoing process to refresh the Board, and we are pleased to have worked cooperatively with JANA Partners to have met our objective,” says Chairman Michael Kowalski.
As we noted two weeks ago, word from De Beers and ALROSA was that the sharp decline in low-quality, low-value stones destined for India has abated as the country's cash situation stabilizes post-demonitization, and India's official January trade figures bear this out. The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) reports that the volume of rough diamond imports during the month increased 41% over December 2016 and a full 79% since November 2016 when demonitization was introduced.
In 2013, Kristall Smolensk diamonds, a Russia-based major polished diamond manufacturer, unveiled a replica of the Great Imperial Crown (it was on display at the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair in January).
Anglo American and De Beers' 2016 Annual Financial Results (preliminary) confirm a solid rebound from 2015 for the rough diamond giant, with annual revenues increasing 30% to $6.1 billion from $4.7 billion, on the back of a 37% rise in rough diamond sales, which reached $5.6 billion.
The decision to consolidate diamond mining killed the industry in Zimbabwe and government is currently re-engaging the Chinese companies that were operating in Marange to reach an amicable settlement, said Finance Minister, Patrick Chinamasa while addressing Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI). New Zimbabwe writes that according to the minister, the diamond mining sector is "dead" and is currently not contributing meaningfully towards the country's foreign currency earnings. "As of now the diamond sector is dead.
The la Gloria, an 887 ct. museum-quality stone which is believed to be the largest Muzo rough emerald in North America, is to be auctioned by Guernsey’s on April 25 in New York City. The La Gloria and 17 smaller rough emeralds discovered from the wreck of Spanish galleon Nuestra Señora de Atocha, are all from the collection of noted emerald authority Manuel Marcial de Gomar. “It’s very rare for an auction to spotlight emeralds,” says Arlan Ettinger, founder and president of Guernsey’s.
DDA Trading Bvba is pleased to announce the second sale of Namibian Marine Rough Diamonds in Antwerp. They will be offering approx. 8,900cts of Full ROM, Original Marine Goods of Gem quality. The goods are from the underwater concessions of Diamond Fields Namibia ML 111. Viewings will take place by appointment only in Antwerp at DDA Trading’s office in the Antwerp Diamond Bank, Pelikaanstraat 54, Floor 6, 2018 Antwerp from Monday 20 to Monday 27 February with the sale closing on Tuesday the 28th of February.
Forevermark, the diamond brand from the De Beers Group of Companies, has expanded to 2,000 retail outlets globally with the intention of expanding by an additional 10% this year, said CEO Stephen Lussier. The opening of the 2,000th Forevermark outlet, the Zen Diamond Anatolium store in the city of Bursa in Turkey, was followed by an announcement of a strong 2016. The brand spent US$85 million on consumer-facing marketing activities in 2016 to help stimulate global demand for diamond jewelry.
Petra Diamonds Limited has announced strong results for the six months to 31 December 2016 (H1 2017), with rough diamond production, revenues and carats sold all seeing substantial increases. Revenues were up 48% to US$228.5 million (H1 FY 2016: US$154.0 million) or US$217.6 excluding exceptional diamonds, with net profit after tax up more than 35% to US$35.2 million (H1 FY 2016: US$2.2 million loss) and an EBITDA margin of 38% (H1 FY 2016: 31%), indicating increased profitability. Petra's carats sold in the first half jumped 47% to 1.9 Mcts.
Russian mining giant ALROSA is stepping up its marketing game beyond its contributions to the Diamond Producers Association (DPA), we were told this past Wednesday at ALROSA Night - a joint initiative between the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and ALROSA at the Belgian Ambassador's Residence in Moscow.
Lucara Diamond Corp., which runs the Karowe Mine in Botswana and holds multiple exploration licences in the region, reports record earnings - and dividends - for the year 2016. Revenues increased 32% to $295.5 million from $223.8 million in 2015, with its EBITDA surging 38% to $184.4 million on the back of a 40% rise in price per carat achieved: $824 per carat compared to $593 per carat a year ago. However, net income declined 9% to $70.7 million in 2016, mainly due to a foreign-exchange loss of $11 million compared with a gain of $15 million a year earlier, the company.
On January 17, 2017, North Arrow Minerals - a Canadian based exploration company focused on the identification and evaluation of diamond exploration opportunities in Canada - announced it had entered a property purchase agreement with Stornoway Diamond Corporation under which North Arrow will acquire Stornoway’s remaining interests in the Qilalugaq (Nunavut) and Pikoo (Saskatchewan) Diamond Projects.
Diamond Dealers Club (DDC) of New York is moving to the International Gem Tower on West 47th Street in New York City, from its longtime home at 580 Fifth Ave. President Reuven Kaufman said the move is, "critical to the future success and stability of the diamond industry on 47th Street in New York." The DDC's new home will be approximately 17,500 square feet on the 11th floor, including a new open trading floor with state of the art technical facilities, cafeteria and break area, according to a statement.
"When I joined the diamond industry 10 years ago, I discovered the significant contribution diamond mining makes to entire regions and communities, through local employment and investments, construction of infrastructure, and development of health and education programs. I would assume that most consumers today are not aware of the contribution diamonds make to the world. Diamonds matter to the livelihood of millions, and they matter to all of us who want to express to our loved ones the sincerity of our commitment. Not all is perfect, but it is good today, and it will be better tomorrow. I take pride in the fact that diamonds make the world a better place."
- Jean-Marc Lieberherr, CEO of the Diamond Producers Association (DPA)
The Surat Diamond Association (SDA) and the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting the government provide an international airport at Surat as soon as possible to facilitate smooth imports and exports of polished and rough diamonds, write The Times of India. Estimates are that polished diamonds worth $21 billion are processed in Surat and exported to various countries via Mumbai every year, while India imports approximately $14 billion in rough diamonds annually.
The Angolan state diamond company, Endiama, said it is currently negotiating with its partner ALROSA for the financing of the Luaxe kimberlite project and will not seek additional investors, reports Macauhub. The Luaxe Kimberlite was discovered in 2012 when 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.
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 - has decided that its Ghaghoo mine will be placed on "care and maintenance" with immediate effect. That is to say, it is shutting down operations until profitability is more feasible.
Luxury brands are eager to cater to the desires of men as, “men are wearing more and more jewelry,” says Caroline Gaspard, founder of Akillis, a French-based jewelry brand which specializes in unisex jewelry. “The barriers are falling, and younger men are confident in expressing their own look.” Although the jewelry industry is still very much female-centric, brands are making headway by catering to men who are more fashion-forward and not afraid of expressing their individuality through jewelry.
Namibia's Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has dropped an investigation into whether a new government independent sales company called Namib Desert Diamonds (Namdia) deliberately sold Namibian diamonds cheaply to Dubai-based firms, writes The Namibian, which first broke the story back in November 2016. The Namibian previously raised concerns that Namdia, tasked to sell stones worth over US$150 million (N$2.1 billion) per year as stipulated by a
Koin International will hold a rough diamond tender in Antwerp from 20 – 27 February, and will be presenting for the first time the production of IMDSA (Marine) as well as multiple other original rough mine productions. IMDSA is a new marine production mined in the seas of South Africa, comprising excellent models and gem quality production. Other productions on offer include Ekapa Minerals, ANGOLA F2M, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Guinea, and brand new Koin Manufacturers’ Assortments (consistent monthly fixed assortments, perfect for manufacturers).
77 Diamonds, a small independent London company, has caused quite a stir in the shopping environment for jewelry by making bespoke jewelry in the UK and selling it online. The business was developed to cater to the change in consumer behavior of a generation that is more likely to meet their potential match by swiping right, than in person.
Anglo American, the London-based diversified mining conglomerate including the De Beers Group in its portfolio, has announced that Sir John Parker intends to step down, after serving eight years as Chairman, during the course of 2017. Sir John Parker, Chairman of Anglo American, said: "Having seen Anglo American emerge in a strong position from the mining industry downturn, with its sharp falls in commodity prices between 2014 and 2016, I believe that the time is now right for the Board to seek my successor during the course of 2017.
I. Hennig Tenders will be tendering a large selection (approximately 250 stones) of large single rough stones (10.80 carats to 183 carats) of Russian origin. Commenting on the upcoming rough diamond tender, I. Hennig Tenders CEO, David Kuchler said, “We will be offering a significant selection of large rough goods of Russian origin sourced in Gokhran in this upcoming tender. The tender will comprise of specialist commercial (cleavage and rejection) articles presenting an interesting buying opportunity to our tender clients.” The Tender will be held in Antwerp February 15-23.
Lucapa Diamond Co., the Australian miner with its main operations at the Lulo Diamond Project in Angola, hqs confirmed recovery of a high-quality (Type IIa, D color) 227-carat diamond. It is the second largest diamond recovered to date at Lulo, following the recovery of a 404-carat stone a year ago. The latest diamond was recovered using Lucapa's new XRT large diamond recovery circuit recently installed at Lulo, and derived from its new Mining Block 28. It is the 7th +100 carat diamond recovered to date at the project.
De Grisogono, a Geneva-based high-end jeweler, has entered a partnership with Jewelers DLK for its American operations in an effort to further develop the brand’s presence in the U.S. The partnership with DLK, owned by David and Lisa Klein, will enable the brand to further develop their precious stones, haute-jewelry collections and move away from being a brand that is reputed solely for having bought some of the world’s largest rough diamonds. De Grisogono USA will be managed by the Kleins, the Geneva-based company said on Friday.
Firestone's first sale of diamonds recovered from its Liqhobong Diamond Mine saw over 90 companies viewing the goods in Antwerp last week, with more than 38 companies making successful bids. The company sold all of the 75,936 carats offered for sale, realising an average price of US$107 per carat, resulting in total proceeds of US$8.14 million. Firestone says, "The average price per carat achieved was very pleasing, considering that the carats sold were recovered from the predominantly lower quality ore areas and are not necessarily representative of the run of mine ore.
The International Institute of Diamond Grading & Research (IIDGR), part of The De Beers Group of Companies, announced its first retail partnership in Asia for its generic polished diamond grading services. The partnership is with the Soo Kee Group in Singapore, which formally launches in February for the retailer’s bridal brand, Love & Co., for its Lovemarque diamond collection.
Antwerp's rough diamond trade surged again in the month of January, as the dollar value of rough exports from the diamond capital rose 30% while imports kept pace with a 31% increase compared to the same period in a year ago, according to figures from Antwerp World Diamond Centre. Volumes were up as well, with Antwerp exporting nearly 18% more carats than in January 2016, while rough imports increased by 36%.
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) was acknowledged for their grant to the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI), an initiative dedicated to improving the social and economic conditions of artisanal, small-scale miners and their families.
“AWDC has been a longstanding and reliable partner,” says Dorothée Gizenga, Executive Director of DDI. “Their support enables DDI to continue its efforts to formalize the artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) sector in ways that benefit miners, their communities and local economies.”
Last year Rio Tinto’s diamond revenue slid 12%, leading them to review their plans to extend the life of the Argyle diamond mine, considering the global demand for rough had otherwise strengthened, writes The West Australian. Rio Tinto spent $US2.5 billion expanding the Argyle mine below ground with an expected lifespan reaching 2021. Should they decide not to continue with the planned underground extension, the mine’s closure could come considerably sooner. They are yet to announce whether they will continue with the second stage of the underground block cave at the East Kimberley mine.
Speculation was already rampant about the potentially positive impact of having a First Lady and Daughter with their own retail brands; that impact has arrived in the first month, but whether or not it is positive is another question.
Australia's Lucapa Diamond Company, whose main asset is the Lulo diamond project in Angola, has sold a parcel of 2,946 carats of Lulo diamonds earning gross proceeds of US$3.8 million (A$4.9M). This represents an average price per carat of US$1,276 (A$1,671), a far cry from their $2,983 per carat average from the fourth quarter of 2016. The sale comprised diamond recoveries through December 31 2016, and included a 75-carat diamond and a 55-carat diamond.
Kennady Diamonds Inc., which controls 100 percent of the Kennady North diamond project located in Canada’s Northwest Territories in proximity to the Gahcho Kué Diamond Mine, announced that their bulk sampling of the Faraday 2 kimberlite is progressing well with 12 drill holes completed and 100 tons of kimberlite collected since the program began on January 20. Kennady plans to recover a total of approximately 570 tons of kimberlite from the Faraday kimberlites during the 2017 winter program, including 260 tons from Faraday 2, 300 tons from the Fa
The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) organized an alternative financing seminar this week - Diamond Financing 2017: New Opportunities New Realities - at the WFDB Presidents’ meeting 2017, which was held in Mumbai. Many important members of the industry were in attendance, including Sudhir Mungantiwar, Maharashtra’s Minister of Finance. At the inaugural session, many expressed their concern about the lack of bank financing, such as Anoop Mehta, President of the Bharat Diamond Bourse.
De Beers is shelving immediate plans to study an expansion project, called Tango, at its Victor diamond mine in northern Ontario after failing to get support from a neighboring aboriginal community, writes Reuters.
The year of the Rooster has officially commenced, and with that, the sales results of the Chinese New Year holiday period have been released. Chow Tai Fook reported mainland China outperformed Hong Kong and Macau’s holiday sales. During this period, between January 14 and February 3, revenue from the mainland rose by 4%, while same store sales grew by 1%. Gem-set sales on the mainland dropped by a whopping 20%, which is likely due to the brand not including the Valentine’s Day sales period this year.
Rio Tinto has announced it will relinquish its interest in the Bunder diamond project in India "due to commercial considerations" and will gift it to the Government of Madhya Pradesh. The move is not entirely unexpected, as Rio Tinto announced back in August 2016 it would not proceed with the development of Bunder and would be seeking to close all project infrastructure.
ALROSA, the Russian diamond mining giant, reports January sales of rough diamonds at $358.2 million and polished at $7.8 million; overall sales of $365.4 million represent a 107% increase over December 2016 and a 60% increase over the same period last year. The miner said it was "cautiously optimistic" that the trade in lower quality, low-cost goods - the majority of which are destined for India - is stabilizing.
Two professional jewelers are seeking to fill a market need by launching an app for the industry, Jewellery Trader, which gives members of the trade a new tool for sourcing and showcasing jewelry, watches and antiques. It also enables traders to advertise items for sale to consumers. The Jewellery Trader app was designed in an effort to provide an “innovative, cost effective selling tool in an easy to use and manage platform”.
Botswana Diamonds has entered into an option and earn-in agreement with Vutomi - a private diamond exploration and development firm in South Africa - and will invest £942,000 ($1.16 million) in cash, of which £581,000 ($719,000) will be used to fund exploration activities, in exchange for 72% of Vutomi. Vutomi has a portfolio of over twenty high interest kimberlites, many of which are diamondiferous spanning the Limpopo, North-West and Free State Provinces of South Africa.
Mountain Province Diamonds, the co-owner (49%) with De Beers (51%) of the Gahcho Kué Mine in Canada's Northwest Territories, has announced the recovery of a 67.87 carat gem quality octahedron diamond during production ramp-up at the diamond mine. It is the largest gem quality diamond recovered at Gahcho Kué to date. “The presence of large gem quality diamonds at Gahcho Kué was established during the bulk sampling when a 25.13 carat octahedron was recovered”, noted Patrick Evans, Mountain Province President and CEO.
179-year-old Tiffany & Co. has made headlines recently, launching a new ad campaign featuring Lady Gaga - who rocked the Super Bowl halftime show - and quietly dropping CEO Frederic Cumenal. Cumenal was let go due to his inability to turn around the dropping sales figures since taking over in April 2015.
Stornoway Diamond Corporation has announced 2016 production results from its Renard Mine in Quebec that far outstrip its projected output. For the year ended December 31, 2016, Stornoway mined 2,074,827 tons of ore from the Renard 2- Renard 3 and Renard 65 open pits, compared to a plan of 879,641 tons (+136%).
As in previous years, De Beers has allocated $35 million to diamond explorations and, in an effort to improve the rate of discoveries, will be implementing new technology. Mining companies have cut exploratory spending due to the 2015 slump in commodity prices, as well as the widening gap between expenditure and the value of resources found, as the best quality ores are reportedly depleted. "Our exploration spend this year is likely to be in line with last year's, around $35 million,” said De Beers.
Tiffany & Co.’s Chief Executive Officer, Frederic Cumenal, has decided to step down from his post. The Board of Directors is actively searching for a successor, but until then, former CEO Michael J. Kowalski will serve as Interim CEO while continuing as Chairman of the Board of Directors. In a statement, the company said the decision was based on its disappointing financial results and that the brand needed to improve its performance.
Gem Diamonds, which owns 70% of the Letšeng mine in Lesotho - famous for the production of large, high quality, exceptional white diamonds - and 100% of the Ghaghoo mine in Botswana, saw fourth quarter 2016 sales from its Letšeng mine fall 6% since Q3 and 22% for the year as a result of fewer exceptional large diamonds being recovered than expected. The total amount of carats recovered at Letšeng increased 8% to 26,438 carats during Q4 vs. Q3, when it recovered 24,388 carats, and overall recoveries for the year remained approximately the same, at 108,206 carats.
De Beers Diamond Jewelers on Old Bond Street is considering leaving its flagship London store after almost 15 years, citing an increase in rent and business rates as motivating its decision to relocate, writes The Telegraph. A spokesperson for the company told The Telegraph increased costs related to its lease had led it to “explore alternative options on Bond Street” for its move.
Award-winning journalist Rob Bates raises some highly relevant issues in the wake of the announcement by Ashley Orbach - U.S. Department of State’s special advisor for conflict diamonds for the last three years - that she will be leaving the agency and her role as advisor. There was always going to be a sense of uncertainty concerning the U.S. stance toward the Kimberley Process and human rights in the mining industry under the unpredictable new administration, and the loss of continuity signalled by Orbach's departure may well add to it.
Russia’s largest cut diamonds producer Kristall was included into the 2017-2019 privatization plan, a source familiar with privatization plans told Russia's TASS News Agency on Thursday. Kristall is Russia’s largest producer of polished diamonds and one of the largest diamond cutting companies across the globe.