Exclusive: Stuart Brown, CEO Firestone Diamonds, on Eve of First Rough Tender in Antwerp

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.

In-depthMining and ExplorationRough Market

Stellar Diamonds Inks Deal To Operate Tonguma Mine, Sierra Leone

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.

Mining and ExplorationFinance and Trade

Stornoway Diamonds Ends Memorable 2016 In Strong Position

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).

Mining and ExplorationRough Market

TEDx Tech Talk: Turning Diamonds Into an Asset Class

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.

TechnologyGradingPolished

AWDC's Antwerp Diamond Pavilion Kicks Off 2017 with 83 Companies at Hong Kong Show

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

Finance and TradePolished

South African Junior Diamond Miner Trans Hex Sees Improving Sales in Q3

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.

Mining and ExplorationRough Market

Dominion Diamond: Q4 2017 Rough Diamond Sales Fall 27% as Production Surges

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.

Mining and ExplorationRough Market

ALROSA Unearths 120+ Carat Diamond

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.

Mining and Exploration

Tiffany’s Appoints Three New Board Members

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.

Jewelry

Low-Value Rough Diamond Imports to India Surge in Jan., Polished Exports Up

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.

Rough MarketPolished

3D Printing the Solution to Complicated Jewelry Designs

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).

TechnologyJewelry

De Beers Confirms 2016 Rebound as Rough Diamond Sales, Profits Rise

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.

Rough MarketMining and ExplorationFinance and Trade

Zimbabwe Finance Minister: Zim Diamond Industry "Dead", Needs Reviving

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.

Mining and Exploration

887 Carat Emerald to be Auctioned in NYC

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.

World News

DDA Trading Opens 2nd Sale of Namibian Marine Rough Diamonds in Antwerp

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.

Mining and ExplorationRough Market

De Beers’ Forevermark Announces Strong 2016, Reaches 2,000 Outlets

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.

Retail and Consumer ConfidenceJewelryWorld News

Petra Diamonds Reports Strong H1 2017 as Revenue, Production and Profit Rise

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.

Mining and ExplorationFinance and TradeRough Market

ALROSA Stepping Up Diamond Branding & Marketing Efforts

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.

Mining and ExplorationRough MarketPolished

Lucara Diamond Posts Record Sales in 2016: $295.5M at $824/Carat

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.

Finance and TradeMining and ExplorationRough Market

North Arrow Closes Acquisition of Qilalugaq and Pikoo Diamond Projects

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.

Mining and Exploration

Diamond Dealers Club of NY Relocating to Int'l Gem Tower

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.

Finance and Trade

"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)

Surat Diamond Association, GJEPC Demand Surat Int'l Airport

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.

ManufacturingFinance and Trade

Angola State Diamond Co. Endiama To Develop Luaxe Project Exclusively with ALROSA

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.

Mining and ExplorationFinance and Trade

Gem Diamonds Puts Ghaghoo Mine (Botswana) on Care & Maintenance

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.

Mining and Exploration

Men’s Jewelry the Latest Trend in Luxury Shopping?

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.

Jewelry

Namibia Anti-Corruption Commission Drops Inquiry Into Namib Desert Diamonds

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

LegalMining and ExplorationRough Market

Koin International To Tender African Rough Productions in Antwerp, Feb. 20-27

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).

Rough Market

Next Generation Sparks Demand for DIY Diamond Jewelry Online

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.

Jewelry

Chairman of Anglo American To Step Down in 2017

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.

Mining and Exploration

Beyoncé ‘Flawless' in $12 Million Diamond Necklace at the Grammys

I. Hennig Tender of Large Russian Diamonds in Antwerp Starts Feb. 15

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.

Rough Market

Lucapa's Latest Big Find: 227 Ct. High Quality Diamond, 2nd Largest from Angola

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.

Mining and Exploration

De Grisogono Partners with US Jeweler in Expansion Effort

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.

Jewelry

Firestone Sells 76K Carats for $8M at First Diamond Sale in Antwerp

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.

Rough Market

IIDGR to Launch Maiden Partnership with Asian Retailer

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.

LaboratoriesJewelry

Antwerp Rough Diamond Trade Buoyant In New Year, Mixed Polished Results

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%.

Finance and TradeRough MarketPolished

Antwerp World Diamond Centre Continues to Support Diamond Development Initiative

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.”

Sustainability

Uncertain Future for Argyle Diamond Mine

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.

Mining and ExplorationFinance and TradeRough Market

Trump Quick to Interfere in U.S. Retail Sector in Defense of Daughter

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.

World NewsPolitics

Lucapa Diamond Co.'s First 2017 Sale Earns $3.8M at $1,276 per Carat

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.

Mining and ExplorationRough Market

Kennady Diamonds Ramps Up Bulk Sampling of Faraday Kimberlite

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

Mining and Exploration

GJEPC Hosts Seminar on Diamond Financing

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.

Finance and Trade

De Beers Suspends Victor Diamond Mine Expansion Indefinitely

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.

Mining and Exploration

Chow Tai Fook Lunar New Year Sales Results Mirror Q3

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.

Jewelry

Rio Tinto Hands Keys to Bunder Diamond Project to Gov't of Madhya Pradesh

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.

Mining and Exploration

ALROSA's January Rough Diamond Sales Highest Since Indian Cash Crisis

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.

Mining and ExplorationRough Market

New Jewelry Trading App Brings Innovative Tech to Industry

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”.

JewelryTechnology

Botswana Diamonds Invests in S. Africa Exploration Project: “Too good to pass up"

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.

Mining and Exploration

Gacho Kué Diamond Mine Shows Its Potential with 68-Ct Stone

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.

Mining and Exploration

Tiffany To Ditch Tradition And Adapt To Evolution

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.

Jewelry

Stornoway Diamond Co. Storms Past Production Estimates in 2016

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%).

Mining and ExplorationRough Market

De Beers To Keep Diamond Exploration Budget at $35M

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.

Mining and Exploration

Tiffany’s CEO Frederic Cumenal Steps Down

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.

Jewelry

Fewer Large Stone Recoveries Lower Gem Diamonds' Annual Sales

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.

Mining and Exploration

De Beers May Abandon London Flagship Due to Rising Rents, Rates

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.

JewelryRetail and Consumer Confidence

U.S. Dept. of State Advisor on Conflict Diamonds Leaves Agency. What's Next?

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.

ComplianceMining and ExplorationSustainabilityPolitics

Lady Gaga to Star in Tiffany & Co.'s First-Ever Super Bowl Commercial

Russia To Privatize Largest Diamond Cutter - Kristall, Reduce Stake in ALROSA to 29%

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.

ManufacturingFinance and TradeMining and Exploration