Today we have announced total cash returns to shareholders of $3 billion. By driving performance, focusing on cash and allocating it with discipline we are delivering superior cash returns to our shareholders. These are strong results: operating cash flow was $6.3 billion and we met our $2 billion cash cost reduction target six months early. We are now shifting gear to focus on the untapped value from our productivity programme and continue to strengthen our portfolio to build higher returns for the future.
- Rio Tinto chief executive J-S Jacques, on 2017 half year results
India's recently-adopted goods & services tax (GST) of 3% on polished diamonds, 5% service tax and 0.25% on imported rough diamonds is making life challenging for the country's 50,000 small and medium diamond manufacturing units in Gujarat, employing up to 200,000 workers. The Economic Times, citing Praveen Shankar Pandya, chairman of the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), reports that due to increased compliance requirements and uncertainty over when they will get input credit refund, the viability of many of these small units is uncertain.
De Beers and parent company Anglo American (AA) today announced their interim financial results for the six months ended 30 June 2017, with the diamond giant reporting a mixed bag while the diversified miner saw its massive restructuring bear fruit. De Beers underlying financial result were positive, as Underlying EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) increased by 3% to $786 million (H1 2016: $766 million), capital expenditure (Capex) dropped significantly and its return on capital employed (ROCE) for the year increased from 7 to 11%.
Gem Diamonds has released its H1 trading update showing improvement in the discovery of highly valuable diamonds from Letšeng mine in Lesotho, as well as a strong uptick in sales prices for its large stones, but are investors convinced that real recovery is on the horizon? After a year of declining large diamond recoveries (5) and prices (-26%), the company has recovered five +100 carat diamonds since the end of March alone (4 in reporting period, 1 just after) and has seen its pricing increase to an average of US$1,779 per carat for the period, up 20% from US$1,480 per carat in H2 2016.
As anticipated, while Petra Diamonds achieved record levels of production and sales in FY 2017, with production up 8% to 4.0 Mcts (FY 2016: 3.7 Mcts) and revenue up 11% to US$477.0 million (FY 2016: US$430.9 million), investors remain worried as the company missed its production and revenue guidance by 8-9% due to the slower than anticipated build-up of its expansion programs across its operations. Furthermore, the company pushed back its production guidance and unveiled higher than expected spending and debt, causing its share price to tumble.
After months of speculation and a rejected takeover attempt, Canadian miner Dominion Diamond Corporation has entered into an arrangement agreement with The Washington Companies to acquire all of Dominion’s outstanding common shares for US$14.25 per share in cash, or a total equity value of approximately US$1.2 billion. The transaction represents a 44 percent premium to Dominion’s unaffected share price of US$9.92 on March 17, 2017. Dominion rejected Washington's initial advance of $1.1 billion, or $13.50 a share last March, calling it "opportunistic" and saying it undervalued the company.
Canada's Dominion Diamond Corp., the world's third-largest diamond producer by market value with a controlling interest in the Ekati Mine and 40% owner of the Diavik Mine in Canada’s Northwest Territories, is in advanced and friendly talks with The Washington Companies on a sweetened cash takeover bid, sources told Reuters this week. Susan Taylor and John Tilak write that Negotiations are focused on the two sides settling on a price, said the sources, who declined to speak publicly on the matter. A deal could be announced within weeks, they said.
Antwerp's diamond trade in June mirrors the trends we have seen from the diamond capital over the first half of the year 2017, with significant volume increases of lower-priced rough exports and a persistently soft polished trade. On a year-over-year basis, the volume of rough diamond exports increased for the second month in a row by more than 50% (53%) while their value rose only 24%. The volume of rough imports also surged 31% while their value lagged behind at 5%.
At its Annual General Meeting of Shareholders, Russian diamond miner PJSC ALROSA approved the company’s annual report and financial statements and recommended a total dividend to be paid of $1.1 billion (RUB 65.769 billion) or $0.15 (RUB 8.93) per ordinary share of 50 kopecks par value ($0.008). According to the IFRS Consolidated Financial Statements of ALROSA and its subsidiaries, in 2016 the net profit (less profit attributable to non-controlling interest) amounted to $2.21 billion (RUB 131.391 billion). Fifty percent of this amount will be paid as dividend.
For the year ended 31 March 2017, South Africa-based and JSE-listed junior diamond mining company Trans Hex Group reported a loss of $14.1 million (R182.6 million), representing an 81% increase than the year prior, when the group recorded a loss of $7.8 million (R100.8 million). The loss derives from sales revenue decreased by 19.5% to $41.8 million (R540.2 million) compared to the corresponding period a year earlier. Diamond sales by volume fell 17.5% to 40,187 carats, while the average price of rough sold dropped 2.2%, the company reported.
De Beers Group’s latest announcement is the creation of De Beers Ventures, a separate platform which considers the acquisition of minority equity stakes in start-ups and growth companies related to the Group's core business.
In November 2016, Reuters reported that an Italian market regulator Consob was investigating the sale of high-quality investment diamonds through bank branches across the country after a TV report alleged the stones were mis-sold to the public. Several Italian banks distribute diamonds for diamond brokers, generating around 300 million euros ($334 million) in sales for the brokers last year.
Indian diamond manufacturers, brokers and merchants in the manufacturing center in Surat have unanimously decided to shut the industry for a day on June 17, demanding exemption of the polished diamonds from the 3% Goods and Service Tax (GST), writes The Times of India (TOI). They have formed a committee to lead the protest against the GST council's decison to impose 3% GST on polished diamonds and 18% GST on diamond trading.
London-listed gemstones miner and Fabergé owner Gemfields said it has received an offer for the company from Chinese conglomerate Fosun International Ltd. Fosun made an initial proposal regarding a possible cash offer for the British precious stones miner, thereby emerging as a rival to Pallinghurst, whose recent takeover bid was considered to "significantly undervalue" the company. Gemfields said it was, “actively engaged in discussions with Fosun Gold regarding a possible competing offer for the entire issued and to be issued share capital of the company.”
“To me, synthetic diamonds are not diamonds. It is a different product. We don’t know what their value is now or how this is going to evolve. So we are not financing lab-grown at the moment, but we may consider it over time, when it is a more mature product."
- Erik Jens, when asked by moderator Rob Bates (JCK) if ABN AMRO is currently financing lab-grown diamond companies during SRK panel debate with Paul Rowley (De Beers) and Tom Moses (GIA) at JCK Las Vegas
The Indian government’s decision to impose a 0.25 per cent tax on rough diamond imports under the goods and services tax regime (GST) in order to ensure traceability of diamonds will hurt India’s competitiveness, according to diamond industry representatives. India’s Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) criticized the government’s decision to tax rough diamond imports, claiming it will damage the nation’s manufacturing sector, and is urging the government to reconsider its decision.
According to a report by Martin Creamer in Mining Weekly Online, South Africa's Minerals Minister Mosebenzi Zwane has taken the seemingly odd decision to deny diamond mining company De Beers Consolidated Mines (DBCM) an exemption from a 5% levy on exports of rough diamonds to Botswana for aggregation.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Representatives from the Antwerp diamond industry were on board today for Brussels Airlines' first official direct flight from Brussels to Mumbai, where HRD Antwerp diamond certification lab is opening its new, expanded offices and the Antwerp World Diamond Centre is holding an information session for the Indian banking sector. The diamond delegation is participating in a Belgian economic mission to India spearheaded by Secretary of State for Foreign Trade Pieter De Crem.
ALROSA’s new President Sergey Ivanov led a senior delegation from the Russian diamond miner to Antwerp today to get acquainted with their partners at the Antwerp World Diamond Centre.
R2Net, which owns JamesAllen.com, the fastest growing online diamond retailer, obtained a $140M growth equity investment from Francisco Partners to further accelerate the company’s rapid expansion, the company announced in a press release. “Anyone who has ever bought a diamond or an engagement ring appreciates how intimidating the process can be for the consumer,” said Matt Spetzler, Partner at Francisco Partners.
Back in February, the Gems & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) hosted the "Diamond Financing 2017: New Opportunities, New Realities" seminar coinciding with the 2017 Presidents Meeting, the biannual gathering of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB). Avi Krawitz reports on the proceedings: "The bankers still view diamonds as a high-risk sector. Representatives from the diamond trade, meanwhile, feel there has been significant progress in improving the industry’s level of compliance, transparency and so-called bankability.
Last week, BloombergMarkets reported that Anil Agarwal - the founder and controlling shareholder in Indian resource giant Vedanta Resources Plc. - paid $2.5 billion for 13 percent stake in Anglo American, a transaction that immediately made him Anglo’s second-biggest shareholder.
Back in September 2016, ALROSA announced a partnership with Indian company KGK Diamonds Private Ltd, a global leader in diamond cutting, to develop cutting and polishing facilities in Eurasian Diamond Centre in Vladivostok.
Russia's ALROSA has announced that it has gained direct access to trading at Moscow Exchange’s FX Market, and that the first trades were executed on April 4, 2017. As of January 16, 2017, Russia starting permitting select non-financial institutions to participate in the FX market directly on equal terms with banks and brokerage firms. So ALROSA, a non-financial institution, can now directly access the foreign exchange market and trade forex without the use of an outside broker.*
Antwerp's diamond trade trended strong across the board in March, as the rough diamond trade experienced an increase in volume as well as value, while the polished trade saw better results than in previous months. The volume of rough exports from Antwerp increased 7% year-over-year to 10.75 million carats, while rough imports jumped nearly 16% compared to the same month a year earlier, reaching 9.4 million carats.
Anglo American Plc’s billionaire shareholder, Anil Agarwal, said he had no intention of behaving like an activist investor following his $2.5 billion investment for a 13% stake earlier this month. He continued by staying he had no plan to buy Anglo’s assets in South Africa, or to push for a seat on the board. The investment was made through Agarwal’s holding company, Volcan Investments, rather than Vedanta Resources.
Stéphane Fischler, President of the International Diamond Council, founding member of the European Council of Diamond Manufacturers, Vice President of the World Diamond Council and President of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre talks to Manisha Gupta on India's CNBC-TV18. He shared his view of the Indian diamond industry and the road ahead for its diamond market. An abbreviated version:
CNBC: How do you see diamond consumption growth in India?
"Martin Rapaport, chairman of the Rapaport Group, called on India to show reciprocity in its trade relationship with the United States," writes eponymous Rapaport News of their founder's “State of Diamond Industry” presentation at GJEPC's "Mines to Market" conference yesterday, marking 50 years of India’s Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council.
India's polished diamond trade appears to making a solid recovery as it gains distance on November's demonitization shock. The country exported $2.41 billion of cut and polished diamonds in February 2017, a rise of 3.27% as compared to the $2.34 bn in the same month a year earlier, according to provisional data released by The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). More telling, however, is that February exports increased 49% over January 2017 ($1.6b) and were 63% higher than December 2016 (1.48b).
Canadian mining company Dominion Diamond Corp. received a $1.1 billion bid from a privately held conglomerate in Montana, but the two sides are at a negotiating impasse, setting the stage for a public takeover fight, writes The Wall Street Journal.
Diamond industry analyst Paul Zimnisky, author of the Zimnisky Global Rough Diamond Price Index, provides his thoughts on the recent struggles of diamond mining stocks. Given what is now being widely considered as a recovery and stabilization of the diamond industry last year, an optimistic post-election U.S.
Russian diamond miner ALROSA has postponed initiation of investment diamonds trading on the Moscow Exchange until summer 2017, the company told Russian news agency TASS. "The Investment Diamonds project launch deadline is postponed in connection with the need to work out its implementation mechanisms in greater detail. We are working to address interests of all market participants and offer a liquid investment and saving mechanism to investors. The project will start in summer 2017," the official spokesperson of Alrosa said.
The Lulo alluvial diamond venture in Angola has declared US$8 million in a combined distribution and capital repayment, and Lucapa Diamond - as operator and funder of both the Lulo alluvial mining and kimberlite exploration programs – will be entitled to receive a gross amount of US$5.6 million (A$7.3 million), the company writes in an ASX statement.
Antwerp's rough diamond trade continued its steady climb in the month of February, as the volume of rough exports from Antwerp increased 17% from January, while imports increased over 23% compared to the month before, according to figures from Antwerp World Diamond Centre. The value of those exports reflected the lower-priced nature of the goods, as the dollar value of rough exports only increased 6%, while the value of rough imports actually fell 5% despite the increases in volume.
Russian diamond mining giant ALROSA today (Tuesday) announced that it prepaid a $600 million bank loans received from VTB Bank in 2012 and extended in 2014 until October 2018. ALROSA paid back the bank loan with its own cash funds, thus reducing its debt on loans and borrowings to $1.7 billion, while its average interest rate decreased from 6.6% to 6.3%. ALROSA has made it a priority in recent years to cut down its outstanding loans.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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%.
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.
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.
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.
After a difficult 2015, the Antwerp diamond industry recorded a 5% increase in trade in 2016, according to a press release from the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC). This past year, a total of 48 billion USD worth of diamonds were imported to and exported from Antwerp. "The rough diamond market in particular is clearly making a strong recovery. This is positive sign, given that the rough diamond trade is the foundation and heart of the diamond trade.
The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) Chairman Praveen Shankar Pandya told the Press Trust of India he expects gem and jewellery exports to likely witness growth of about 10 percent this fiscal year due to increasing demand in the US and Europe. "We are seeing the markets improve slowly, especially US and Europe to some extent. Looking at the growth in demand in these markets, we are expecting close to 10 per cent growth in the gems and jewellery exports led by polished diamonds," said Pandya.
While it is early days for an already turbulent and unpredictable Trump administration, news that the White House has floated the idea of introducing a border tax on imports from Mexico is likely causing anxiety among retailers that rely on such imports.
In the upcoming eighth edition of BrilliAnt, the three-day Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair (ADTF), more than 95 exhibitors are expecting to receive hundreds of retail jewelers, leading designers, trend-setters and diamond buyers. The fair, which takes place from Sunday, 29 to Tuesday 31 January will be hosted in the historic trading halls of the Antwerp Diamond Bourses. It is a joint initiative of the Bourse, Club and the Antwerp Diamond Kring, and is powered by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC).
Southern African diamond mining, development and exploration company DiamondCorp announced last week it would raise £1million ($1.23M) through a placing at 4p ($0.05). The South African-focused diamond miner initiated the funding round as a first step in pulling its Lace mine out of Business Rescue, and now reports that the placing is progressing well. They have extended the closing date for the round of funding that will bring its diamond mine out of the South African equivalent of administration.
From De Beers' press release: Speaking at a reception for customers of its Global Sightholder Sales business during the first Sight of 2017, Bruce Cleaver, De Beers Group CEO, today highlighted the importance of all parts of the diamond sector working together, following the unpredictable events of a volatile year in 2016.
India's polished diamond exports were sailing along quite nicely in 2016, having put the significant downturn of 2015 squarely behind and having nearly returned to 2014 and 2013 levels, until the bottom fell out in November as exports dropped 53% from $2.52 billion in October to $1.18 billion in November. According to statistics from the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), polished exports bounced back in December, increasing 25% from November to reach $1.48 billion, but does not indicate a full return to health.