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, reported a 14% drop in revenue for H1 2017, to $92.9m from $109.1m a year earlier. The poor results from Letšeng were reportedly due to a 12% fall in carat recovery (50,478), as well as a decline in average diamond prices, which fell to $1,779 from $1,899 y-o-y.
In July 2017, ALROSA Group sold US$293.5 million worth of rough and polished diamonds. Rough diamond sales by value amounted to US$286.1 million, its lowest sales month for the year, while polished diamond sales achieved US$7.4 million. For the year thus far January-July 2017, ALROSA’s rough and polished diamond sales amounted to US$2.79 billion. The Russian miner has sold US$2.728 billion in rough diamonds on the year, while earning US$62.3 million from polished diamonds. “In July, there was a seasonal drop in demand on the market in the run up to August holidays.
ALROSA's search for the eight missing miners at its Mir mine in Yakutia continues for the sixth day. Citing an Interfax update, Rough & Polished details the harrowing complications with the search efforts. "The water level at the Mir mine in Yakutia continues to increase, while rescue and search operation for the eight missing miners continues for the 6th day in a row. Groundwater gradually fills the mine workings.
Reuters news agency reports that Patrick Evans, the former chief executive of Mountain Province Diamonds, will become the new CEO of Dominion Diamond Corp once a deal to purchase the Canadian diamond company closes later this year, he said on Wednesday. Dominion, the world's third largest diamond producer by market value, has been looking for a CEO since January when its former head, Brendan Bell, quit. Last month Dominion agreed to a $1.2 billion takeover offer from U.S. billionaire Dennis Washington that will take private the Canadian-based diamond miner.
Mountain Province Diamonds - a 49% participant with De Beers Canada in the Gahcho Kué diamond mine located in Canada’s Northwest Territories - reports strong interest in Antwerp for Gahcho Kué Diamonds in Q2 2017 (ended June 30, 2017), despite a challenging rough diamond market. For the three months of Q2, MPD reported a net income of US$6 million (C$7.6 million) or US$0.39 (C$0.05) per share.
Canadian junior miner Kennady Diamonds reports a collective average price of US$109 per carat from its bulk sampling program of diamonds recovered from the Faraday kimberlites at the 100 percent-controlled Kennady North project located in Canada’s Northwest Territories. Valuation results included a 7.78 carat sawable diamond recovered from Faraday 3 valued at US$2,967 per carat. A total of 1,259.16 carats (+0.85mm) recovered from the 2017 bulk sampling program was sent to WWW International Diamond Consultants (‘WWW’) in Antwerp for valuation.
ALROSA issued the following press release this morning concerning the search for eight missing miners after a flood in the Mir mine in Yakutia: Mine rescuers teams, 60 people in each, started the morning stage of the search operation. The pace and scope of their work will depend on the weather conditions and geological situation in the open-pit mine. More than 330 people and over 30 units of equipment are involved in the search.
The Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Mining Company (ZCDC) has suffered a major blow after the High Court ordered it to immediately shut down its mining operations amid reports its activities do not meet Environmental Management Authority (EMA) regulations, writes The Zimbabwe News Live. This decision comes as part of an ongoing investigation in to the Marange alluvial diamonds operations, with the Court ordering the state-owned company to stop diamond mining in Chiadzwa with immediate effect until it has been granted an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) certificate.
Firestone Diamonds, the AIM-listed junior mining company operating the Liqhobong Diamond Mine in the Kingdom of Lesotho (ownership Firestone 75%, Lesotho 25%), has revised its production guidance for the year to 30 June 2018 (FY 2018) to between 800,000 and 850,000 carats from previously-stated 1.0 million carats.
Palllinghurst Resources, following its recent takeover of Gemfields, has appointed Sean Gilbertson as new CEO for the colored gemstone miner as it commences the acquisition process. The move follows the resignation of Gemfields' non-executive directors, including that of CEO Ian Harebottle, who has held the position for the last eight years. Harebottle, as well as the resigning board members, was highly crititical of the takeover, saying it "significantly undervalued" the company.
The Botswana Government, through the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Anglo American, Debswana and De Beers Global Sightholder Sales to underpin the continued expansion of the Tokafala Enterprise Development program, according to a De Beers Group press release. The partnership to implement a 3-year program builds on Anglo American’s extensive experience and successes in enterprise development, tailored to the specific Botswana context.
As first reported Friday, August 4, rescue teams are searching for eight workers missing in the Mir underground mine owned by Russian diamond miner Alrosa after water leaked into an underground shaft on Friday morning, the company said. A total of 133 miners had been brought to the surface after the flood, Alrosa said in a statement citing its CEO Sergey Ivanov. There were 142 workers underground when the accident happened. No casualties have been reported so far and there was no word from Alrosa on the chances that the nine missing miners could still be rescued.
Botswana Diamonds has raised $1.13 million (£868,000) from directors and existing subscribers with funds to be used to progress its flagship Vutomi project in Frischgewaagt, South Africa, to inferred resources status and to continue its exploration activities. The funds were raised through the placing of 79,484,300 new ordinary shares. Botswana issued 31,244,300 ordinary shares of 0.25p each at the exercise price of 0.85 pence per new share for a total of £265,576 ($346,000).
Lucara Diamond Corp. the Canadian junior diamond miner whose key asset is its 100% owned, state-of-the-art Karowe Mine in Botswana reports strong Q2 results despite a decline in mined ore volumes and carats recovered, as higher value recoveries compensated for lower grades. Q2 revenue was $79.6 million or $1,336 per carat from 62,434 carats total, which compares favorably to Q2 2016, where Lucara sold $77.7 million at $1,017 per carat from 107,801 carats total (figures exclude the 2016 sale of the 813-carat Constellation diamond for $63.1 million, for a more accurate comparison).
Brazilian engineering company Odebrecht SA, a conglomerate selling off assets in the wake of a corruption scandal - allegedly paying hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes in association with infrastructure projects in 12 countries, including Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela and Panama between 2002 and 2016 - has agreed to sell a 16.4 percent stake in the Catoca mine in Angola.
Mountain Province Diamonds, a Canadian junior miner and 49% participant with De Beers Canada in the Gahcho Kué diamond mine located in Canada’s Northwest Territories, sold 290,000 carats of rough diamonds valued at $20.9 million at its sixth tender sale of the year in July.
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
Karelian Diamond Resources, the Ireland-based, AIM-listed diamond exploration company focused on Finland has received a Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) on its Lahtojoki diamondiferous kimberlite pipe in the Kuopio-Kaavi district in south eastern Finland, which recommends an open pit mining operation. It estimates a total of 2.11M carats recoverable with a gross value of US$211M over a nine year life of mine, with payback for the Lahtojoki mine - estimated to cost about $22 million to build, after two years. It would be the first ever European diamond mine outside of Russia.
CEO of the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), Dr. Moris Mpofu, last week described plans for reversing the resource curse in the country's tumultuous diamond industry with the creation of a multinational diamond park in Mutare - Zimbabwe's fourth-largest city situated on its eastern border.
De Beers rough diamond sales at Sight 6 (Global Sightholder Sales and Auction Sales, July 24-28) provisionally totalled $572 million, according to today's media release. This represents an 8% increase over rough diamond sales valued at $528 million at Sight 6 2016, and a nearly 6% increase over the latest sales Cycle 5 (June 12-16, 2017). For the first six cycles of the year to date, De Beers' rough diamond sales are valued at $3.50 billion, a 1.5% decline compared to the $3.56 billion sold during the first six cycles of 2016.
Australian junior miner Lucapa Diamond Company earned US$15.5 million from the sale of 2,070 carats of rough alluvial diamonds from the Lulo Diamond Project in Angola during the sixth sale of 2017. This represents an average price of US$710 per carat, and brings gross proceeds from Lulo diamond sales in 2017 to US$17 million, for an average price of US$1,485 per carat. The company notes that diamond recoveries and grades have improved at Lulo since the return to the high-value Mining Block 8 and 6 areas, after the Angolan wet season.
Namibian rough diamonds are known for their high quality; mining these quality goods also costs a premium.
Independent analyst and consultant on diamonds and the mining industry, and publisher of the Zimnisky Global Rough Diamond Price Index, Paul Zimnisky has published an in-depth article on the current state of the diamond industry as it heads into the second half of 2017. Reprinted from Paul Zimnisky Diamond Analytics, courtesy of Paul Zimnisky.
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%.
Dunnedin Ventures Inc., an emerging diamond exploration company based out of Vancouver, BC whose main focus is the advanced stage Kahuna Diamond Project located in Nunavut, Canada, reports the recovery of 8.17 carats of commercial-sized diamonds (+0.85 mm) from 2.03 tons of ore from the PST kimberlite - one of three at the project. This yielded a final aggregate sample grade of 4.02 carats per ton.
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.
In the first six months of this year, ALROSA Group processed 16.2 million tons of ore and sand, which yielded 19.3 million carats of extracted rough diamonds, a 14% increase compared to the same period in 2016, the company writes in a press release. The major driver of the jump in rough diamond production was their increased processing of ore with higher diamond grade from the pipes Yubileynaya, Zarnitsa, Karpinskogo-1, Mir underground mine, and sand from alluvial deposits. The Aikhal and Udachny underground mines also demonstrated a growth in diamond mining.
Zimbabwe's rough diamond production surged to 1.1 million carats in the first half of 2017, compared to 690,000 carats produced in the entirety of 2016 (the newspaper NewsDay last month cited 2016 production as 961,000 carats), said Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa. He attributes the sudden rise to the government's $30 million capital investment in equipment for Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), which has enabled the mining company to shift from low-vale alluvial mining to more lucrative conglomerate and kimberlite diamond mining.
Russia's ALROSA has appointed Pavel Vinikhin as director of DIAMONDS ALROSA – ALROSA’s cutting and polishing division, one of the largest diamond manufacturers in Russia, the company announced in a press release. In April 2016, he was appointed as deputy director for marketing of DIAMONDS ALROSA, and headed ALROSA Diamonds Ltd, a cutting and polishing factory in Barnaul. He has been managing DIAMONDS ALROSA since October 2016, when he was serving as acting director.
De Beers' rough diamond production for Q2 2017 increased 36 per cent to 8.7 million carats, which is in line with the higher production forecast for 2017 and reflects stable trading conditions as well as the contribution from the ramp-up of Gahcho Kué in Canada to nameplate capacity, report De Beers/Anglo American in a press statement. Second quarter production in Canada increased almost six-fold to over 1.0 million carats from 147,000 carats, with a total of 831,000 carats from Gahcho Kué (51% share) and 182,000 carats from their Victor mine.
On July 18, a very large rough diamond weighing almost 110 carats was recovered at the Processing Plant No. 3 of ALROSA’s Mirny Mining and Processing Division. Two days earlier, a 75-carat rough diamond was recovered at the Processing Plant No. 14 of Aikhal Mining and Processing Division. These large rough diamonds became presents for two anniversaries celebrated by the Company - 60 years of diamond mining industry and 25 years of ALROSA. Both rough diamonds are initially estimated as gem-quality. They are octahedron crystals with small inclusions, one of them with a straw-yellow tint.
Just days after announcing it had identified a group 2 kimberlite pipe at the Ontevreden licence held by Vutomi in an area known for its high-grade diamonds, AIM and BSE listed explorer Botswana Diamonds (BOD) has announced it has been granted a prospecting licence over an additional 1,000 hectares at its Vutomi joint venture in South Africa.
Canadian junior miner Rockwell Diamonds, which focuses on developing alluvial diamond deposits in South Africa and is currently in business rescue avoid liquidation, is struggling to stay afloat and to bring its new Wouterspan WPC) project into full production, all the while bleeding cash. And its CEO, Tjaart Willemse, brought in to turn the company around, has resigned.
Rio Tinto reports rough diamond output at its Argyle Mine in Australia reached 3.2 million carats in Q2 2017, representing a 7% increase over output in the first quarter of the year, but an 8% decline compared to the 3.5 million carats recovered in Q2 2017. For the first half of 2017, production fell 9% to 6.2 million carats from 6.9 million carats in the first half last year. The company attributes the decline to lower ore volumes processed following wet weather and additional maintenance required in the second quarter of this year.
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.
Members of ALROSA Supervisory Board voted to re-elect Anton Siluanov, Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation, as Chairman of the Supervisory Board, the company announced in a press release last Friday. Siluanov has been a member of the Supervisory Board since 2014 and Chairman since 2015. He is also Chairman of the Supervisory Council of VTB Bank, member of the Board of Directors of Russian Export Center, the Board of Governors of the New Development Bank and a long list of other appointments.
In its quarterly update on commissioning activities at its Liqhobong Diamond Mine (owned 75% by Firestone and 25% by the Government of Lesotho) for the quarter ended June 2017 (Q4), Firestone Diamonds says it completed its commissioning activities and reached full nameplate targets for all three months of the quarter. In Q4, Firestone treated 925,000 tons treated (Q3: 639,000 tons), bringing the total for the financial year to 1,966,000 tons, at the upper end of guidance range of 1,800,000 to 2,000,000 tons.
The World Diamond Council (WDC) will stay its course focused on the primary mission to curb the trade in conflict diamonds under new acting president Stephane Fischler, who assumed the reigns on July 1 after the resignation of Andrey Polyakov, writes Henry Lazenby for Mining Weekly Online. Mr. Fischler will serve in this capacity until the end of the term of this board on May 1 2018, at which time he will start his two year term as WDC President.
Botswana's state-owned Okavango Diamond Company (ODC) sales rose 9 percent to $309 million in the first half of the year as demand improved, its deputy managing director said on Friday. Marcus ter Haar told Reuters the company had sold 1.8 million carats in five auctions held since January, for an estimated average price of $172 per carat. "The volumes of carats sold were 3 percent higher than the same period in 2016," he said.
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.
South Africa has suspended implementation of a contentious and highly criticized mining ownership law pending a judgement in an urgent interdict application by mining companies, the country’s Chamber of Mines said. South African mineral resources minister, Mosebenzi Zwane, has agreed not to implement the current redraft of the Mining Charter Three pending judgement of an urgent interdict brought by the Chamber of Mines, a temporary victory for the miners.
Arctic Star, a Canadian diamond and mineral exploration company with diamond exploration properties in Nunavut (Stein), the NWT (Diagras and Redemption) and in the Athabasca Basin of Saskatchewan has agreed to acquire a 100% interest in a 243 hectares exploration permit over the Black Wolf (Masta Susi) and the White Wolf (Valkoinen Susi) diamond bearing kimberlites in northern Finland. Named the Timantti Project (timantti is Finnish for diamond'), "Arctic Star views this new project as a unique opportunity to advance a new diamond district", says Buddy Doyle, VP Exploration of Arctic Star.
Botswana Diamonds (BOD) the AIM and BSE listed explorer has announced that prospecting work on the Ontevreden licence held by Vutomi has identified a group 2 kimberlite pipe, the company said in a press release. Initial work indicates a size of 1.5 to 2.5 hectares in area containing high interest garnets.
“‘A Game of Stones’ documents these facts not to harm the diamond trade in CAR, but to ensure they are confronted rather than ignored. It acknowledges - and tentatively welcomes - the efforts of the Kimberley Process and the government of CAR, but warns of risks that must be acknowledged and dealt with if genuine reform is to be achieved. It seeks to expose those who view the country’s current troubles as a business opportunity, while urging greater support for those seeking to mend them, including from international diamond companies."
- Global Witness, in statement to National Jeweler on CAR diamond smuggling report, says the trade needs to be responsible.
Canadian junior miner Stornoway Diamonds sold 350,159 carats in two scheduled Antwerp sales (2017 sales #4 and #5) for gross proceeds of US$31.9 million (C$40.9 million), at an average price of US$87 per carat (C$117 per carat), the company announced in a press release. This represents a drop from the 459,126 carats sold across three sales in Q1, earning US$38 million, but the price of rough per carat rose from $US83 per carat earned in the previous quarter.
Five Star Diamonds, a Canadian mining company listed on the TSX Venture Exchange, Canada, is making significant progress on its kimberlite drilling program at its 100% owned Jaibaras Diamond Project in Para State, Brazil. On June 8, Five Star announced the start of the drilling program, which had identified eight kimberlite targets (J1 to J8), with their current focus kimberlite targets J1 and J2.
In June 2017, Russia's ALROSA Group sold $365 million worth of rough and polished diamonds, with rough diamond sales reaching $354.4 million and polished diamond sales $10.6 million, the company announced in a press release. The company's rough sales showed a significant value decline from the $468 million in rough sold in May. The volume of rough sold was not stated, but the value decline is a result of the company reducing stocks of smaller and cheaper stones.
Canadian junior miner Diamcor Mining Inc. sold 8,318.82 carats of rough diamonds for US$1,851,122.55 ($222.52 avg/ct) in fiscal Q1, ending June 30, 2017, from the newly expanded facilities at the company’s Krone-Endora at Venetia Project in South Africa. This represents a ~38% decrease compared to the 13,384.72 carats tendered and sold in the first fiscal quarter ending June 30, 2016, but only a 3% decrease in revenues compared to the $1,905,978.44 realized during the same period in the prior fiscal year.
Dominion Diamond Corporation received approval to use water for the Ekati Diamond Mine in Canada’s Northwest Territories. The regions Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Robert C. McLeod, signed off on the type-A water license for Dominion’s mine as well as the Jay project, a high-grade kimberlite pipe which the company believes will extend the lifespan of Ekati for a decade.
The World Diamond Council (WDC), an industry group focused on preventing conflict diamonds from entering the global supply chain and protecting the value of natural diamonds, reaffirmed in a press release today its commitment to the Central African Republic (CAR). The statement reads: The WDC supports the efforts in preventing the trade of conflict diamonds originating from CAR and stresses the collaboration of intergovernmental organizations and civil society groups to monitor the situation on the ground.
Gem Diamonds Limited has recovered yet another exceptional rough stone, this time a high quality 126 carat, D color Type IIa diamond, from the Letšeng mine in Lesotho. After a bit of a dry spell in 2016, Letšeng mine has now yielded three +100 carat diamonds in the last month alone, including the recovery of two high quality diamonds in June 2017: a 104.73 carat diamond and a 151.52 carat yellow diamond.
The Kimberley Process has published its 2016 figures for the global diamond trade, covering rough diamond production and value, imports and exports, as well as KP Certificate counts. The most notable takeaway is that while overall the volume of rough diamond production in 2016 increased 5% to 134.1 million carats from 127.4 million carats, the value of that output slid 11% to $12.4 billion from $13.88 billion the previous year. From a trading standpoint (imports & exports), however, the KP reports a significant upturn following the 'crisis' year of 2015.
Australia's Lucapa Diamond Company reports that production and sales of diamonds from the Lulo Diamond Project in Angola jumped 63% and 58% respectively in the second quarter of 2017. Lulo alluvial mining company, Sociedade Mineira Do Lulo (Lucapa is 40% owner and operator) produced 4,203 carats of diamonds during the quarter, bringing their total for the first half of 2017 to 8,301 carats, a 46% overall increase compared to the year prior. In Q2, the 4,203 carats were obtained from 3,336 stones, with their average weight holding steady at 1.3 carats.
In 2016, ALROSA's investments in underground mines and other core production facilities amounted to RUB 16.5 billion ($2.8 billion) or 60 percent of the company's total capital investments, the diamond miner said in a press release. Over RUB 7 billion ($1.2 billion) was allocated to technical upgrade and replacement of worn-out equipment. The company said it invested a substantial amount – almost RUB 5.5 billion ($930 million) – into the construction of Udachny underground mine.
They might be small, at only 0.039 and 0.025 carats, but Australian junior miner Merlin Diamonds discovery of two pink diamonds is nevertheless promising. Merlin Diamonds Ltd., owner of the Merlin diamond mine in the Northern Territory, Australia, said it is encouraged by these discoveries that indicate the possibility of further pink diamonds at the Merlin diamond mine. The latest find follows the recovery of a 0.70 carat pink diamond announced last March.
Angola has one bilion carats in diamond reserves, according to the advances of a geological survey carried out over the last five years with Russian support, writes Angola Press Agency Angop. The data were released last Friday in Luanda by Victor Ustinov, Joint Director of Russian diamond giant ALROSA, which was responsible for carring our the geological exploration, it is estimated that reserves could go up from a total of 950 million carats found in kimberlites and more than 50 million in alluvial areas to 1.5 billion carats if the research is continued, according to the expert.
North Arrow Minerals Inc. has announced the start of a $3.2M exploration program at the company’s 100% owned Naujaat (now-yat; formerly Qilalugaq) and Mel Diamond Projects, Nunavut, Canada. The drill program at the Naujaat Project will see North Arrow drill 4,500 metres and collect a 200 ton mini-bulk sample from the highest grade phase of the Q1-4 kimberlite.
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.
The Ministry of Mines, Energy and Hydraulics of the Central African Republic (CAR) has issued a press release categorically rejecting the allegations contained in Global Witness' report, "Game of Stones", which detailed the NGO's investigation into diamond smuggling from CAR.