The African Diamond Conference (ADC), a joint initiative of Belgium's Federal Public Service (FPS) Foreign Affairs and the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), took place yesterday at the Egmont Palace in Brussels. With nearly 400 in attendance, the ADC featured a broad range of speakers from across the entire diamond pipeline - from mine to finger - as well as diamond industry stakeholders.
De Beers Group and United Nations (UN) Women, in collaboration with Botswana’s Ministry of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs, today announced a $758,000 (BWP8 million), three-year investment in capacity-building programmes to support women micro-entrepreneurs in select villages in the Okavango Delta and Kweneng District, the company stated in press release. The announcement was made at today’s W Summit in Gaborone, convened by De Beers, which focuses on the advancement of women business leaders in Botswana and southern Africa.
Vancouver-based Lucara Diamond with operations in Botswana made several announcements yesterday (Nov. 2), starting with news of its positive Preliminary Economic Assessment for taking its Karowe Mine underground, which would extend the life of the mine another ten years to approximately 2036.
According to a De Beers spokesperson, the diamond miner is set to bring the Damtshaa Mine in Botswana - closed since 2015 - back into operation during the fourth quarter, reports Rapaport News. Opened in 2003, Damtshaa Mine was placed into care and maintenance in December 2015. De Beers is now set to recommision the mine and expects to be back at full production by January. Just over 300,000 carats were recoverd there during its last full year of operation in 2014, making it one of De Beers smaller mines, and more than 31 million have been produced since the mine opened.
With De Beers leading the charge by increasing rough production 46% in Q3 and 29% for the first nine months of the year, as ALROSA increased production 6% thus far in 2017, the two diamond mining giants together have churned out 54.8 million carats in the first nine months of 2017, a 15% increase over the 47.5 million carats during the same time frame last year.
GIA senior industry analyst Russel Shor, in his recent article, "Diamond Producers Aim for Lower Qualities in Today’s Market", explains how sophisticated mining techniques enable major diamond miners to target their drilling to meet polished diamond demand.
In response to a recent Reuters article (based on an Mmegi Online article) mentioned yesterday, Lucara Diamond Corp. - whose mining assets are located in Botswana - has issued a statement to "provide clarity" after the miner was mentioned specifically as a catalyst for a government decision to establish first rights to diamonds of "unusual" size or quality unearthed in the country.
The government of Botswana is amending the law to give the state the first option to buy ‘unusual’ diamond finds such as the historic Lesedi La Rona recovered at Karowe Mine two years ago, writes Botwanan news outlet Mmegi Online. A recently filed draft bill to amend the Precious and Semi-Precious Stones Act contains a new clause that compels any producer that comes into possession of an unusual rough or uncut diamond to notify the minister of mines within 30 days, following which the government shall have the right of first refusal to the stone.
The Russian government wants Alrosa to offer more favorable terms to local cutters so they are able to compete in a market that’s dominated by Indian manufacturers.
Alrosa has chosen to focus on mining, where it can get bigger margins, leaving Kristall Production Corp. and other cutters to buy stones at similar terms as overseas competitors. They are struggling to compete with centers like India, the largest polishing center, due to manufacturing being cheaper - it manufactures 90% of the world’s diamonds - and a workforce of 1 million.
Botswana's exports of rough diamonds produced at the major mines the country fell in the first half of 2017 by 8.6% compared to the same period a year earlier, and 25% compared to the second half of 2016, according to statistics from the Bank of Botswana. In total, the country exported rough diamonds valued at $1.65 billion during the most recent six month period, down from $1.81 billion in H1 2016 and $2.21 billion in H2 2016. First quarter sales during the year were strong, but tapered off in the second quarter, falling to only $105.9 million in June.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Botswana's Debswana Diamond Mining, a joint venture between De Beers and the southern Africa country's government, plans to extend the lifespan of its Jwaneng mine beyond 2024, reports Reuters Africa, citing a mines minister. The project, known as "Cut 9", has been under discussion for five years as part of the Jwaneng Resource Extension Project. This Project led to the development of Cut 8, the $3 billion expansion project designed to prolong the Jwaneng Mine an additional 7 years, ensuring continuous production until at least 2024 and producing 100 million carats.
De Beers sold $530 million worth of rough diamonds at the fifth sales cycle of 2017 (Global Sightholder Sales and Auction Sales), marking a 1.5% increase over Cycle 4 ($522 million) and a 6% drop from Cycle 5 in 2016.
"With world diamond prices currently 'very unexciting' and with stagnant growth forecast for jewellery sales, junior miners should think long and hard before investing in diamond exploration projects, as there is a risk of decreased investment from the market." This is how Megan Van Wyngaardt of Mining Weekly Online summarized the presentation of Cadiz Securities economist Peter Major at the Junior Indaba held this week in Johannesburg, who warned that the diamond mining industry was currently “filled up”.
It took only a year and a few months for Australia's Kimberley Diamonds to run another mine into the ground: two years after closing the Ellendale Diamond Mine in Australia - source of Tiffany & Co’s prized yellow diamonds - and leaving in its wake a host of unpaid workers, contractors and a fat environmental cleanup bill, it
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.
Firestone Diamonds, an international diamond mining company with operations focused in Lesotho, has entered into a conditional option agreement to potentially sell off its Botswana operations, with the main asset being its interest in the BK11 mine, to Amulet Diamond Corporation for a reported US$5.1 million in cash.
Graff Diamonds announced they had added to their collection of exceptional stones by acquiring the 373.72-carat rough diamond sourced from the Karowe mine in Botswana. The stone was once a part of the Lesedi la Rona, the second largest gem quality diamond to ever be discovered and the largest to be unearthed in the last century. According to Graff the fragment was separated from its famous sibling during the recovery process.
"When you’re selling your offcuts for almost $20 million, you know something is going right," writes Thomas Biesheuvel for BloombergPursuits. "Lucara Diamond Corp. just sold a 373.7-carat diamond for US$17.5 million.
This article is reprinted from Paul Zimnisky Diamond Analytics, courtesy of Paul Zimnisky.
Lucara Diamond Corp. yesterday (May 2) today reported first quarter revenues of $26.1 million, or $405 per carat, which represents nearly a 50% drop from the $50.6 million earned at $649 per carat in Q1 2016. The company explains the results as follows: "The decrease in revenues in Q1 2017 compared to Q1 2016 was due to a lower volume of carats being sold and a decrease in the carat weight of specials sold. A larger volume of +10.8ct specials were sold in Q1 2016 (6,936 carats) compared to Q1 2017 (2,379 carats), which reflected the above average recoveries of specials during Q4 2015.
Standard and Poor's has reiterated its negative outlook rating for Botswana as a result of, "The country's narrow economic base, which relies heavily on the diamond sector and is vulnerable to external shocks, despite efforts to diversify." Diamonds account for approximately 80% of Botswana’s total exports and about one-third of its gross domestic product, and "remains its main economic locomotive".
London Aim-listed Botswana Diamonds (BOD) has announced that Sunland Minerals - its joint venture (JV) with Russian diamond miner ALROSA - has been awarded six new prospecting licences in Botswana. Four are in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) and two are in the Orapa kimberlite province and extend to the end of March 2020. Those in the CKGR cover 3,135 sq.km. and those in the Orapa area cover 482 sq.km. The areas were selected following a detailed review of historical data by the BOD and ALROSA team.
Diversified miner Anglo American has released its Q1 2017 production report, announcing De Beers rough diamond production during the peariod increased by eight per cent over Q1 2016 to 7.4 million carats, "reflecting the contribution of Gahcho Kué in Canada, as well as increases in response to improved trading conditions." Q1 2017 production fell slightly from 7.8 million carats produced in Q4 2016.
Singapore’s Sarine Technologies announced that former CEO of De Beers Diamond Trading Company (DTC) Varda Shine is to join the Board of Directors as an independent director. Shine’s position is subject to approval at Sarine’s annual general meeting to be held on April 25.
Botswana Diamonds PLC published its interim financial results for the six months ended 31 December 2016, said its loss narrowed in the first half of the current financial year, and said it has been a "very active time" for the miner in recent months. The miner highlights the appointment of a new managing director in December as James Campbell took over as managing director of the business and, during the first half, Botswana Diamonds entered into a phased earn-in agreement with Vutomi Mining Pty Ltd, a late stage diamond explorer in South Africa. Maibwe, the company's joint venture in the K
Lucara Diamond has announced the dates for its first Exceptional Stone Tender of 2017 from its 100% owned Karowe Mine in Botswana. Viewings for the tender will take place from May 3, 2017 through May 11, 2017 with the sale closing at 4:00pm CET on May 11, 2017, the company writes in a press release. "The sale will include no less than 13 exceptional diamonds, inclusive of the magnificent 374 carat Type IIa diamond and an additional three or four stones larger than 100 carats.
Pangolin Diamonds Corp.,a diamond exploration company in Botswana, has confirmed in a project update the presence of diamonds in six geographically different zones within the Malatswae Diamond Project. The focus at the Malatswae Diamond Project has been on six separate kimberlite sources and geographic zones producing indicator minerals within a 30km x 20km area of the project. A total of sixteen +0.5mm diamonds have now been discovered in soil samples within these six zones.
Gem Diamonds fell to an annual loss in 2016 as the decline in the recovery of diamonds larger than 100 carats has had a "disappointing impact" upon revenue and cash flow, while poor prices achieved from its smaller diamonds from the Ghaghoo mine in Botswana forced it to book a large exceptional charge and led it to stop production at the mine.
Lucara Diamond has recovered a total of 22 stones greater than 1 carat in weight, including 5 diamonds in excess of 2 carats in weight - with the largest being a 4.56 white/grey octahedron - from their BK02 exploration project in Botswana. A total of 309.79 carats were recovered from the processing of 5,021 tons of BK02-2, for a sample grade of 6.2 cpht (carats per hundred ton).
When people talk badly about diamonds, they think of the stone they're going to buy, but they don't think of the lives that are going to be affected. In Botswana, for example, 45-50% of the total GDP comes from diamond mining. So when people say, "I'm not going to buy a diamond because it has a bad rep", think of the two-plus million people in Botswana that will be affected.
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.
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.
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.
Kimberley Diamonds Ltd (KDL), owner of the Lerala Diamond Mine located in north-eastern Botswana - which comprises a cluster of five diamond-bearing kimberlite pipes, designated K2 to K6, and a processing plant - is in the process of raising US$3.4 million (A$4.4) through "a non-renounceable pro-rata rights issue offer of new KDL ordinary shares (New Shares) at an issue price of $0.02 per New Share" to fund operations and repay loans. On January 23 2017, the Company announced it undertook a private placement of shares to raise further funds.
Sales of Botswana's state-owned Okavango Diamond Company (ODC) jumped by 80% to $547 million in 2016. According to Marcus ter Haar, the deputy managing director, this jump is as a result of global consumer demand having rebounded.
De Beers and Anglo American report that rough diamond production for Q4 2016 increased by 10 percent to 7.8 million carats compared with Q4 2015 (7.1 Mct) when production was reduced in response to trading conditions. The company highlights that the increase reflected the ramp-up of Gahcho Kué Mine in Canada, the joint venture between De Beers (51%), which is also the operator, and Mountain Province Diamonds. Rough production surged 24% from Q3 2016 (6.3 million carats) to Q4 2016 (7.8 Mct).