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.
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).
Trans Hex, a JSE-listed diamond exploration and mining company with well-established land operations in South Africa and interests in Angola, says trading volumes have returned to normal as a result of improved market conditions, leading to stronger results at its October 2016, December 2016 and February 2017 tender sales of rough diamond production from its wholly owned South African operations.
Dominion Diamonds has announced that sales of Ekati Diamond Mine and Diavik Diamond Mine diamonds fell 27% in Q4 2017 (November 2016 through January 2017) and 21% overall in FY 2017, despite the quantity of diamonds sold increasing 24% in Q4 and 61% for the year. It has also provided Q4 production results from its Ekati Mine, where carat production increased by 93% compared to the same period in the prior year due to the positive impact of processing of a large proportion of high grade Misery ore.
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.
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.
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.
Petra Diamonds Limited has announced strong results for the six months to 31 December 2016 (H1 2017), with rough diamond production, revenues and carats sold all seeing substantial increases. Revenues were up 48% to US$228.5 million (H1 FY 2016: US$154.0 million) or US$217.6 excluding exceptional diamonds, with net profit after tax up more than 35% to US$35.2 million (H1 FY 2016: US$2.2 million loss) and an EBITDA margin of 38% (H1 FY 2016: 31%), indicating increased profitability. Petra's carats sold in the first half jumped 47% to 1.9 Mcts.
Russian mining giant ALROSA is stepping up its marketing game beyond its contributions to the Diamond Producers Association (DPA), we were told this past Wednesday at ALROSA Night - a joint initiative between the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and ALROSA at the Belgian Ambassador's Residence in Moscow.
Lucara Diamond Corp., which runs the Karowe Mine in Botswana and holds multiple exploration licences in the region, reports record earnings - and dividends - for the year 2016. Revenues increased 32% to $295.5 million from $223.8 million in 2015, with its EBITDA surging 38% to $184.4 million on the back of a 40% rise in price per carat achieved: $824 per carat compared to $593 per carat a year ago. However, net income declined 9% to $70.7 million in 2016, mainly due to a foreign-exchange loss of $11 million compared with a gain of $15 million a year earlier, the company.
Namibia's Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has dropped an investigation into whether a new government independent sales company called Namib Desert Diamonds (Namdia) deliberately sold Namibian diamonds cheaply to Dubai-based firms, writes The Namibian, which first broke the story back in November 2016. The Namibian previously raised concerns that Namdia, tasked to sell stones worth over US$150 million (N$2.1 billion) per year as stipulated by a
Koin International will hold a rough diamond tender in Antwerp from 20 – 27 February, and will be presenting for the first time the production of IMDSA (Marine) as well as multiple other original rough mine productions. IMDSA is a new marine production mined in the seas of South Africa, comprising excellent models and gem quality production. Other productions on offer include Ekapa Minerals, ANGOLA F2M, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Guinea, and brand new Koin Manufacturers’ Assortments (consistent monthly fixed assortments, perfect for manufacturers).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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%).
Canadian jeweler and diamond industry analyst Mel Moss explores a core dilemma concerning the value proposition of diamonds. It is a dlemma the diamond industry has yet to resolve, leading to confusion and false expectations among consumers: how can a diamond be presented both as a luxury product and a price-based commodity? "Some in the diamond industry are pushing hard to promote generic diamonds as a commodity that can be traded transparently in futures markets, commodity exchanges and as a wealth preservation asset", writes Moss.
Citing data from its RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI), Rapaport News writes, "Diamond manufacturing profits were squeezed in January amid strong rough demand while polished prices softened." Despite a disappointing holiday season, demand of rough is strong as jewelers will need to restock after the holiday season. This is demonstrated by De Beers' First Cycle sales of $720 million, its largest sight since July 2014.
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.
Provisional rough diamond sales at De Beers Cycle 1 sight of 2017 earned $720 million, the highest total sales in more than a year. This represents a more than 70% uptick from the last sight, Cycle 10 in 2016, and is 32% higher than first Cycle sales ($545M) of 2016. Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group, said: “We saw good demand across the majority of our assortment during the first sales cycle of the year, as the industry entered the period when rough diamond demand is traditionally strongest.
The Queen of Kalahari, a 342-carat rough diamond that Lucara Diamond mining company recovered in Botswana’s Karowe Mine two years ago, has been transformed into a six-piece jewelry set. Lucara took over the mine, previously owned by the De Beers Group, in 2010.
Diamcor Mining has completed the installation of additional operational equipment and expansions underway at its Krone-Endora Mine at Venetia project in Limpopo, South Africa. The junior diamond project developer confirmed that all the work is now complete and all the items are now operational.
De Beers announced they intend to pilot a fixed-price forward contract, which gives Auction Sales customers an opportunity to guarantee access to future supply, knowing ahead of time what they are expected to pay when the contract reaches maturity. The program will first be implemented on 16 February 2017, for the Grainers, otherwise known as Smalls- and Near-Gem categories of rough diamonds.
Diamond traders from all around the world are on their way to Botswana for one of the biggest annual sales as the $14 billion industry attempts to recover from India’s demonetization. India processes as much as 90% of the worlds rough diamonds with the purpose of being cut, polished or traded, but the steady supply of diamonds for its manufacturing industry has come under pressure as a result of the currency crisis.
Koin International will hold a diamond tender in Antwerp from 16 – 26 January for multiple original rough mine productions. The productions from Africa include the Diamcor ‘Krone-Endora’ Mine, ANGOLA F2M (over 50,000cts), ANGOLA 10.80+ Single Stone (average 25-ct each), Fancy Colour (Intense & Vivid Yellows) as well as productions from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Sierra Leone, Guinea, and brand new Koin Manufacturers Assortments (consistent monthly fixed assortments, perfect for manufacturers).
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.
In his latest Diamond Intelligence Briefs, “Keeping Stock of U.S. Kimberley Process Certificates”, industry analyst Chaim Even-Zohar takes another hard look at the U.S. rough diamond trade and the country’s half-hearted approach when it comes to implementing Kimberley Process (KP) certification standards domestically.
The Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) has announced they will open a new International Tender Centre in February during their International Diamond Week in Israel. The IDE will host three tenders of rough and polished diamond by Alrosa, I.Henning and Koin. The establishing of this Centre is an attempt to consolidate as many tenders as possible under one roof.
Over the medium and long term, the supply-demand fundamentals of the diamond industry are positive and continue to point to future growth. India’s diamond consumer market has achieved almost uninterrupted growth over the last two decades. In the last decade alone, the market has nearly trebled in size to about INR220 billion ($3.2b). India’s middle classes are growing rapidly, with purchasing power of the highest income households expected to rise at the fastest pace. In the long run, we believe there is as much untapped opportunity for the diamond industry in India as anywhere else in the world.
De Beers head of media relations Lynette Gould in interview with Rough & Polished on consumer demand for diamonds in India.
Diamond industry analyst Paul Zimnisky, in his most recent article "A New Diamond Industry", analyzes three significant changes - and the catalysts for those changes - that have been reshaping the diamond industry in recent years: 1) a new operating discipline, 2) a new generation of consumers, and 3) new technology.
Citing figures from Israel's Ministry of Economy and Industry, Rapaport News writes that Israel’s polished diamond exports declined in 2016: exports of polished dropped 6.4 percent to $4.68 billion during the year; Exports to the U.S., Israel's largest trade partner, slid 9 percent to $2 billion, while shipments to Hong Kong fell 8 percent to $1.35 billion. Orders from Belgium slumped 16 percent to $349 million. Polished imports fell 6 percent to $3.28 billion. Meanwhile, rough imports increased 17 percent to $3.25 billion, while rough exports rose 23 percent to $2.7 billion.
According to a press release from the Israeli Diamond Industry: Alrosa will hold a tender of both polished and rough diamonds during Israel’s sixth International Diamond Week (IDWI), February 13 – 16, 2017 at the Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE.) The auction will offer 108 boxes of rough diamonds of 11 to 199 carats, and several unique white and fancy color polished diamonds, weighing from 10 to 80 ct, including five that were cut from one huge rough stone.
Rough diamond industry analyst Paul Zimnisky, whose Diamond Analytics website brings you the Rough Diamond Index, has assembled a Diamonds 2016 Year in Review quiz. Courtesy of Paul Zimnisky, we invite you, our dedicated readers, to test your knowledge of diamond industry developments in 2016 with this 20 question quiz.
The Administrative Decision [AD] on the Central African Republic [Temporary Suspension] of May 23, 2013 was modified by the 2015 AD of July 17, 2015 concerning the defining conditions for Central African Republic’s (CAR) resumption of trade in rough diamonds from “compliant zones”. Under the supervision of the Kimberley Process Monitoring Team, a forensic audit needs to be conducted of the rough diamond stockpiles held in the CAR per the criteria set forth in the KP's Operational Framework Agreement.
Paul Zimnisky, independent diamond analyst of the eponymous Zimnisky Global Rough Diamond Price Index, writes that rough diamond prices are up 12.1% for the year 2016 through mid-December after major miners' efforts to curtail global supply, combined with a healthy 2015 retail holiday season, have tilted the skewed 2015 balance between over-supply and diminishing demand.
ALROSA has announced the initiation of the procedure to rename its foreign-based trading subsidiaries and affiliates, ARCOS, as part of an initiative to create ALROSA’s single corporate brand. ARCOS sales network will be renamed and offices will bear a name of ALROSA and their region of location. ALROSA will also carry out relevant rebranding. This decision was made to identify ALROSA with its own sales network and provide clients with the guarantee of origin and quality of rough and polished diamonds sold through the network. The procedure to rename will probably take four months.
De Beers (provisionally) sold $418 million in rough diamonds at its final sight (Cycle 10) of 2016, the smallest sight of the year as the trade winds down for the holidays. This is a 12% decline from the Cycle 9 Sight, but represents a 68.5% rise from the Cycle 10 Sight of 2015.
DiamondCorp, the UK-based South African diamond miner that has undergone an autumn of misfortune including fires and floods at its mine, reports soft prices obtained from the sale of rough diamonds recovered from the Lace mine prior to being placed in business rescue: $115.46 per carat.
ALROSA announced at it annual business meeting with the company’s long-term clients that as of 2017, the company will start regular special-size (+10.8 carats) diamond auctions in Vladivostok, seen as a way to bolster the eastern market, and is planning to resume special-size diamond auctions in New York. ALROSA further announced that in 2017, all competitive bidding will be held online on a platform for electronic tenders developed by the company. Test sales on the new platform were held in 2016 and received a positive feedback from the participants, the statement said.
Citing a presentation by Mark Cutifani, CEO of Anglo American, the parent company of De Beers, Rapaport News writes that De Beers' prices for rough diamonds fell 5% this year despite the solid recovery of the rough diamond market.
Antwerp's rough diamond trade surged again in the month of November, as the dollar value of rough imports to and exports from the diamond capital rose 60% and 63% respectively compared to the same period in a year ago, according to figures from Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC). These figures essentially seal the positive verdict on Antwerp’s 2016 rough trade, as rough exports for the year (January through November) have risen nearly 10% in carat volume and 11.50% in value; rough imports fared just as well, recording a 10.40% increase in volume and a 10% increase in value.
ALROSA held a second test trading session of rough diamonds in the Eurasian Diamond Centre in Vladivostok on November 21-25, selling $5 million. The rough diamond sales are the second in succession in the scope of operation of the Eurasian Diamond Centre. This time Russian and foreign long-term clients were offered, including industrial grade diamonds. “In order to study potential demand, we offered average and small size rough diamonds to our clients in test mode at the last trading session. We assess the trading session results as successful,” says Yury Okoemov, ALROSA Vice President.
ALROSA plans to increase diamond mining by 5% in 2017 compared to the level of the current year, the company’s president Andrey Zharkov told Rossiya 24 TV channel in an interview broadcast on Wednesday. This year the company aimed to mine 37 million carats, which would consequently increase in 2017 the volume to 38.85 million carats. The company does not expect global diamond outpput to increase by more than 10%, Zharkov noted. Annual revenue from selling Alrosa’s diamonds in the framework of the Eurasian Diamond Center (EDC) in Vladivostok may reach $100-150 million, he continued.
Lucara Diamond CEO William Lamb spoke with Rough-Polished (R-P) about their future plans for the 1,109-ct Lesedi La Rona, their exploration projects and expectations for the industry going forward. Lamb told R-P, "With the financial strength of the company, there is no rush to sell the [Lesedi La Rona]. At this time, we have sent the stone for advanced analysis to fully understand the potential yield for the stone.
The diamond market has been going through difficult times for a while now, but diamond trade data paint a far more optimistic picture than in June, signalling that trade has turned the corner, writes Georgette Boele of ABN Amro in their "Insights" report. Back in June when ABN last published their diamond insights report, Boele still doubted if global diamond trade would improve, but trade data have clearly improved in all centres, most noticeably in Antwerp, Israel and India.
Diamond industry analyst Edahn Golan breaks down the rough diamond valuation system that was one of the key topics this year in Kimberley Process (KP) discussions. The heart of the issue is whether a method can be hashed out so that rough diamond producers receive a "reasonable" (read 'fair') price for their rough diamond parcels on the international market. The solution suggested is that rough diamonds would be valuated by converting the transaction prices retailers and jewelry makers pay for polished diamonds into rough prices, minus the manufacturers' costs and margins.
Stornoway Diamond announced the completion of the first sale of its Renard Mine diamonds, which took place between the 14th and 23rd of November, in Antwerp Belgium. Reportedly a total of 38,913 carats were sold at an average price of US$195 per carat accounting for proceeds of US$7.6 million. Last month the Canadian Corporation announced they would be going on sale two months prior to what had previously been anticipated.
Following their prior announcement in the "Q3 and 9M 2016 Operational Overview" showing modest declines in production but a significant increase of revenue, ALROSA today published its financial results for the period, noting a 67% increase in profit during the first nine months of 2016 to $2.34 billion.
Two investment bubbles, 340 years apart, provide living proof of Edmund Burke’s famous observation that those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it. Rough diamond broker and founder and president of N.Rothmann, Nurit Rothmann recounts the history of two remarkably similar speculative bubbles: the spectactular rise and sudden collapse of the tulip market in 1637 and the rough diamond market in the late 1970's and early '80s. Reprinted here by special arrangement.
Controversy is brewing in Namibia about who is selling their diamonds to whom, for how much, and whether the country is obtaining fair value from its precious resources. The Namibian newspaper previously raised concerns that a new government independent sales company called Namib Desert Diamonds (Namdia), which is designated to sell stones worth over an estimated US$150 million (N$2.1 billion) per year as stipulated by a 10-year agreement
India's diamond industry continued in October its strong recovery set forth the first half (April - September) of 2016, as preparations for the Diwali holiday season had a positive effect on the month prior to the holiday recess, and the upheaval of the government's demonitization policy had yet to be unleashed.
Lucara Diamond Co. earned $38.7 million from the sale of 12 stones totalling 1,098 carats - or $35,230 per carat - at its second exceptional stone tender of 2016. The company identifies the following highlights of the tender: 5 diamonds sold for more than US $2.0 million each. Lot 1001 (pictured above), a 224.5-carat Type IIa diamond sold for US $11.11 million (US $49,497/ct), which was also the highest value per carat diamond.
De Beers Group of Companies sold provisionally $470 million in rough diamonds during Cycle 9, their lowest sales of 2016 thus far, down nearly 5% from the $494 million in rough sales in Cycle 8. Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group, said: “Encouragingly, the ninth sales cycle of 2016 showed continued good demand for De Beers rough diamonds, with sales in line with expected seasonal demand patterns.” Those 'seasonal patterns' have pushed the rough trade down across the board over the last two months.
The Foxfire diamond is the largest known uncut, gem-quality diamond mined in North America. The diamond will be on display for three months at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, Nov. 17 through Feb. 16, 2017. This will be the first time it has been made available to the public. Weighing more than 187 carats, the Foxfire diamond will be presented alongside the renowned Hope diamond in the Harry Winston Gallery.
Gem Diamonds, a leading producer of high-value diamonds, reports that it recovered 15% fewer diamonds in Q3 (24,388 carats) at its Letšeng mine in Lesotho than in Q2 (28,682 cts), representing a 17% decline compared to Q3 2015. The company cited "the worst weather conditions experienced since the Letšeng mine opened,” limiting its access to the pits, as the reason for the decline. During the quarter, Gem held three tenders with 37,990 carats sold for a total value of $61.5 million, achieving an average price of $1,619 per carat.
The UAE Kimberley Process Chair (KP Chair), Ahmed Bin Sulayem, will host a special forum on synthetic diamonds and their impact on the future of the diamond industry on November 14 in conjunction with the annual KP Plenary. Bringing together representatives from 81 countries, the global diamond industry and civil society, the event will discuss a number of key issues facing the industry.