Let’s talk about the Lesedi [La Rona, 1,109-ct rough diamond]. I use this analogy. Everybody [on the call] knows one or two wealthy people who could go out and buy a Lamborghini at $250,000. What we’re asking for the stone is for somebody to go out and spend the equivalent of 280 Lamborghinis. And I use that as an example because I don’t think people quite understand the quantum of money we’re looking at here. And what you’re buying is something for which you’re going to have to rely on expert opinion to give you the full details of what you can expect on the stone, without really knowing the full outcome, the quality. We do have one or two options [to sell it]. If that doesn’t pan out, I think most [surely] within the next six weeks to eight weeks, we’ll most [likely] look to enter into a partnership.
- William Lamb, CEO Lucara Diamond Corp., on possibility of revenue-sharing partnership to sell the 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona diamond
The trend of high volumes of rough diamond exports from Antwerp continued in July, while the diamond capital’s polished trade showed signs of life among persistently soft results. According to figures published by the AWDC, on a year-over-year basis, the volume of rough diamond exports increased significantly (20%) for the third month in a row (+55% May, +53% June), totaling nearly 11 million carats, while their value actually declined by 4% to $1.1 billion. The volume of rough imports also increased 15% while their value tumbled by 14%.
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).
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.
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%.
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 charting the vicissitudes of rough diamond prices on a quarterly basis for the past 10 years - since the onset of the global financial crisis. We consider this a must-read for anyone seeking to gain insights into the diamond industry as a whole and rough supply-side dynamics in particular.
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.
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.
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.
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%.
Representatives of Israel's diamond industry want ALROSA to increase supplies of rough and polished diamonds through its tenders in Israel, the Israel Diamond Institute (IDI) said in a press release. The IDI said its president, Shmuel Schnitzer, and Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) President Yoram Dvash met with Sergey Ivanov, President of ALROSA, for the first time since he became the giant Russian miner's chief in March.
Mountain Province Diamonds' fifth diamond sale of diamonds from the Gahcho Kué mine in Canada was its best to date, setting new highs in overall revenue, carats sold and price per carat. The junior miner sold 220,000 carats at its June tender in Antwerp, earning $2.1 million for an average price of $95 per carat, a solid increase from the $72 and $86 per carat earned respectively in sales 1-3 and 4.
In ABN AMRO's lastest iteration of the biannual Diamond Market Outlook, Coordinator FX & Precious Metals Strategy Georgette Boele writes, "The recovery in the diamond trade has grinded to a halt at the start of 2017", as US consumer spending has been disappointing in Q1, lower consumption in Hong Kong and Macau has negatively affected demand (according to company reports from main jewelers in the region) and Chinese retail sales were weaker in January and February.
In his latest blog post, "A Market in Chaos", diamond industry researcher and analyst Edahn Golan examines the disconnect between the rising trend of lower price point/smaller-diamond jewelry and the willingness of manufacturers to pay more for the rough to produce it. He starts with trends in the consumer jewelry market - because this is the ultimate determining factor for the diamond market - that are demonstrating a distinct shift towards lower value goods. Drawing on his impressions from the JCK Las Vegas show, Golan writes, "The trend of smaller diamonds stood out.
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.
Australian junior miner Lucapa Diamond Co. earned US$0.95 million (A$1.25 million) from a parcel of 1,236 carats at their fifth sale in 2017 of rough diamonds from the Lulo Project in Angola. This represents an average price of US$770 (A$1,013) per carat, and brings their total 2017 sales to US$15.4 million (A$20.3) at an average price of US$1,620 (A$2,132) per carat.
India's exports of cut and polished diamonds in May increased 3.67% year-over-year to US$2.05 billion from US$1.98 bn in the same month a year earlier, according to provisional data released by The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). For the fiscal year to date (April-May 2017), polished exports are up a single percentage point at US$3.8 billion. Rough imports during the month were up 22.5% in value terms at US$1.86 billion compared to US$1.52 billion imported during the previous May. Rough imports have increased 5% for the first two months of the year.
Rapaport News has obtained a letter from De Beers to its clients informing them that they will close its auction-sales office in Dubai due to declining demand from local companies. According to the letter, De Beers will terminate its Dubai rough auctions on July 31, meaning De Beers will no longer display rough diamonds there from the year’s sixth sales cycle onward.
ALROSA President Sergey Ivanov and Executive Chairman of the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) Ahmed Bin Sulayem agreed upon enhancing cooperation in diamond trade, according to a press release from ALROSA distributed on Wednesday. At a working meeting in ALROSA’s headquarters in Moscow, Ivanov and Sulayem discussed options for expanding ALROSA’s trading activities at the Dubai Diamond Exchange, a trading platform within DMCC. The parties also agreed to step up fight against undeclared synthetic diamonds.
Dominion Diamond Corporation has announced an auction of fancy rough diamonds in cooperation with I. Hennig Tenders. The auction viewings will take place in Israel, New York, and Antwerp. The auction will commence with viewings in Israel from June 18-21, 2017; New York from June 26-28, 2017; and will conclude in Antwerp from July 3-7, 2017. Participation in the viewings and the auction is by appointment only.
Antwerp's diamond trade bounced back in May after a modest month of April, with significant increases across the board compared to the month prior. On a year-over-year basis, the volume of rough diamond exports increased by more than 55% although their value fell by 3%, while rough imports increased more than 13% in volume while declining 18% in value. Value increases were recorded for imports as well as exports of polished goods, while the volume of imports increased nearly 5% and the volume of exports were down 12%.
De Beers has no exclusive right to mine diamonds in Namibia and cut them. Alrosa can also participate. We made the first step and offered development of the joint sales system to the Namibian party. Namibia is gradually parting with De Beers and attempting to sell gems independently.
- Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Trutnev on Russian diamond miner Alrosa cooperating with Namibia on diamond sales
Diamond miner De Beers Thursday announced it will start a pilot project in June, selling polished diamonds, manufactured directly from the company’s rough by third parties to registered De Beers Auction buyers. The polished goods will be accompanied by grading reports from both De Beers’ own International Institute of Diamond Grading & Research (IIDGR) and the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
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.
De Beers Group today announced the value of rough diamond sales (Global Sightholder Sales and Auction Sales) for the fourth sales cycle of 2017, provisionally valued at $520 million. The fact that sales remain solid as the summer slowdown looms indicates continuaing upbeat sentiment in the manufacturing sector, spurring demand. Cycle 4 sales were down 11% from the revised figure of $586 million sold at the last sight (contract sales session) and slipped 18% from the fourth cycle a year ago.
"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.
Sierra Leone's government announced yesterday (May 11) that it would seek higher offers in Antwerp for a massive 709-carat diamond after receiving underwhelming offers at auction in Freetown. British citizen Ziad al-Ahmadi, based in Antwerp and reportedly working for Raydiam BVBA, placed the $7.7 million bid which failed to match the government's unspecified reserve price, and turned out to be far lower than the $50 million the Sierra Leone government had originally hoped for, prompting the decision to try again in Belgium.
Russian diamond mining giant ALROSA reports a drop in rough diamond sales in April 2017, earning US$310.2 million as, "the share of small-size, inexpensive rough diamonds was significantly higher than early in 2016." Polished diamond sales in April amounted to US$7.6 million. In January–April 2017, ALROSA sold 16.9 million carats of rough and polished diamonds, which is 7% higher than the sales in January-April 2016.
The sixth edition of the unique "Rough Diamond Days" got underway yesterday (May 10) at the Rough Diamond Bourse (Antwerpsche Diamantkring) in Antwerp, and the traders on the floor are clearly enthusiastic about the format. The event creates a forum for Antwerp-based rough traders - approximately 45 at this edition - to showcase their goods to local and international buyers on an open trade floor, the way it used to be done, and is the only one of its kind.
Antwerp's diamond trade experienced modest and mixed results in April: the volume of rough diamond exports stayed flat for the month while rough imports were down mainly as a result of De Beers not holding a sight in April. Volume declines were also recorded for imports as well as exports of polished goods, in part due to the spring holiday season around the world, though the average value of imports outweighed the fall in volume and ended up slightly on a year-over-year basis.
The diamond industry has a sort of 'Holy Grail' when it comes to consumer confidence and putting to rest an issue that critics rely on to deride the trade as unethical and still awash with 'conflict diamonds': guaranteed provenance. Acoording to an interview last week, Andrey Polyakov, president of the World Diamond Council (WDC) and a vice-president of Russian diamond giant ALROSA, believes one key to obtaining that grail is close at hand in the form of a physical 'fingerprint' that would enable diamonds to be tracked to their origin.
This article is reprinted from Paul Zimnisky Diamond Analytics, courtesy of Paul Zimnisky.
Rapaport has issued a press release on the current rough and polished diamond markets, which boils down to the following: "Amid sluggish polished markets, rough trading remained strong." The second quarter of the year is typically a slow period for diamond trading, and April this year proved no different.
Australia’s term as Chair of the Kimberley Process kicked off today at the KP Intersessional Meeting in Perth, which runs from May 1 – 4. The focus of this year’s meeting is the start of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) review cycle in order to strengthen the Kimberley Process.
On April 21, Guangzhou Diamond Exchange (GZDE) held his first rough diamond sales, the GZDE communicates in a press release. "This is the first rough diamond exhibition and open sales in mainland China." They were able to hold the sale as a result of permission granted by AQSIQ, the ministry in charge of Kimberley Process Certification Scheme in China, as well as customs and other relative authorities, they said. GZDE implemented three selling modes for the rough diamonds: allocation, negotiation and online auction. The sales period lasted two and a half days.
Koin International will hold its May rough sales of African diamonds in Antwerp from 8 - 17 May. The tender includes exciting selections of original mine rough productions, including diamonds from Ekapa Minerals (selection of tailings from Kimberley, South Africa), Angola F2M (10.80ct.+ and melee to 4ct. parcels), Diamcor Mining (original run of mine from Krone-Endora mine, South Africa, singles through to melee parcels), Democratic Republic of Congo (Run of Mine) and Guiter Minerals Sarl (Guinea Run of Mine).
Firestone Diamonds has announced its quarterly update on commissioning activities at its Liqhobong Diamond Mine in Lesotho for the quarter ended March 2017 (Q3 of the Company's financial year): with commissioning activities largely complete and final ramp up progressing on track, during the quarter ended March 2017 the plant treated 639,000 tons (Q2: 402,000 tons), achieving nameplate production rates on numerous occasions. 103,000 carats were recovered in the quarter at a grade of 16.1 carats per hundred tons (cpht), against 58,000 carats in Q2 at a grade of 14.1 cpht.
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.
Dominion Diamond Corporation reports strong growth in gross margins, adjusted EBITDA and net income of $5.6 million - despite a 27% decline in sales - in Q4 of the fiscal year ending January 31, 2017. This was attributable to ramp up of high value production at Ekati and steady performance at Diavik. The sale, late in the quarter, of Ekati mine goods from higher value Misery Main open pit and Koala underground ore processed in late Q3 fiscal 2017, together with higher processing volumes at the Diavik mine in the same period, paved the way for their stronger consolidated gross margin.
Russian mining giant ALROSA sold US$554.2 million worth of rough diamonds in March 2017, while polished diamond sales for the same period amounted to US$12.4 million, briging total diamond sales in March 2017 to US$566.6 million. This represents a 1% increase compared to the same period last year, according to the company. Sales for the first quarter 2017 remained flat compared to Q1 2016, at $1.3 billion. In comparison to February, rough sales jumped 42 percent from $389M.
The government of Sierra Leone said Wednesday April 5 that it was extending the bidding for a massive 709-carat diamond found by an Evangelical preacher last month, after the government received only six offers for the gem, writes Times of Israel. The original plan was to open the bids today, April 6, but bids will now be accepted until May 10 - in particular to allow more time for potential buyers from Belgium, Israel, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates, a government spokesman said - with the auction to be held the following day.
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.
Coming shortly after their annoucement of developing Vladivostok as a diamond center, Russia's diamond mining giant ALROSA has held an auction to sell industrial grade and gem quality natural rough diamonds in the Eurasian Diamond Centre in Primorye (the Russian Far East), the company writes in a press release. 22 companies from China, South Korea, India, Europe, Russia and other countries participated in the auction.
The De Beers Group today announced the (provisional, as of April 3) value of rough diamond sales (Global Sightholder Sales and Auction Sales) for the third sales cycle of 2017, earning $580 million. This represents a nearly 5% increase over the value of sales in Cycle 2, and nearly a 13% decline from Cycle 3 2016.
The diamond industry's famous supply and demand chart - the 'hungry crocodile' - representing its forecast of rising rough diamond prices as production falls to shortage levels, "Not only has never materialized, it oversimplifies the fact that the industry’s 15,000 different categories of diamonds are performing in very different ways," writes Thomas Biesheuvel for Bloomberg.
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.
Russia's leading oil and gas company Lukoil has reported revenue from sales of rough diamonds from its Grib Mine in Russia in the amount of nearly $340 million (RUB 20 billion) for the year 2016, representing an 82% increase over the $186m (RUB 11bn) in 2015 (see link to financial statement, p.25).
Diamond industry analyst and author of the Zimnisky Global Rough Diamond Price Index, Paul Zimnisky, takes us on, "A Trip Through the Diamond Industry in March 2017." If there is one trip you make this weekend, we recommend this one.
Russian diamond miner ALROSA's rough diamond sales in February 2017 amounted to US$389.8 million, an 8.8% increase over the $358.2 million sold in January. This brings Alrosa's rough sales for the first two months of 2017 to nearly $750 million, a slight drop from the estimated $780-800 million sold during the first two months of 2016.
The month of March will again see a full schedule of rough diamond tenders and sales in Antwerp.
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.
- William Lamb, CEO Lucara Diamond, Interview with Bloomberg TV, on India's demonitization, diamond demand, Kimberley Process, positive sentiment in industry, Trump effect, DPA, Millennials and finding a buyer for the magnificent Lesedi La Rona ... all in 6 minutes.
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.
Gahcho Kué, the world’s largest new diamond mine in the last 13 years, officially began commercial production today (2 March 2017), De Beers announced in a press release. The mine, a joint venture with De Beers Group (51%) and Mountain Province Diamonds (49%), is expected to produce approximately 54 million carats of rough diamonds over its lifetime. Production ramp up began on 1 August 2016 and the official opening ceremony took place on 20 September 2016. Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group, said: “Today marks a significant landmark for De Beers in Canada as Gahcho Kué becomes an important
According to a press release, ALROSA, the world’s largest diamond producer by volume, reported the results of the international diamond auction, which took place in the Sixth International Diamond Week in Israel (IDWI), offering for sale special-size natural rough diamonds (10.8-ct+) , as well as polished goods. The company sold 105 lots of rough and polished diamonds worth $21.8 million during the trading session held on 13-16 February, 2017 in the City of Ramat Gan, Israel. The auction was attended by 119 buyers from 30 countries.
The De Beers Group of Companies has announced the (provisional) value of rough diamond sales (Global Sightholder Sales and Auction Sales) for the second sales cycle of 2017 has earned $545 million. This represents a 25% dropoff from the $729 million achieved in Cycle 1, and is nearly 12% lower than in Cycle 2 2016, which earned $617 million. Nonetheless, excluding January 2017, it is the largest sales cycle since September of 2016.
ALROSA did not carry out sweeping changes to prices at its diamond trading session with long-term clients in January and February, representatives of two of the miner's counterparties told Interfax, but the company did adjust prices for small, low-quality diamonds, or so-called Indian 'makeables' in January, reacting to weaker demand for this category.
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.