Grib Diamonds today (11 December) sold more than $30M and 370K carats though its online Spot Auction in Antwerp. The diamonds included, for the first time, goods purchased from Angola as well as its usual Russian production from its wholly owned mine in Arkhangelsk, Russia.
Russian diamond miner Alrosa said on Wednesday that it planned to start trial mining at a new section of its Luaxe deposit in Angola by mid-2020. Luaxe is Angola's newest and largest diamond deposit, as well as one of the few major diamond mines to be developed in the past decade.
Having already revised their 2019 full-year production guidance downwards to ~31 million carats in response to a backlog of polished diamond inventories in the midstream and weaker trading conditions, De Beers' parent company Anglo American yesterday announced it is lowering its diamond production estimate by a million carats in 2020 and 2021. Citing "challenging market conditions," Anglo American notes that De Beers' year-to-date revenues have fallen 26% since 2018, due to lower volumes of sales, a weaker product mix and a softening price index.
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and Bain & Company have released their ninth annual report on the global diamond industry: Strong Origins: Current Perspectives on the Diamond Industry.
Forevermark, the diamond brand from De Beers Group, today announced it will launch in five jewelry stores in Belgium through a partnership with Gautam Diamonds. Forevermark jewelry will be available in Gautam stores in the historic Grand Place/Grote Markt and Galerie de la Reine/Koninginnegalerij in the city, as well as in three Antwerp Diamonds by Gautam stores in Brussels Airport.
Russian diamond mining giant Alrosa reported a rise in rough-diamond sales for the second straight month, selling $282.1 million in November, which is a 6% increase over November 2018 ($266.6 million) and an 11% increase over last month ($253.9 million). The miner's polished-diamond sales fell to $5.8 million from $10.4 million last month and $7.4 million in November 2019. Total sales of $287.8 million worth of rough and polished diamonds represent a 5% increase year-over-year.
Gem Diamonds recovered a 114-carat Type 1 yellow diamond on 9 December 2019, the miner reported this afternoon. It is the 11th diamond weighing more than 100 carats to be recovered at the Letšeng mine in Lesotho in 2019, and the fourth yellow diamond that tops the 100-carat milestone. The miner recovered a 114.2-carat yellow diamond from the mine in August, as well as a 135- and 134-carat yellow earlier this year. Letšeng is renowned for known for yielding large, high-quality stones.
Antwerp’s rough-diamond trade put a weak October performance in the rear-view mirror in November, as the volume of rough exports in particular rose sharply despite another decline in the average price per carat, according to figures from the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC). The polished-diamond sector remained more sluggish than usual in what has been a modest month for trade over the past several years.
Luxury jeweler Tiffany & Co fell short of investor expectations for profit and sales during the third quarter ended Oct. 31 2019, as weak demand in the U.S. and retail disruption in Hong Kong offset growth elsewhere in China. Tiffany's business in the Americas and Europe has struggled to generate growth in recent years as price-conscious younger customers gravitate to lower-priced competitors like Signet Jewelers - which last week released “better-than-expected” results for the third quarter of fiscal year 2020.
Despite the concerted efforts of the Angolan government to bolster its rough diamond trade, the challenging market has led to less postive results this year than hoped for. According to the Ministry of Finance (Minfin), Angola exported 706,900 carats of rough diamonds in October, a decrease of 8.3 percent compared to September, reports Macauhub. Since the beginning of the year, the country has exported 7.12 million carats, which is 11.4% fewer than in the same period last year.
In his latest editorial, JCK editor-in-chief and industry expert Rob Bates makes a case for a ceasefire between the natural diamond industry and the lab-grown sector.
In recent months the mudslinging back and forth between the two "intimately connected sectors" has reached new heights, which Bates believes will be negative in the long run for the entire industry, natural and LGD alike.
Gem Diamonds unearthed a 93.5 carat top-quality white Type IIa diamond from its Letšeng mine in Lesotho on 30 November 2019, which followed the recovery of two diamonds weighing more than 100 carats earlier in the month: a 120-carat, high-quality, white, type IIa diamond and a 125-carat, low-quality stone. In a recent meeting of shareholders, however, a significant number - nearly 25 percent - voted against reelecting CEO Clifford Elphick to the company’s board in an effort to force approval of share buybacks and dividends.
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is set to close its operations in Dubai. According to sources, the GIA is making the move to ensure they use their resources as effectively as possible to fulfil their consumer protection mission, and will close its Dubai office by the end of the year. The renowned diamond grading and certification lab most recently started operations at a new facility in Antwerp.
Barely a week after Jeweller Magazine reported Michael Hill (MHI), the jewelry retailer operating 312 stores in Australia, New Zealand, Canada as well as selling jewelry online, made misleading claims in its marketing by describing their lab-grown diamonds using terms as “real”, “genuine” and “authentic”, the company has changed its messaging.
Steps you need to take due to the restructuring by the Kimberley Process of the Operational Framework System for rough diamonds from the Central African Republic (CAR)
In its latest report, Canada-based NGO IMPACT claims India has become the world’s hotspot for conflict gold originating from Africa and South America. According to IMPACT, the country imports roughly a 1,000 tonnes of gold per year, 25% more than the official figures state.
In their research, IMPACT says it has revealed how illicit gold, potentially linked to conflict, human rights abuses and corruption, is smuggled into India – one third of the world’s gold passes through the country – primarily via the United Arab Emirates.
ALROSA USA, the rep office of the Russian mining giant sold 255 polished diamonds, total weight 435ct and a mix of different cuts, and including 21 fancy colored diamonds, to companies from various countries. Total revenue of the auction amounted to US$4.8 million, exceeding the US$3 million of the first auction held in New York last summer.
The sale of the "in-house" manufactured diamonds through auctions, as well as the expansion and active presence of the company in key consumer markets like the US is in line with ALROSA's approach to expand its scope beyond mere mining.
At the conclusion of the KPCS Plenary Session in New Delhi, India, the Civil Society Coalition (CSC) in a press release says the KP failed to deliver on the mission of the three-year reform cycle, noting “only insignificant changes to the scope and governance” was agreed upon by the members of the scheme.
In a spectacular robbery on monday morning thieves broke into the Royal Palace in Dresden, Germany, stealing over a hundred pieces of Baroque jewelry from the so-called the Grüne Gewölbe (Green Vault). According to the authorities, the robbers smashed in a window to gain access after starting a fire that disabled the security system. They seem to have precisely targeted a glass display cabinet, containing the priceless pieces, including three sets of diamonds, including brilliant-cut diamonds, part of an 18th-century jewelry collection.
According to several reports, LVMH's raised offer of 16.7 billion US dollar - from the 14.5 billion offered and declined earlier - might be convincing enough to persuade TIffany's and the deal could be concluded fast, insiders say. If so, Tiffany's would be joining LVMH's portfolio, which includes Bvlgari, Louis Vuitton and Dior and put the luxury conglomerate in a more interesting position to compete with rivals, such as the Swiss-based Richemont.
The first ever direct tender in Antwerp of 350,000 carats of rough diamonds from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) delivered on all expectations.Out of 115 companies, both Antwerp-based companies and foreign buyers from Israel, India, Dubai and other countries, attending the viewings, 79 companies placed 426 bids on 36 lots.
Riaan Burger, CEO of the 50-50 joint venture between the Namibian government and Anglo American's De Beers Group, stated Namdeb is negotiating with government to soften the current tax regime of royalties (10%) and corporate tax (55%) to allow the Namibian mining entity to extend its land operations (Orange River) beyond 2023.
Rio Tinto’s Argyle Pink Diamond tenders, the 35th since the mine started producing the rare pink, red and violet diamonds, received a lot of interest, the company says. As the Argyle mine is due to close next year, the 2019 tender is most likely one of the last tenders, explaining the double-digit growth in bids made on the lots of polished pinks, reds and purples. The most valuable diamond in the selection, the Argyle Enigma, was bought by Australia-based Star & Kiven Diamonds (Aurostar group), who also won the winning bid for the Argyle Verity.
Russian miner AGD Diamonds' most recent rough diamond auction on the electronic sales platform of its trading subsidiary, Grib Diamonds NV, fetched over $25 million. The company noted an increase in demand for diamond goods and a pickup in the diamond market. AGD commented that the prices they achieved represented a cessation of the decline in average prices and that the first signs of market stabilization are now tangible. The company said it expects a full recovery of demand and rough prices in the second half of 2020.
The De Beers Group has created a new booklet to clearly differentiate between two "entirely different" products, with two entirely different value propositions, which now form part of its product portfolio: natural and laboratory-grown diamonds.
A significant decline in Swiss watch exports to Hong Kong in October put a dent in the otherwise positive month, as several of the leading markets recorded strong growth. According to figures from the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry, Swiss watch exports passed the 2 billion francs (CHF2.03 billion/USD$2.04 billion) representing 1.5% growth compared to the same month last year.
Former CEO and now chairman emeritus of Rosy Blue Alliance, Dilip Mehta, has announced a new venture into synthetic diamonds, partnering with his sons to launch a business in Surat. Mehta is just the latest of many diamond veterans to test the synthetic-diamond waters. Speaking to the Times of India, Mehta made clear that the venture was fully independent of Rosy Blue. "This one is our own venture and nothing to do with Rosy Blue," he is quoted as saying.
Zimbabwe's treasury will cut the royalty for diamond mining to 10% from 15% of gross revenue to reduce the cost of mining for conglomerate (hard rock) diamonds, attract investment and increase extraction, The Sunday Mail wrote over the weekend. Presenting the 2020 National Budget, Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube said that since diamond miners are now exploiting deep-lying deposits, the cost of extraction has significantly increased.
India's exports of cut and polished diamonds in October declined by 15.4% year-on-year to $1.95 billion as compared to $2.30 billion in October 2018, according to the provisional data released by The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) of India. The $1.95 billion is the same amount exported in September, which represented an 18% decline from the year prior. The volume of polished diamonds exported declined 8% to 2.8 million carats, as the average price per carat for the month fell 22% to $689 per carat. For the fiscal year to date (April - Oct.
Canadian junior miner Star Diamond Corporation on November 15 announced it has received notice from Rio Tinto Exploration Canada Inc. (RTEC) indicating that it intends to exercise all four options under an Option to Joint Venture Agreement entered into in 2017. According to diamond analyst Paul Zimnisky, writing on Twitter, this includes Rio Tinto committing to spend C$70.5M (US$53M) to take Star-Orion South through feasibility for a 60% stake in the project. Star Diamonds owns the 60 Fort a la Corne kimberlites in central Saskatchewan.
Petra Diamonds has announced the sale of an exceptional, 20.08-carat blue diamond recovered at the Cullinan Mine in South Africa in September 2019, which fetched US$14.9 million, or approximately $741,000 per carat. The buyer is a leading diamond company that wishes to remain anonymous, the miner said in a press release.
Diamcor Mining, a publicly-traded junior diamond mining company based in Canada and operating in South Africa, has reported a net income of C$350,676 for Q2 (the period ended September 30, 2019), a significant increase when compared to a net loss of C$417,368 realized during the same period in the prior fiscal year
Alrosa sold 93 rough diamonds with a total weight of 1,560 carats, and earned $11 million in sales revenue at an auction for special size rough diamonds (weighing over 10.8 carats) held in New York. At approximately $7,050 per carat, the miner says it is the best result achieved in the last few months. There were 95 participants from the US, Belgium, India, Israel, UAE, Russia and Hong Kong.
Press release: 1 week until the first Angola Mining Conference & there is still time to register
With the Kimberley Process (KP) Plenary starting next week in New Dehli, KP Observers are saying the certification scheme has reached the moment of truth as to whether it will expand its definition of 'conflict diamonds', a move many see as critical to the KP's continued relevance.
Botswana Diamonds ("BOD"), the AIM and BSE listed diamond explorer, has recovered its first diamonds from plant commissioning activities on the Marsfontein Mining Permit. These come from the diamond-bearing gravels and residual unprocessed stockpiles surrounding the Marsfontein Mine in South Africa. Essentially, BOD is mining the forgotten leftovers of a once-legendary small mine and stand to make it pay off.
The European Commission has adopted a new customs code to differentiate between natural and synthetic diamonds. In a communication to the members of the national associations of the European Federation of Jewellery (EFJ) and to public authorities, the association applauded the pending entry into force of the new European customs code for synthetic diamonds. This code, introduced in the European combined nomenclature (Chapter 71), will enter into force as from January 1, 2020.
The first ever direct tender in Antwerp of rough diamonds from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) officially opened today at the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), with viewings starting tomorrow, November 14.
The price cut De Beers introduced for the November sight (Cycle 9) appears to have generated some movement in the rough diamond market, as the miner sold (provisionally) $390 million at its latest sale. This marks the third straight sight with increasing sales and a 31% jump over the $297 million in sales at the previous sight, though it is still 12% lower than in Cycle 9 a year ago.
Imports and exports of rough and polished diamonds to Antwerp slowed in October on a year-over-year basis as the market recession continued to impact the flow of goods and their prices. High inventories of polished goods continue to soften demand for rough goods to polish, pushing rough as well as polished prices down.
Teaming up with Sarine Diamond Technologies, Alrosa has launched a pilot program to provide digital mapping of its rough diamonds on tender so buyers can better assess the polished output and lower their purchasing risk. In a press release, the Russian miner said it provided the Digital Tenders information for the first time during the October 2019 trading period, offering its clients a full digital scan of each rough diamond for detailed analysis.
The difficulties facing diamond miners delivering products at the lower end of the market hit Mountain Province Diamonds (MPD) particularly hard in Q3 (the three months ending Sept. 30), though the miner has been struggling with low prices for some time now. Q3 revenue from sales declined by 26% as the average price per carat fell by 28%. The company attributes a downturn in carats recovered, as well as the low prices achieved, to mining activity in a lower grade and quality areas that delivered "the expected poorer product mix", as well as "challenging" market conditions.
The overall poilshedprices index recorded its lowest level since November 2017 last Wednesday, writes Richard Platt for the independent group that provides wholesale transaction-based polished diamond prices. The overall index is 4.9% below its level of this time last year and has lost 3.3% since the start of this year.
Christie's Geneva Magnificent Jewels sale taking place tomorrow (Nov. 12) features a stunning collection of colored and colorless diamonds, led by a 7.03-carat, Fancy deep blue rectangular-cut diamond by London high jewelry house, Moussaieff. The VVS2 blue stone carries an estimate of $10,000,000 - $14,000,000.
While Russian diamond mining giant Alrosa's October rough diamond sales remained steady at $253.9 million and even outpaced by $20 million their sales in the same month last year, Q3 (July-Sept.) saw a significant downturn as the market remained difficult and sales volumes declined. Meanwhile, the miner got a bit of sparkle from their polished diamond sales during the month, earning $10.4 million, good for their best polished results of the year by over $2 million. The miner says supply and demand have shown signs of regaining their balance.
Starting November 14, 350,000 carats of rough Congolese diamonds worth an estimated $6 million will go on tender in Antwerp, as the DRC and Antwerp take a first major step toward implementing a cooperation agreement signed in September to facilitate access for DRC miners to Antwerp’s transparent diamond market, and in particular its tender houses. The complete parcel will contain approximately 15% gem-quality goods and 85% industrial-grade diamonds, with closing bids on November 20.
Tiffany & Co. has asked luxury conglomerate LVMH to raise its $14.5 billion acquisition offer, arguing that it significantly undervalues the U.S. jewelry chain, Reuters reports, citing unnamed sources. Last week, it became known that LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton is seeking to add the iconic U.S. jeweler to its portfolio of upscale brands.
After a nearly month-long cessation of production activities due to power outages, Firestone Diamonds resumed production at its 75% owned Liqhobong Mine in Lesotho on October 26. The company successfully commissioned rented diesel generators and the processing plant is currently operating at between 80% and 90% of full capacity as the new power generation system is being optimised.
The Angolan National Diamond Trading Company (Sodiam) has reported an increase in revenues from the sale of rough diamonds during Q3 2019, driven by a significant increase in the volume of carats sold as the average price per carat fell.
Leading producer of high-value stones Gem Diamonds recorded modest declines in Q3 compared to Q2, reporting fewer carats sold, lower revenue and average prices achieved for its goods from the Letšeng mine in Lesotho. A year-over-year comparision, however, paints a picture of a more substantial decline and reflects the realities miners are facing in this slumping market.
The 4th International Jewelry & Diamond Conference 2019 – Guangzhou, jointly held by the Guangzhou Diamond Exchange and the Guangdong Gems & Jade Exchange (GDGJE) will take place on November 21-22. The conference will be held in Panyu, Guangzhou, the major cluster of the diamond and jewelry industry of China, and will welcome industry representatives, associations from around the world and delegates from local governments.
Over the course of the next five to ten years, tax experts believe more indirect and direct taxes will be levied in the Arab Gulf states (GCC), such as the UAE, including taxes on wealth and property, corporate and income tax. As oil prices are expected to remain low, the new taxes, some of which will be implemented by the end of this year, should open up new sources of revenue to fund budgets, which are under pressure as oil revenues decline.
Mid-tier miner Petra Diamonds recently launched an Artisanal Small Scale Mining (ASM) initiative in the Free State town of Koffiefontein in South Africa to give community members the ability to conduct legal and regulated ASM activities.
Lucara Diamond had what could be considered a steady third quarter despite ending in a net loss due primarily to an increase in operating expenses as well as depletion of reserves and amortization, both non-cash expenses. The miner also completed a positive feasibility study for development of an underground mine at Lucara’s Karowe Diamond Mine in Botswana; the underground expansion at Karowe is expected to double the mine life and generate significant revenue and cashflow out to 2040.
According to Bloomberg News' Thomas Biesheuvel, De Beers at its November sight took the nearly unprecendented step of lowering the price of rough diamonds by 5%, according to sources that spoke anonymously as the matter is private. Our sources in Antwerp were able to confirm a softening of prices in most categories but did not place a percentage figure on it.
Hong Kong’s retail sales, and particulaly those of jewelry and other luxury items, took a nosedive in September as the protests that have plagued the city since June have kept tourists away and led to a decline in consumer spending. According to a press release and figures from the Census and Statistics Department of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the overall value of retail sales in September 2019 decreased by 18.3% to an estimated HKD29.9 billion (US$3.8 billion) compared with the same month in 2018.