Botswana Diamonds, Vast Resources Granted Right To Mine Marange, Zimbabwe

Joint-venture partners Botswana Diamonds and Vast Resources Vast Resources plc have in principle been granted the right to mine diamonds on the Heritage Concession of the Marange Diamond Fields. The companies signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly investigate diamond opportunities in Zimbabwe in May this year, and last August were apparently awarded access to the Marange concession.

Mining and Exploration

Falling Prices of Small Stones Taking Toll on Miners

The state of the diamond mining industry as 2019 enters full swing is concerning to many throughout the trade. The fall in prices of small, lower-quality diamonds, a staple of many miners, had participants at the Africa Mining Indaba last week concerned about the sustainability of their operations if the market does not correct this year, with some even concerned about their survival.

Market AnalysisMining and ExplorationRough Market

Petra Diamonds Anxious for Next Big Stone to Ease Debt

Petra Diamonds, owner of one of the world’s most famous diamond mines - the Cullinan mine in South Africa - could be about a decade away from clearing its multi-million-dollar debts, according to Reuters. As Emma Rumney and Barbara Lewis explain, Petra bought Cullinan in 2008, "aiming to breathe new life into the South African mine renowned for yielding the largest rough gem diamond ever found - 3,106 carats - and being the world’s main source of rare blue diamonds.

Mining and ExplorationRough Market

From Russia, With Love: Alrosa Unveils 66-ct. Heart-Shaped Rough

Average U.S. Engagement Ring Spend Flat in 2018, says Wedding Report

The average expenditure on an engagement ring in the U.S. stayed flat in 2018 at $3,388, fitting the new pattern of economizing on the big day and a slight shift away from including an engagement ring, according to a survey from The Wedding Report. The survey concluded that the average cost of a wedding in the U.S. declined by 4%, from $25,764 in 2017 to $24,723 in 2018.

JewelryRetail and Consumer Confidence

Alrosa Shows Its Colors - Including Largest Pink (15ct) in Russian History

Russian diamond miner Alrosa has mentioned several times recently that it is aiming to become the leader in the international market for colored diamonds, and is making its case with a media preview of its collection of large colored diamonds, including unique pink, bright yellow and pink purple gems. The star of the show was a pink oval diamond weighing 14.83 carats - the largest pink diamond in the history of Russia.


Record Spend Expected for Valentine's Day, Jewelry Tops List

Americans are expected to spend a record amount on Valentine’s Day this year despite a years-long decrease in the percentage of people celebrating the holiday, according to the annual survey released today by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics. Of the estimated $20.7 billion the NRF expects US consumers to spend on the holiday, almost $4 billion will be on jewelry, putting it at the top of the list, despite the fact that only 18% of people surveyed are planning to gift jewelry (26% men, 9% women).

JewelryRetail and Consumer Confidence

BlueRock Diamonds Recovers Largest Stone, Raises Development Funds

BlueRock Diamonds, an AIM-listed junior miner which owns and operates the Kareevlei Diamond Mine in the Kimberley region of South Africa, has recovered its largest diamond to date: a 16.28 carat gem-quality stone. It is 4.58 carats larger than the next largest diamond the miner has recovered. On Monday, the company announced it has raised an aggregate of £575,000 ($740,000) through a placement.

Mining and Exploration

Gübelin Launches Blockchain To Track Gemstone Provenance

Gübelin Gem Lab in Switzerland has launched the first colored gemstone blockchain which will track the provenance of gemstones at every step along the supply chain. Called the Provenance Proof Blockchain, its purpose is to provide the industry with a tool that enables genuine transparency concerning the origin and movement of gemstones. A gemstone’s journey begins at the mine, which is where the blockchain ideally starts.

Origin TrackingRetail and Consumer ConfidenceLaboratoriesTechnology

WFDB To Work with Korea Diamond Exchange

The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) and the Korea Diamond Exchange (KDE) have signed a cooperation agreement to help with the development of the young bourse in South Korea. Signed on February 6, 2019, the agreement entails that the WFDB will assist with the promotion of the diamond business in South Korea, and will provide assistance to the KDE in lobbying the Korean government in matters that can enhance the diamond business.


Firestone Finds Another Big Rock at Liqhobong

Firestone Diamonds has announced the recovery of a 70 carat white, makeable diamond from its Liqhobong Mine in Lesotho.

Mining and Exploration

In 2014, I wrote that the lab-grown diamond industry was out-promoting the natural. That is even more pronounced now. I don’t get many pitches from natural diamond companies. And some of the pitches I do get are kind of dull. By contrast, I get at least two or three pitches on lab-grown diamonds a week. My Facebook feed is inundated with ads for lab-grown companies. The man-made segment claims only a single-digit percentage of the market, but it appears to be doing an outsized percentage of the marketing ... The fact is, the natural diamond industry made itself vulnerable to the threat of lab-growns. The industry didn’t promote its product for a decade. Everything that is happening now with lab-grown diamonds was predictable. The industry knew they were coming for decades. But the trade also failed to understand that the rest of the world wouldn’t see the two products the same way it does.

- Rob Bates, award-winning journalist at JCK, from his article, "The Lab-Grown Diamond Industry Is Still Out-Hustling the Natural"

Gem Diamonds' Latest Exceptional Recovery a 13-Carat Pink

Gem Diamonds recovered a high-quality 13.33 carat, pink colour Type I diamond from the Letšeng mine in Lesotho on 7 February 2019. The prices for diamonds of this color of diamond are typically exceptional. In the first half of 2018, when Gem recovered 10 rough stones larger than 100-carats at its Letšeng mine, the highest price achieved was $62,433 per carat for a 2.26-carat pink diamond.

Mining and Exploration

Alrosa's Rough Diamond Sales Plunge in January

Russia's Alrosa, the world’s largest diamond miner, could not escape the current trend on the rough diamond market at the start of 2019, as its rough diamond sales plunged by 44% to $278 million from $499 million in January 2018. This is in sharp contrast to December sales, however, when rough sales increased by 46% over the previous year. Polished-diamond sales in January were $3.4 million, bringing total sales for the month to $281.5 million.

Rough MarketMining and Exploration

Chinese Companies Poised To Flood Synthetic Diamond Market

"If even a fraction of Chinese production is upgraded to jewelry-quality diamonds, it would have a very significant impact on the global supply which is only in the low-millions-of-carats," independent diamond analyst Paul Zimnisky told Xinhua News journalists Wang Zichen and Shi Linjing.


RJK Explorations To Seek Source of Great Yellow Diamond in Canada

RJK Explorations, a mineral exploration company with a focus on diamonds, gold, silver and base metals with its resource properties located in Ontario and Newfoundland, is planning to search for the source of the 800-Carat Nipissing Yellow Diamond in southeastern Ontario. The Bishop Nipissing Diamond Project came about when RJK entered into a property option agreement with Anthony “Tony” Bishop for the Bishop Nipissing Diamond Properties, exploration properties totaling 2,090 hectares encompassing at least 18 potential kimberlite pipes, according to a press release.

Mining and Exploration

HRD Antwerp Grades World's First Wearable Lab-Grown ‘All Diamond’ Ring

Dutch Diamond Technologies (DD) has created the world’s first ring that is entirely made from a lab-grown diamond. ‘Project D’, DD’s name for the ring, took a year to manufacture and was created in honour of the company’s 10th anniversary. For grading this unique piece of jewelry, DD turned to HRD Antwerp, Europe’s leading authority in diamond grading, writes the grading lab in a press release.


Gem Diamonds' 2018 Recoveries, Sales & Avg. Prices See Double-Digit Growth

Gem Diamonds had a banner year in terms of recoveries, sales and average prices acheived for its diamonds unearthed from its Letšeng mine in Lesotho. In addition to setting a company record for recoveries in a single year of diamonds larger than 100 carats (15) and of diamonds larger than 20 carats (257), in 2018 Gem's carats recovered increased by 13% to 126,875 carats (2017: 111 811 carats), sales jumped 29% to $267 million from $207 million, and the average price rose by 10% to $2,131 per carat, up 10% from $1,930 per carat in 2017.

Mining and Exploration

South Korea Abolishes Special Tax on Diamond Imports

The South Korean government, following years of negotiations with the Korea Diamond Exchange (KDE), has abolished the special 26% Individual Consumption Tax (ICT) on imports of loose polished diamonds exceding KRW 5,000,000 ($4,460), leaving in place only the simplified rate of 5% import tax and 10% VAT which already applied to all imports. KDE President Nam Chang-Soo said, "We hope that the abolition of the tax will have a very positive effect on diamond jewelry sales in South Korea."


A quick comparison of retail prices show a price difference [between LGDs & naturals] of 20-40%, depending on the specific goods and the retailers’ branding, market positioning, etc. Wholesale prices behave very differently. In the wholesale market diamonds are priced as a commodity ...  a much more accurate way of measuring price changes over time. Polished wholesale prices of LGDs are 50-85% lower than those of natural diamonds ... the smaller the goods, the larger the price difference. On average, 1-ct. lab-grown goods were priced 64% lower than natural diamonds at the end of December, while third-carats were 75% cheaper. If you are wondering why the price gap in retail prices is so much smaller, the answer is simple: retailers are keeping a wider margin.

Edahn Golan, from his diamond research blog, "LGD Prices – Not What You Might Expect"

Edahn Golan - Diamond Research & Data

Declining Supply Expected To Push Prices of Yellow Diamonds Higher

The price of vivid yellow diamonds is expected to rise this year as a result of declining supply, according to Q4 figures from the Fancy Color Research Foundation (FCRF). Jim Pounds, FCRF advisory board member and executive vice president of diamond at Dominion Diamond Mines, which has produced high levels of vivid yellow as its Ekati mine in Canada, commented, "as the mine transitions from open-pit mining to underground, a substantially reduced amount of stones will be available during 2019. Therefore, we anticipate a slight increase in vivid-yellow prices.”

PolishedMarket Analysis

Koin Int'l Announces February Tenders of African Diamonds in Antwerp

Diamond tender house Koin International will hold two rough diamond tenders for original African productions this February in Antwerp. From 11 – 14 February, Koin will tender the KEM (Kimberley Ekapa Minerals) production from Kimberley, South Africa. This is a full Run of Mine tender including large single stones and fancy colors. KEM's sought-after production was previously offered only in South Africa, but Koin held a successful initial tender in Antwerp last August-September.

Rough Market

South Africa's Mining Charter III Puts Survival of Junior Miners at Risk

South Africa's Mining Charter III "heaps more pain on South Africa’s alluvial diamond producers who already face enormous cost burdens and high risks," writes Gert van Niekerk, Chairman of the South African Diamond Producer’s Organisation in a recent opinion peice in Mining Review Africa.

Mining and Exploration

RapNet Ventures Into Jewelry Trading

RapNet, a member of the Rapaport Group of Companies and the world’s largest diamond trading network, will be introducing jewelry into its global trading network, as announced yesterday in a press release. RapNet members can now upload jewelry images and data, perform detailed searches, and directly trade jewelry with each other without any fees or commissions. There are no additional fees to use this service.


Firestone Diamonds Has 'Reasonable' Q2, Revenues Rise Despite Soft Prices

Firestone Diamonds, a diamond producer with operations focused in Lesotho (Liqhobong Diamond Mine), reported "reasonsable" results in the quarter ended 31 December 2018 (Q2), increasing sales despite the "deterioration" in demand and prices for smaller, lower value stones. The miner sold 191,735 carats during the quarter, a slight decline from the 194,206 carats sold last quarter, realising revenue of $13.9 million (Q1: $13.5 million) at an average value of $72 per carat (Q1: $70 per carat).

Mining and ExplorationMarket Analysis

Lucapa Sells $16.7M of Big Lulo Diamonds in Historic Angola Tender

Lucapa Diamond Co. sold seven large, top-quality diamonds weighing 498 carats at the inaugural competitive tender under Angola’s new diamond marketing policy, earning US$16.7 million, representing an average price of US$33,530 per carat. The exceptional stones from the Lulo alluvial mine in Angola were offered for sale via electronic tender organised by Sodiam (Angolan state diamond marketing company) in Luanda.

Rough Market

Mountain Province To Include 60-Ct Fancy Vivid Yellow Rough Diamond in Feb. Sale

Mountain Province Diamonds will include in its upcoming, February rough diamond sale an exceptional quality, 60.59-carat, fancy vivid yellow rough diamond. The diamond was recovered at the Company’s Gahcho Kué Mine in October 2018. Also included in the sale will be more than 50 other large, high-quality white and fancy-colored rough diamonds. Viewings will take place between February 11 to 21 at the offices of Bonas-Couzyn in Antwerp, Belgium.

Rough Market

BlueRock Diamonds Restarts Mining Operations After Brief Suspension

BlueRock Diamonds plc, the AIM-listed junior mining company which owns and operates the Kareevlei Diamond Mine in the Kimberley region of South Africa, has recommenced operations after South Africa's mining regulator ordered a temporary suspension on January 24 following an accident. The Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) imposed a section 54 notice - which concerns the code of practice relating to the operation of trackless mining machines - following an event involving an external contractor. 

Mining and Exploration

Petra's Shares Tumble Almost as Sharply as Cullinan Rough Prices

South Africa-focused miner Petra Diamonds has seen its shares tumble 27% since Monday's announcement of its H1 2019 results, despite an 8% increase in sales and a 10% rise in production.  The culprit? Near-historical low prices earned from its rough diamonds from its flagship Cullinan mine. Prices achieved from the miner's Cullinan goods slumped 31% compared to last year, earning just $96 per carat, and compared to a nine-year average of $140 per carat from 2009 to 2018, the miner said. 

Rough MarketMining and Exploration

India’s GJEPC Fears US Gov’t Shutdown Impacted Diamond Exports

The partial shutdown of the US government is likely to have had a negative impact on exports of small diamonds from India to the US, according to Colin Shah, vice chairman of the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). This comes as unwelcome news to an industry that is already experiencing sluggish performance, with The Economic Times citing an 8.5% decline in the value of polished exports in the first nine months of FY2018, sitting at to $22.41 billion.

EconomyPolishedFinance and Trade

Luxury Bellwether LVMH Books Record Results in 2018

LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world’s leading luxury products group, recorded revenue of €46.8 billion in 2018, an increase of 10% over the previous year. LVMH's results have upset prevailing wisdom about the health of China’s shoppers with its latest results. The luxury bellwether, which owns some of the world’s most valuable brands including Christian Dior and Givenchy, said Tuesday that demand from Chinese consumers strengthened in the three months through December, defying analysts' expectations for a decline in luxury spending.

JewelryRetail and Consumer Confidence

Alrosa Recovers an Uncommonly Large Stone - Nearly 200 ct.

De Beers' First Sight 2019 Shows Lethargy of Small Rough Market

De Beers' first sight of the year provided no indication that the sluggishness of the market for lower value rough is ready to subside. The January sight is typically one of the largest of the year, as manufacturers restock after the Christmas season in preparation for the holidays ahead, including Chinese New Year and Valentine's Day. De Beers rough sales in Cycle 1, however, were much lower than the two previous starts to the year.

Rough Market

Alrosa Increases Long-Term Clients, Adds Two Belgian Companies to Alliance

Russian diamond mining giant Alrosa expanded the long-term customer list for the three-year contract period 2018-2020, and has added two Belgian companies to its ALROSA ALLIANCE. Participants in the ALLIANCE obtain the right to use the logo that confirms not only regular rough diamond supplies from ALROSA, but also the reputation of a client as a reliable and trusted participant of the world diamond complex. Becoming an ALROSA ALLIANCE participant makes the company a candidate to potentially sign a long-term agreement.

Rough Market

Lucara Increases Resource at High-Value Area of Karowe Mine

Lucara Diamond Corp. has announced a 54% increase in the indicated resources of the South Lobe of its Karowe Mine in Botswana, as it undertakes its feasibility study for a potential underground operation. The significant increaase in the availability of diamonds, as well the increased contribution of the higher grade, higher value EM/PK(S) geological ore unit, where some of Karowe's most valuable diamonds, including the 1,109 carat Lesedi La Rona and the 813 carat Constellation were found, signfies a significant boost to the future of the mine.

Mining and Exploration

Alrosa & Anjin Selected To Mine For Diamonds in Zimbabwe

Russian diamond miner Alrosa and China’s Anjin Investments have been selected by Zimbabwe’s government to partner with the state diamond company ZCDC, reports local paper The Herald. The Zimbabwe National Diamond Policy says the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), Murowa Diamonds and two other private companies would be permitted to undertake diamond exploration and mining. The Russian and Chinese miners have now been announced as those foreign companies.

Mining and Exploration

GIA Guide Changing Lives of Artisanal Miners in Tanzania

The GIA (Gemological Institute of America) has developed an illustrated booklet, “Selecting Gem Rough: A Guide for Artisanal Miners,” to help small-scale miners learn more about the quality and classification of the gems they recover, and ultimately to obtain greater market value. As Russel Shor explains, the two pilot projects GIA initiated with Pact, a Washington, D.C.-based non-governmental development organization with offices in Tanzania, are having an impact on these miners' lives.

SustainabilityMining and Exploration

Botswana Diamonds Issues Placing Shares To Fund Exploration

UK-based and AIM and BSE listed exploration company Botswana Diamonds plans to raise more than $480,000 (£370,000) from investors, the company said Wednesday.

Mining and Exploration

Don't Bet Against Future of Diamond Industry: Paul Zimnisky Looks Ahead

Multiple forces seem to be conspiring against the diamond industry these days, and if mining stocks are any indication, the wider market takes a pessimistic view of its prospects. But as independent analyst Paul Zimnisky explains in his latest analysis, "Don’t Give Up on the Diamond Industry Just Yet", to take this attitude as a foregone conclusion is to underestimate the resilience of the industry as a whole and overlook not only the enduring intangible value of diamonds, but also the impact of what may well become their much more tangible rarity.

Market AnalysisMarketingRough MarketIn-depth

Alrosa's 2018 Production Falls 7% to 36.7M Cts., Sales Rise 6% to $4.5B

Russian diamond mining giant Alrosa has announced its production results for 2018 and Q4 2018, reporting that annual production declined by 7% to 36.7 million carats, while an 8% decline in carats sold was offset by a higher average price per carat, leading revenues to rise 6% to $4.5 billion. The miner attributed the fall in output to the shutdown of the Mir underground mine and the completion of open-pit mining at the Udachnaya pipe.

Mining and ExplorationRough Market

De Beers' 2018 Production Up 7% to 35.3M Cts, Sales rise 2% to $5.4B

The De Beers Group has announced its production results for 2018 and Q4 2018, reporting that annual production increased by nearly 7% to 35.3 million carats, while a 4% decline in carats sold was offset by a higher average price per carat, leading revenues to rise 2% to $5.4 billion. They said the rise is production was due to a planned increase at the Orapa mine, although the group's output was in the lower half of the production guidance range of 35 to 36 million carats.

Mining and ExplorationRough Market

Leading Diamond & Jewelry Insurance Brokers Join Forces

Charterhouse-backed Siaci Saint Honore (SSH), a leading France-based insurance brokerage and consulting firm with a strength in jewelry insurance, and Lloyd's coverholder Driesassur, the Belgium-based global market leader for insurances for the diamond trade and a jewelry and fine art insurance specialist, have agreed to join forces.


Artificial Intelligence Diamond Buying Tool Lets Consumers ‘See’ Stone

The Diamond Pro, described as "an unbiased online diamond jewelry advisory website," has launched Ringo, an artificial intelligence (AI) tool that helps any online diamond buyer determine the best diamond options based on their specific requirements. The "first-of-its-kind tool" is intended to enable buyers to determine if a diamond is clean to the naked eye based solely on its picture, and be assured they are making the best purchase based on certification, desired shape, setting style and precious metal type.


India's Polished Diamond Exports Up 6% in 2018 Despite December Downturn

The value of India's polished-diamond exports grew by approximately 6% to over $24 billion in 2018 despite a 10% downturn in the volume of goods exported, according to figures from the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). The rise in value is attributable to a 17% higher average price per carat, calculated at $775, for the 31.5 million carats exported, reflecting an industry-wide trend in 2018 of softening trade in smaller, lower-quality goods and more robust demand for larger goods.

PolishedMarket Analysis

Antwerp Diamond Trade Balanced in 2018

The Antwerp diamond trade was nothing if not balanced in 2018. The industry traded a total of $46 billion in 2018, representing an increase of less than a percentage point over 2017 ($45.9 billion). The value of value of the goods flowing in and out of Antwerp was once again divided equally between rough and polished goods, with the polished trade good for $22.9 billion and the rough trade representing $23.1 billion.

Market AnalysisRough MarketPolished

IMDH To Tender Namibian Marine Rough Diamond Production in Antwerp

International Mining and Dredging Holdings (IMDH) will be holding its first tender since 2016 of Namibian marine-mined rough diamonds at Bonas-Couzyn’s Antwerp offices. Bonas said the first sale from IMDH will bring to market approximately 47,000cts of original marine goods of gem quality, mined by the specialist mining vessel, the Ya Toivo. “This exciting source will be holding regular ROM production tenders with Bonas-Couzyn in Antwerp throughout 2019,” the tender house said.

Rough Market

Alrosa Names New Head of US Diamond Branch

Russia's Alrosa has appointed Rebecca Foerster as President ALROSA USA Inc., and will mainly be responsible for the development of polished diamonds sales and customer service. ALROSA’s office in New York was opened in 2006, but it has not been operating since 2016 for organizational reasons. The full-scale operation was resumed in 2018, when two rough diamond auctions were held there. This year, ALROSA plans to hold four rough diamond auctions in New York and significantly increase its office activity in selling its own polished diamonds.


Production at Rio Tinto's Argyle Diamond Mine Tumbles in 2018

Rio Tinto's diamond production for the year fell by 15% to 18.4 million carats from 21.6 million carats in 2017, as production at the Argyle mine in 2018 fell by 18% compared to 2017, when production was enhanced by the processing of higher grade alluvial tailings. The fourth quarter in particular put a drag on the annual figures, as the 3.2 million carats unearthed represented a 48% decline from Q4 2017 - albeit against a high base of 7.21 million carats - and a 16% decline from last quarter.

Mining and Exploration

Lucapa Starts Commercial Diamond Recoveries at Mothae Mine, Lesotho

Lucapa Diamond Company has commenced commercial diamond recoveries at its new 1.1Mtpa (million tons per annum) Mothae mine, a "high-quality kimberlite resource" located in Lesotho. Lucapa has been developing a new mine at Mothae throughout 2018 to complement production from the high-value Lulo mine in Angola. During Q4 2018, Lucapa completed construction of Mothae's new treatment plant, which incorporates two XRT diamond recovery circuits, and commenced the commissioning phase.

Mining and Exploration

Angola's 2018 Diamond Production Flat at 9.4M Carats, Prices Rise

Diamond production in Angola remained flat in 2018 at 9.43 million carats, but revenue from diamond sales increased by 9% to $1.2 billion from $1.1 billion due to a 27% rise in the average price per carat, the chairman of the state mining company Endiama, Ganga Júnior, announced this week. Diamond production fell slightly from 9.44 to 9.43 million carats, but the average price per carat of the 8.26 million carats sold increased to $149 per carat from $117 per carat.

Mining and ExplorationRough Market

Signet Jewelers Fails To Shine This Holiday Season, Shares Tumble

Signet Jewelers, the United States' largest retailer of diamond jewelry, announced its same-store sales fell 1.3% to $1.84 billion during the "Holiday Season" (the 9 weeks ended January 5, 2019) as the company failed to get enough demand from its legacy product lines and enough traffic in their stores during key weeks in December. For the current quarter ending Feb. 2, it now expects same-store sales to be down 1.6% to $2.5%.

JewelryRetail and Consumer Confidence

Stornoway Diamonds’ Production Back on Track in Q4 After Challenging Year

Stornoway Diamonds got its production levels back on track in Q4 2018 after "challenging" year of ramping up their underground operations at the Renard mine in Canada, giving them the confidence to raise their production guidance for 2019. Production, sales and revenue all declined significantly from the miner's 2017 levels, but they recorded a 24% increase in the average price per carat earned despite a market downturn in the second half of 2018.

Mining and ExplorationRough Market

Developing Sierra Leone's Newest Mine: In-Depth with Stellar Diamonds CEO Karl Smithson

Stellar Diamonds and parent company Newfield Resources are on the verge of commencing development of their Tongo Diamond Project in Sierra Leone. When completed, it will be the second largest diamond operation in the country. The Diamond Loupe spoke with CEO of Stellar Diamonds and Executive Director at Newfield Resources Karl Smithson, first in Antwerp and again when he was on site in Tongo (“in the middle of the bush”) about the project, how it is progressing and what to expect going forward.

Mining and ExplorationRough Market

Chow Tai Fook Takes Q4 Sales Hit Amid Uncertain Economic Environment

One of the bellwether jewelry brands and the largest jeweler in China, Chow Tai Fook, has reported that same-store-sales of gem-set jewelry in Q4 2018 declined by 5% in mainland China and 8% in Hong Kong and Macau “amid an uncertain macroeconomic environment.” This marks the first quarterly decline in two years for the company despite China’s lowering of its jewelry import tax by an average of 20.7 percent last summer, which was expected to bolster sales.

Retail and Consumer ConfidenceJewelry

Mountain Province Increases 2018 Sales & Production Despite Tepid Q4

Canadian miner Mountain Province Diamonds reported a 17% jump in carat production for the full year 2018, with sales rising 30% to $US240 million. The company's 49% share of production from the Gahcho Kué mine it shares with De Beers totalled 3.4 million carats, (full GK production 6.9 million carats) compared to the 2.9 million carats (5.9m) recovered last year, following from a 25% rise in total tonnes mined (ore & waste) and a 15% rise in total tonnes treated.

Mining and ExplorationRough Market

Alrosa Set To Resume Diamond Mining Operations in Zimbabwe

Russia’s Alrosa, the world's largest diamond producer, has announced its intentions to resume its diamond mining operations in Zimbabwe, which it had put on hold since 2016.

Mining and Exploration

Angola Extends Operation Against Illegal Diamond Mining and Smuggling

Angola has extended across the country what it calls “Operation Transparency”, which aims to fight illegal immigration, reduce diamond smuggling and reform the world’s fifth-largest diamond industry, Angolan authorities said in a statement. It is part of President João Lourenço’s drive to diversify the economy and reduce the country’s dependency on oil.

Mining and Exploration

Former Dominion CEO The Latest Mining Vet To Launch Synthetic Diamond Venture

Fomer Dominion Diamond Mines CEO Patrick Evans is planning to launch a company making laboratory-grown diamonds, according to an article by Henry Sanderson of the Financial Times. Evans last month left Dominion - the world's third largest diamond producer by market value and Canada’s largest independent diamond producer - after just over a year at the helm. He is also the former CEO of Canada's Mountain Province Diamonds, a position he held for twelve years.


Alrosa Finishes Year Strong, Rough Diamond Sales Up 5% To $4.4B in 2018

Alrosa finished the year with a 6% increase in rough and polished diamond sales after a strong December in which the Russian miner's rough sales rose 44% year-over-year to $324 million from $228 million, which was also good for a 23% rise over November. The company sold $5 million in polished diamonds in December.

Rough MarketPolished

Lucara Recovers 127-ct. Diamond Following Record Year of 33 +100-ct. Recoveries

Lucara Diamond Corp. has recovered a 127 carat, top white gem diamond from its 100% owned Karowe Diamond mine located in Botswana. Since mining began at Karowe in 2012, a total of 129 diamonds in excess of 100 carats have been recovered, including an astounding 33 in 2018 alone. By way of comparison, Gem Diamonds, famous for its large diamond recoveries from the Letšeng mine in Lesotho, recovered a record 15 stones larger than 100 carats this year. Lucara's haul since 2012 includes 12 diamonds larger than 300 carats in size, of which 5 were recovered in 2018.

Mining and Exploration