Mountain Province Diamonds turned in a very strong production performance at the Gahcho Kué mine in Canada, particularly in the fourth quarter, but a 15% decline in the average price achieved for their rough diamonds over the course of 2019 dragged their proceeds down. A slightly lower recovery grade also curtailed their carat recovery, which ended just below 2018 levels.
Russian diamond miner Alrosa, the largest rough producer in the world, raised its output 5% to 38.5 million carats from 36.7 million carats in 2018 despite lower market demand which pushed their total diamond sales down 12% to 33.4 million carats. The combination of more production and softer sales increased their rough inventories by 5.6 million carats (+33%) to 22.6 million carats. The Russian giant's 2019 rough sales fell 26% to $3.27 billion as the average realised prices for gem-quality rough fell 19% to $133 per carat from $164 per caat last year.
De Beers Group Q4 rough diamond production decreased by 15 percent to 7.8 million carats from 9.1 carats a year earlier, driven by lower production levels in South Africa and Botswana, the company announced this morning.
London-based BlueRock Diamonds, which operates and owns 74% of the Kareevlei mine based in Kimberley, South Africa, achieved profitability for the first time in the second half of 2019 after more than doubling its diamond output and revenue. The junior miner made good on its September prediction that it would achieve profitability in H2 2019 through enhanced production.
Russian diamond miner Alrosa has started drilling at the Mir kimberlite pipe as part of the company's investigation into the safety and economic feasibility of restarting production at its unique diamond deposit, the miner announced last week. The company said it will commence its studies at the depth of 1,200 – 1,600 meters below the surface in an effort to define more precisely the pipe’s dimensions, its position, diamond quality and grades, as well as geological conditions and hydrogeology of the deposit. Total exploration costs are estimated at $32.5 million (RUB 2 billion).
Angola's industrial diamond miners produced 9.09 million carats in 2019, a decline of 5% on the year. Adding semi-industrial production to industrial output, the total was 9.12 million carats. The figures came courtesy of Ganga Júnior, the president of Angola’s state diamond exploration, mining and licensing company, Endiama. He attributed the declline (4.8% the actual figure cited) to the closure of a diamond mine. He said the semi-industrial diamond sector had accounted for the production of 35,856 carats last year.
Rio Tinto has lowered its 2020 rough diamond production guidance to 12-14 million carats, down from 17 million carats produced in 2019 and 18.4 million carats the year prior.
The Angolan diamond sector might put an end to semi-industrial mining, aiming to provide more competitiveness, transparency and efficiency to the activities in the sector, said José Manuel Augusto Ganga Júnior, president of Endiama's board of directors. Endiama is Angola’s national diamond prospecting, exploration, cutting and marketing company. Summing up the sector’s activities in 2019, he said the aim was to bring an end to semi-industrial exploration and keep only industrial operations, regardless of whether they are run by large or small cooperatives.
Lucapa Diamond Company today announced that in 2019 the miner smashed its previous annual high in group production, recovering 49,120 carats compared to 19,196 carats last year.
De Beers is moving to expand exploration at its Gahcho Kué diamond mine, while Dominion Diamond Mines (DDM) is looking to expand a major exploration program east of Ekati mine, according to several Canadian news outlets. In a Dec. 31 submission to the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board, De Beers indicated it would be exploring 11 targets of interest by late February.
Russian diamond miner Alrosa unearthed a 191-carat diamond on Christmas day at the Botuobinskaya kimberlite pipe in Yakutia. According to estimations made by Alrosa’s experts on site, the rough diamond is of high quality. They estimate the age of the stone at about 2 billion years. Further mineralogical analysis will reveal more precise numbers. "Surely, such findings are very remarkable," said Evgeny Agureev, Deputy CEO of Alrosa. The rough diamond will be sent to the United Selling Organization for a detailed evaluation.
Mountain Province Diamonds reached the upper level of its output guidance in 2019 and sees opporunity for further growth in 2020. President and CEO Stuart Brown confirmed in a Dec. 19 statement that the miner will achieve the upper end of their production guidance of 6.7 – 6.8 million carats recovered on a 100% basis. Mountain Province Diamonds is a 49% participant with De Beers Group in the Gahcho Kué diamond mine in Canada's Northwest Territories.
The former Ellendale diamond mine area in the West Kimberley region of Australia is heading towards a new lease of life, as Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston has announced that Gibb River Diamonds has accepted his offer to apply for a new lease to mine at Ellendale and has invited India Bore Diamond Holdings to apply for other tenements at the site.
Petra Diamonds, a leading independent diamond mining group, on Tuesday announced it had appointed a successor to the miner's founder and chairman, Adonis Pouroulis: the company has named mining engineer Peter Hill as nonexecutive director and chairman-designate effective January 1, 2019. He will take over as Non-Executive Chairman on 31 March 2020, at which time Pouroulis, who founded Petra in 1997 and has been its chairman ever since, will step down. The company recently eliminated the role of chief operating officer because of a management restructuring.
The Bunder Diamond Mine, located in Chhattarpur district of Madhya Pradesh, India, has been sold to Essel Mining, a company owned by the Aditya Birla Group, which will acquire mining rights with a 50-year government lease. The Bunder mine is estimated to have reserves of about 34 million carats.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Press release: 1 week until the first Angola Mining Conference & there is still time to register
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Press Release: Only 3 weeks until AMC 2019: “Unlocking the potential of the national mining sector through investment and diversification”.
The inaugural Angolan Mining Conference & Exhibition will take place in just three weeks. The Angolan president recently invited foreign industry giants to invest in the country’s economy, including the mining sector. In less than four years, Angola’s rough diamond production is estimated to reach more than 14 million carats, securing its position as the world’s fifth largest diamond producer.
Firestone Diamonds last week reported a decline in revenue during for the quarter ended 30 September 2019 (Q1 of their 2020 FY) due mainly to lower sales prices for diamonds from its Liqhobong mine in Lesotho. The miner has had to deal with a power supply cut to the mine since 1 October, which forced Firesetone to temporarily shut down the mine's treatment plant until power is restored.
Stornoway Diamond Corp. is a Canadian diamond exploration and producing company that developed the Renard mine over the course of two decades from a grassroots exploration project to a world-class diamond mine - the first in Québec. The massive project, built for $774 million - under their budget of $811 million - sparked enthusiasm across the diamond industry, which has seen few new mines open in recent years. Stornoway delivered the first ore to the processing plant in July 2016 and achieved full production in the summer of 2017.
Mid-tier diamond miner Petra Diamonds Ltd said its first-quarter revenue sank sharply as sales and prices fell, despite production increasing slightly compared to the same period the prior year. For Q1 FY 2020, covering production and sales from 1 July 2019 to 30 September 2019, diamond production rose 1% to 1.08 million carats from 1.07 million carats a year prior.
Russia's Alrosa, the leading diamond producer in the world by volume, has recovered its largest gem-quality rough stone in three years: 232.4 carats. The massive diamond was was unearthed at Udacnhaya kimberlite pipe on October 19.
Rio Tinto saw its diamond output fall in the third quarter of 2019 (three months ended September 30, 2019), citing lower carat grades from its Argyle mine in Australia and lower ore availability at the Diavik mine in Canada. The multinational mining group reported a 7% decline in diamonds produced during the quarter and a 9% drop over the first nine months of the year.
Russian diamond miner Alrosa served as a co-organizer of the ‘Russian-African Collaboration in the Diamond Industry’ panel session at the Russia-Africa Economic Forum business program in Sochi, the company announced today. Russia and African countries together account for about 75% of the global rough diamond production and are truly interested in the sustainable development of the global industry.
De Beers' rough diamond production in the third quarter of 2019 declined by 14 percent to 7.4 million carats, with significant reductions in South Africa and Canada which the miner says was planned. "In addition," they note, "we continue to produce to weaker market demand due to macro-economic uncertainty as well as continued midstream weakness." For the year to date, De Beers ouput is lagging 12% behind the first nine months of 2018, falling to 23 million carats from 26 million carats. Q3 output fell 3% from Q2 output.
Diamcor Mining Inc., a TSX-listed junior diamond mining company with operations in South Africa, sold 4,033 carats of rough diamonds at its first tender in Antwerp and has delivered another 6,369 carats which it expects to sell at a second tender at Koin International in Antwerp in November. A third tender is planned for December. The more than 10,000 carats of rough diamonds expected to be delivered and tendered in Q3 represents a significant increase compared to 3,882 carats delivered and tendered in Q2.
A 27% decline in the average price per carat led to an equivalent decline in total Q3 proceeds for Canadian miner Mountain Province Diamonds, as the company sold about the same number of carats as in Q3 last year.
Russian diamond mining giant Alrosa increased its Q3 diamond production by 15% year-over-year while the volume and value of carats sold declined, leading to the miner holding 40% more diamonds in stock than at this time last year. However, they write, globally, the second half of Q3 2019 saw an upward trend in rough diamond sales and a turning point in destocking in the midstream, creating a basis for the market recovery in the future.
As first reported nearly two weeks ago, the power is still out at Firestone Diamonds' Liqhobong mine in Lesotho. The company said that "whilst every effort has been made over the past week to identify and to resolve the power issue, the Liqhobong mine remains without sufficient power to operate the processing plant."
The first ever Angola Mining Conference & Exhibition will take place from 20 - 21 November 2019 in Luanda, Republic of Angola. The theme of the conference is “Unlocking the potential of the national mining sector through investment and diversification” and it is being organized by the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Petroleum (MMRP) in association with AME Trade Ltd, United Kingdom.
Lucapa's latest sales of rough diamonds from its Lulo (Angola) and Mothae (Lesotho) mines totalled $US10.4 million ($A15.5m), taking combined sales to date for 2019 to $US45.9m ($A65.7m).
Lucapa Diamond Co. and its respective partners have reported record production for the September 2019 Quarter (July - Sept.) as its their high-value Lulo alluvial mine in Angola and the Mothae kimberlite mine in Lesotho achieved combined production of 14,610 carats. The company says its results are "in line with Lucapa’s strategy of expanding high-value diamond production to maximise revenue generation."
Russian diamond miner Alrosa saw its September sales of rough diamonds make a modest recovery after a slow summer, selling $256.5 million, which represents a 42% increase over the $180.2 million sold in August. The company acknowledged, however, that market demand for rough diamonds is still low, as this past month's sale was 27% lower than in September 2018, when they moved $331.6 million of rough goods. Adding $2.2 million in polished-diamond sales (-69% y-o-y), total sales for September were $258.7 million.
Russian diamond miner Alrosa has made an unusual find in Yakutia - a diamond with another diamond moving freely inside, making it resemble a traditional Russian Matryoshka doll. According to the experts who have studied the find, this is the first such diamond in the history of global diamond mining. The diamond was mined at the Nyurba mining and processing division.
Firestone Diamonds has announced a production disruption at its 75% owned Liqhobong Mine in Lesotho due to intermittent power supply. The Liqhobong Mine is supplied electricity from the Muela Hydropower Station (MHS) which is owned by the Lesotho Electricity Company (LEC) and which forms part of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project Phase 1 Katse Dam.
Diamonds is a business we like a lot. It’s a very high-margin business in line with our strategy of value over volume. It makes a lot of sense. We want to stay in the diamonds business, so we have committed 20% of our exploration budget to diamonds. We are also exploring for mergers and acquisitions.
- Arnaud Soirat, Rio’s chief executive for copper and diamonds, speaking to Bloomberg
Zimbabwe accused the U.S. of ignorance after the U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced it that it is blocking rough diamond imports from the Marange fields because they were produced with forced labor, writes Ray Ndlovu for Bloomberg.
Ahead of the Annual General Membership (AGM) meeting of the World Diamond Council (WDC) in Antwerp, the Government of the Central African Republic launched a "full overhaul of the country’s alluvial diamond mining sector", the government stated in a press release today.
Imports of rough diamonds from the Marange Diamond Fields in Zimbabwe and gold mined in artisanal small mines (ASM) in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have been blocked by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on the suspicion of forced labor. The two items were on a list of five products from five different countries singled out for 'Withhold Release Orders' (WRO) which were issued "based on information obtained and reviewed by CBP that indicates that the products are produced, in whole or in part, using forced labor", the agency writes.
With their Annual General Meeting kicking off tomorrow in Antwerp, the World Diamond Council (WDC) today issued a statement concerning rough diamond exports from the Central African Republic (CAR). The WDC is an industry organization representing the full range of diamond-related organizations, including miners, manufacturers, retailers and trade organizations.