CEO of Australia’s Lucapa Diamond Company, Stephen Wetherall, paid a visit to Antwerp recently, where The Diamond Loupe caught up with him. We encountered an optimistic CEO that is clearly excited about the future of Lucapa, and justifiably so. The growing miner operates, together with its partners in Angola, the highest-value and most promising alluvial diamond project in the world - the Lulo Diamond Project.
The Angolan authorities have shut down 279 diamonds sale and purchase houses, as well as canceled the activity of 122 co-operatives dealing in diamonds exploration, 52 days after the start of the “Operation Transparency”, announced last Wednesday in the northern Malanje Province, reports Angolan Press outlet ANGOP. “Operation Transparency” is essentially intended to fight illegal immigration, illegal exploration of diamonds and put a stop to environmental crimes committed in the ambit of the irregular prospecting of minerals.
Canadian miner Mountain Province Diamonds has sold US$17.7 million (CDN$23.3 million) from 245,751 carats at an average realized value of US$72 per carat at its ninth rough diamond which closed on November 14, 2018. The total proceeds from the sale were the lowest of the year thus far, but the average price per carat was the highest since the $85 per carat earned at the company's fifth sale of the year in June.
Junior miner Botswana Diamonds (BD) has acquired Alrosa's 50% share in the Sunland Minerals project for a "nominal sum". BD's 100% ownership of Sunland now enables a new investor to enter as a new joint venture partner, and they say that negotiations with this potential partner are at an advanced stage. The potential partner is said to be a large diamond producer with new ideas and keen to find new kimberlites in Botswana.
Stornoway Diamond Corporation has announced that Matt Manson will step down as President and CEO of the Corporation, effective January 1, 2019, and will be succeeded by Mr. Patrick Godin. Mr. Godin is currently the Corporation’s Chief Operating Officer, and has served in this role since 2010. So as to achieve an orderly transition in 2019, Mr. Manson will provide support to Mr. Godin as he assumes his new role.
Monday afternoon in Brussels at the opening of the Kimberley Process (KP) Plenary session, World Diamond Council (WDC) President Stephane Fischler urged the delegation to support the strengthening the KP by expanding the definition of conflict diamonds (Read full speech). The expanded definition proposed by the Canadian government includes diamonds associated with widespread and systematic violence.
Canadian miner Mountain Province's production and sales of rough diamonds from the Gahcho Kué mine underwhelmed in the third quarter of 2018, as production was on the downside of flat during the quarter, while sales increased against a low comparison point in 2017 and the cost of production rose. Sales increased by 15% to US$57 million (C$75 million) at an average price of US$73 per carat, but net income dropped by 37% to US$13 million (C$17.5m) from US$21million (C$16m).
Lucara Diamond Corp.'s third quarter carat production from its Karowe mine in Botswana "exceeded expectations" as a result of increased efficiency in diamond recovery in the smaller sizes during 2018.
The Central African Republic (CAR) has made an appeal to members of the Kimberley Process (KP), whose Plenary meeting commences in Brussels today, to engage with the country to increase its rough-diamond exports. The CAR government has asked the KP family to approve the compliance of nine additional mining zones in the Western part of the country - in addition to the five areas already approved in 2015 - and to formallize the decision taken at the KP Intersessional last June to reduce the approval period for rough-diamond exports to seven days.
Russian diamond mining giant ALROSA experienced a slight downtick in revenue and profit during the third quarter as compared with Q2, as significantly weaker sales volumes were offset by higher average prices and an improved sales mix. The miner has, however seen strong growth for the first nine months of the year, and last week commenced commercial diamond production at its newest mine, the Verkhne-Munskoye Diamond Field in Yakutia.
UK-listed Botswana Diamonds said it is feeling "confident" that its Thorny River project in South Africa will become its first operating mine following the conclusion of a mining contract covering bulk sampling activities and future full-scale mining. The necessary regulatory approvals have been applied for, and a drilling program is planned in 2019. Managing Director, James AH Campbell the company hopes to get production rolling during the first half of 2019.
During initial tests of new flood plains being explored near the Lulo diamond project in Angola, Lucapa Diamond Company has discovered of a new alluvial source of large and premium-value diamonds. Lucapa reports a total of 1,502 carats recovered so far from 11,155 bulk cubic metres processed, achieving a diamond grade of 13.5 carats per 100 cubic metres. The sample included 17 specials (+10.8 carats), including an exceptional 55 carat Type IIa D-colour white The average size of the diamond recovered was 1.4 carats.
The Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), according to a column written by President Mnangagwa in The Sunday Mail, that the country's diamond output was expected to shatter previous records. Zimbabwe aims to produce (at a stretch) three million carats this year, driven by a US$100 million investment in operations over the last two years. The ZCDC unearthed 2.4 million carats between January and October 2018, a significant increase over the 1.8 million carats achieved last year. ZCDC chief executive officer Dr.
Gem Diamonds said its third quarter (ended 30 September) production from its Letšeng mine in Lesotho rose 27% compared to Q2 2018, and the miner has raised its production and sales guidance for the year. Gem Diamonds now anticipates is full-year output to reach 120 to 124 million carats, up from the 114 to 118 million carats announced last March. The announcement follows improved mining efficiencies and strong production during the period. The miner also projects to sell 118,000 to 122,000 carats, up from 112,000 to 116,000 carats announced previously.
Gemfields has announced the discovery of ‘Inkalamu’ – the ‘Lion Emerald’ – a 5,655 carat Zambian emerald crystal with remarkable clarity and a perfectly balanced golden green hue. Inkalamu was discovered at Kagem, the world’s largest emerald mine, which is 75% owned by Gemfields and 25% by the Industrial Development Corporation of Zambia (which belongs in turn to the Government of the Republic of Zambia).
All signs are pointing upward for Lucapa Diamond Co. these days, with the exception of their rough diamond sales in Q3, which fell by 49% as the miner withheld several exceptional, large and premium-value specials (+10.8 ct.) for sale at a later date. This parcel (pictured) includes a 46-carat pink, and top-color Type IIa white diamonds weighing 114, 85, 75, 70, 62, and 43 carats respectively.
Petra Diamonds has appointed Mrs. Varda Shine and Mr. Bernard Pryor to its Board as Independent Non-Executive Directors, with effect from 1 January 2019, in accordance with the Petra nomination committee's three-year succession plan. The plan is in line with Petra’s development from a phase of intensive capital expenditure and expansion to a focus on steady-state operations. Varda Shine has been in the diamond industry for 30 years and was previously CEO of De Beers Trading Company.
Firestone Diamonds posted solid production amid middling sales results in Q1 2019 (ended 30 September 2018), but its majority-owned Liqhobong Diamond Mine in Lesotho got off a strong start to the second quarter after selling its third most valuable stone to date. The start of Q2 was highlighted by the second sale of the 2019 financial year, where the diamond miner sold a total of 102,835 carats for US$8.2 million on October 26, including a 68 carat white diamond, the third most valuable stone sold to date for just under US$10 million, and a 20 carat yellow diamond.
After a four-year wait, Star Diamond Corp. - formerly called Shore Gold Inc. - has received the green light from the provincial government to build a diamond mine in Saskatchewan, Canada, bringing to an end what is believed to be the longest environmental approval process in province history. The Star-Orion Diamond Project was first proposed by Shore Gold Inc. in 1995.
Lucapa Diamond Company has commenced its commissioning of the 1.1Mtpa (million tonne per annum) treatment plant at the high-quality Mothae kimberlite open-pit diamond mine in Lesotho (Lucapa 70%; Gov't of Lesotho 30%), despite the challenges of the winter snowfalls in the Maluti Mountains (altitude > 3,000 metres).
De Beers’ rough diamond production declined by 5% to 8.7 million carats in the third quarter due to planned reductions in mining volumes in Botswana and South Africa, the miner announced today. In Botswana, production at the Jwaneng mine declined by 6% to 5.7 million carats due to the planned processing of lower grade material. Production at the Orapa mine remained in line with Q3 2017 at 2.6 million carats.
Petra Diamonds, with mining operations in South Africa and Tanzania, has released a promising and much-needed set of results from Q1 2019 (July 1 to September 30), reporting a 21% increase in diamond production and a 22% rise in revenue in the last three months.
Russian diamond mining giant ALROSA increased its production in Q3 2018 by 23% compared to Q2, and its output was up 2% year-over-year, somewhat mitigating the company's 11% decline in production over the first nine months of 2018, which now stands at 26.4 m carats. Meanwhile, ALROSA's Q3 rough diamond sales fell by 26% compared to the prior quarter and are down by 9% for the first nine months of 2018, while average realised prices for gem-quality diamonds during the quarter (including product mix change effect) gained 22% over the last quarter and are up 18% y-o-y.
Rio Tinto's carat production in Q3 2018 at the Argyle as well as Diavik mines fell on a year-over-year basis, though production for the year thus far has kept pace with the first nine months of 2017. Production during the three months ending September 30 fell by over 17% to 4.9 million carats from 5.9 million carats, driven by a 19% decline at its 100-percent owned Argyle mine in Australia. Total output from the two mines is down by 2% to 14.1 million carats for the year to date.
Gem Diamonds has recovered a 357 carat light brown high-quality diamond trom its 70 percent-owned Letšeng mine in Lesotho, representing the 13th stone larger than 100 carats the miner has unearthed this year, a company record. The latest find is Gem's second-largest this year, with their largest being the 910 carat Lesotho Legend, a D color Type IIa diamond recovered in January, which sold for $40 million last March.
Russian diamond mining giant ALROSA's September sales continued the miner's positive trend in 2018 with an 8% increase in rough diamond sales compared to September 2017, which was admittedly a low comparison base. ALROSA sold $331.6 million worth of rough diamonds compared to $305.8 million a year ago, as the larger sized stones sold well while lower qualities and sizes set forth their downturn.
Russian diamond mining company ALROSA extracted 28.59-carat rough yellow diamond at its Ebelyakhplacer deposit in July. The diamond is of deep greenish-yellow hue, and following the company's assessment, the color of the stone is defined as the rare Fancy Intense Yellow. It is currently the largest yellow rough diamond mined at ALROSA's deposits since the beginning of 2018. JSC AlmazyAnabara, a subsidiary of ALROSA, unearthed the stone.
Diamond Fields Resources (DFR) has confirmed, via its subsidiary Nutam Operations (Pty) Ltd, that the mining vessel "Ya Toivo" is scheduled to enter Namibian waters during the first week of November 2018. Once in position, the m/v Ya Toivo will commence mining operations on the ML111 license area, which is held by DFR through its Namibian subsidiary Diamond Fields (Namibia) (Pty) Ltd.
Russia's ALROSA has sold 2,234 carats worth of special size rough diamonds (larger than 10.8 carats) at an auction in Hong Kong, earning $10.7 million in sales revenue at an average price of $4,790 per carat. The 2,234 carats derived from 136 gem-quality diamonds, including 25 fancy yellow stones weighing 440 carats in total. 54 companies from Hong Kong, mainland China, Belgium, Israel and India took part in the auction.
Rio Tinto and Dominion Diamond Mines have revealed three of the finest large rough diamonds from their Diavik diamond mine in Canada, which will be showcased in Antwerp and Israel before being tendered to diamond specialists from around the world. The three rough diamonds, collectively named “The Diavik Stars of the Arctic”, will highlight a rough diamond tender of 'specials' (diamonds weighing more than 10.8 carats) before bids close on October 25.
Firestone Diamonds has just completed its first full year of production at the Liqhobong Diamond Mine (75% Firestone, 25% Government of Lesotho), ending an "eventful" year with mixed results. The company describes their first full year of production as "characterised by exceptional operational performance", as Firestone achieved their carat recovery guidance and exceeded their tonnage treated while operating at significantly lower cost than expected, and maintained an unblemished safety record.
The 7th Brazilian Conference on the Geology of Diamonds to be held in Salvador, Bahia is attracting speakers and delegates from around the world, the organizers write in a press release. The event, which focuses on the diamond producing industry, will highlight the diamond potential of Brazil, its geology, and new discoveries and developments in the sector. The conference will be held at the Deville Hotel and Conference Centre from November 4 to 7, 2018.
North Arrow, a Canadian-based exploration company focused on diamond opportunities in Canada, has completed an exploration drilling and till sampling program at its 100% owned Mel Diamond Project, confirming it as a new diamondiferous kimberlite field in Canada. The program represents the first ever exploration drilling of this new kimberlite field and also included work focused on generation of new targets through till sampling and geophysical surveys, the company said.
Botswana Diamonds has identified the potential of the Free State in South Africa to host additional commercial kimberlites following archival research concerning the history of diamond mining in South Africa. This research, first discussed in August 2017, found that in addition to the well-documented iconic operations at Jagersfontein, Koffiefontein and Kimberley, a number of smaller diamond mines existed in the area, but knowledge of them had essentially been lost over the
South Africa’s cabinet approved a long-delayed Mining Charter that spells out requirements for black ownership levels and backed the withdrawal of a mining bill after industry opposition, a minister said last week. The Mining Charter - which was introduced to redress the exclusion of black people in the mining sector under apartheid - could, however, still be the subject of legal challenges if mining companies are unhappy with its contents after it is published.
Brazil Minerals, a U.S. diversified company with projects in various minerals in Brazil, announced its extensive drilling campaign in one of its several mineral rights yielded alluvial material with a high likelihood for diamonds in over 57% of the drill holes executed. The project is located in the Jequitinhonha River Valley in northern Minas Gerais state in Brazil. Marc Fogassa, CEO of Brazil Minerals, stated, “Our identification of an initial diamond-rich zone within a gold mineralization area is a very good outcome.
Zimbabwe’s second diamond tender of 2018 earned $28.3 million from 423,066 carats, for an average price of $67 per carat. This represents a huge step forward as the country tries to regain market confidence and reclaim a stake in the global diamond trade, even though the tender attracted fewer international buyers than expected.
Lucapa Diamond Company Ltd., a growing diamond company with a portfolio of high-quality production, development and exploration assets in Angola, Lesotho, Australia and Botswana, has been awarded a new Mineral Investment Contract (MIC) by the Angolan Ministry of Mineral Resources and Petroleum for the Lulo kimberlite exploration licence. The MIC covers a five-year period through to 30 April 2023. Lucapa Managing Director Stephen Wetherall said the gazetting of the new five-year MIC for the Lulo kimberlite licence was further evidence of Angola’s diamond sector reforms and the strong working
Ari Epstein, CEO of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), along with several representatives from the Antwerp diamond industry today met King Letsie III of Lesotho in Brussels. Lesotho, a mountainous country fully surrounded by South Africa and numbering only two million inhabitants, is the world’s seventh most important diamond-producing country in terms of value. Lesotho’s entire diamond production, worth $342 million in 2017, is traded on the Antwerp market.
Canadian miner Mountain Province Diamonds (MPD) has announced "very encouraging" results from its exploration program currently under way in the immediate vicinity of the Gahcho Kué mine. If the exploration success continues and is confirmed, it could lead to the potential addition to the resource of 1.5 to 2.8 million tons and 2.2 to 4.2 million carats, said Stuart Brown, the Company’s President and CEO.
Despite its annual revenue rising 25% and its profit from mining activities up 33% to US$205.1 million, the miner recorded significant losses ($203.1 million) and Petra Diamonds' CEO Johan Dippenaar will step down after 12 years at the helm following a slump in the company’s share price this year. The miner was forced to raise $170m in capital from shareholders last May to shore up its heavy debt, which has run up over the $600 million mark and accelerated the company’s share price fall this calendar year, which is down by 43%.
Lucapa Diamond Company today announced that a selection of large, premium-value Lulo diamonds will be the first Lulo production sold through new marketing channels being introduced as part of Angola’s diamond sector reforms, which represent a milestone for Angola's rough diamond trade. Additionally, Lucapa has exported its first parcel of ~2,500 carats of diamonds recovered from the Mothae kimberlite diamond mine in Lesotho to the global diamond trading centre of Antwerp, Belgium.
Russian diamond miner ALROSA presented its first ever collection of large, fancy-colored polished diamonds at the Hong Kong Jewelry & Gem Fair, marking the initial stage of their new strategy to become the world leader in the production of colored polished diamonds. The collection showcased in Hong Kong is comprised of 250 diamonds of different shapes and hues, with the auction scheduled for September 19. "ALROSA polished branch now focuses on the processing of large and coloured diamonds and the subsequent sales," said Evgeny Agureev, Director of the United Selling Organization of ALRO
RZ Murowa Holdings Ltd. (RZM), majority owner and operator of Murowa Diamonds, has joined the Diamond Producers Association (DPA), making it the eighth diamond mining company, and first new member, to join the DPA since it's launch in 2015. The DPA was created in 2015 to protect and promote the integrity and reputation of diamonds. Murowa Diamonds operates the Murowa mine in Zimbabwe, which was purchased from Rio Tinto in 2015 and expanded significantly under its new leadership. Manit M.
Tango Mining Limited, a Canadian diversified junior mining company with several projects in southern Africa, has been busy expanding its portfolio of diamond projects. Tango is the lead company at the Oena diamond mine in South Africa, as well as Txapemba, an 84 sq km concession in Angola that Tango took operational control of last October. It also recently acquired 75% of the Middlepits project - an alluvial diamond property in Botswana, which it will not be responsible for mining - and has now signed new agreements in Angola and Liberia.
Last week, Candian diamond miner Stornoway Diamond Corporation achieved sustained underground mine production at the Renard Diamond Mine following its ramp-up to or above the mine’s design capacity, marking the completion of the underground mine. Matt Manson, President and CEO, commented: “Completion of the underground mine ramp-up at Renard has not been without its challenges.
Russian diamond miner ALROSA sold $294.9 million worth of rough and polished diamonds in the typically slow month of August, representing a 14% rise year-over-year. The miner sold $283.2 million worth of rough diamonds during the month, an 11% increase over the same period in 2017. Meanwhile, polished-diamond sales increased 516% y-o-y and 121% over July, earning $11.7 million, as the group hosted several sales.
Representatives from the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) this morning joined Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs, Didier Reynders in Angola, where he hosted a Diamond Breakfast Symposium in cooperation with the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium to Angola, HE Frank Felix. The mission to Angola is intended to reinforce the momentum established between the two countries during the visit of the President of Angola, João Lourenço, to Antwerp last June, where they discussed increased cooperation concerning diamond trading.
Gem Diamonds, which operates the Letšeng mine in the mountainous kingdom of Lesotho in southern Africa, famous for producing the world’s most valuable stones, is in the midst of a banner year as a record number of large diamond recoveries (+100ct) pushed revenue to $167.7 million, up 81% from $92.9 million in H1 2017. The company set a half year record of ten diamonds greater than 100 carats, including the recovery of the 910 carat Lesotho Legend, which was sold in March to an Antwerp company for $40 million ($43,912 per carat).
Canadian miner Mountain Province Diamonds earned US$26.9 million (CDN$35.3 million) from the sale of 411,317 carats at their seventh Antwerp sale of the year, completed on August 31. The overall average realized value was only US$65 per carat, a slight decline from their previous sale, driven by a lower qualites and downward pressure on the market for smaller goods, while their 'specials' (larger than 10.8 carats) continued to perform well.
POZ Minerals Ltd., a phosphate producer that holds a 100% interest in the Blina Diamond Project and also explores for phosphate and gold properties, annouced it will place a bid for the Ellendale mine after the state government’s call for investors in the asset last week. The Ellendale Project was mined from 2002 to 2015 and previously produced about half of the world's highly valued fancy yellow diamonds.
Peregrine Diamonds announced its securityholders voted last Friday to approve the move by De Beers Canada to acquire the company for a total equity value of approximately C$107 million ($81 million). De Beers Canada and Peregrine Diamonds first announced the agreement in July, whereby De Beers would acquire 100% of the outstanding shares of Peregrine for $0.24 per share in cash. The transaction represents a 50% premium to Peregrine’s share price of $0.16 on July 18, 2018, and a premium of 44.5% to the volume weighted average price of the shares for the 20-trading days ended July 18, 2018.
Australian-based Lucapa Diamond Company, whose flagship operation is the Lulo diamond project in Angola, reports the recovery 1,100 diamonds from a 178 kg drill sample at the Brooking diamond project in Western Australia’s West Kimberley lamproite province. The miner's "exceptional results" from the Little Spring Creek discovery included 18 macro-diamonds and 1,082 micro-diamonds, recovered from drill hole LSC/DH002. “The latest micro-diamond results from Little Spring Creek are some of the best I have seen in the diamond space," said Lucapa Managing Director Stephen Wetherall.
The Western Australian Government is seeking expressions of interest to reopen and operate the Ellendale diamond mine in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, reports Australian Mining. Ellendale previously provided about half of the world’s highly-valued fancy yellow diamonds, of which US jeweller Tiffany & Co was a major client. Mining operatoins ceased in July 2015 when Kimberley Diamond Company (KDC), which had operated the mine from 2002 to 2015, entered into administration.
Namakwa Diamonds, the majority owner of the KAO mine in Lesotho, has announced the discovery and upcoming sale of its latest exceptional find, a 29.59 carat Fancy Pink diamond, named ‘The Rose of KAO’. The Rose was found on 12 June this year at Namakwa Diamond’s flagship mine KAO in Lesotho (owned 74.99% by Namakwa Diamonds, the rest by the government of Lesotho). The Rose will be shown and tendered in Antwerp with Bonas-Couzyn NV during KAO's fourth sale of the year (KAO-1804) from late September to early October.
Russian diamond mining giant ALROSA said its first half net profit rose by 19 percent year on year to $865 million (RUB 58.3 billion) as higher average prices for gem-quality stones helped offset a drop in the volume of sales. Revenue increased by 8% to $2.5 billion (RUB 168 bn) on the back of higher average prices and a better sales mix, despite the 8% drop in sales by volume, with sales of gem-quality diamonds shrinking by 14%. ALROSA's EBITDA grew by 22% to $1.3 billion (RUB 89.1 bn), supported by higher top line and lower production costs.
Vast Resources, the AIM-listed mining company that signed last March a Memorandum of Understanding with Botswana Diamonds (BOD) to develop diamond resources in Zimbabwe, has been awarded exclusive access to a diamond concession area in the Marange Diamond Fields in the Chiadzwa region of Zimbabwe. According to a statement from BOD, the purpose of Vast's agreement is to carry out initial due diligence on the area with a view to concluding a joint venture agreement, the principal terms of which have been agreed, for exploration, mining and marketing.
The 7th Conference on the Geology of Diamond Deposits in Brazil will be held in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil from November 4-7, 2018. "It is particularly appropriate that the 7th Conference will be hosted in the State of Bahia" the organizers write, "which is the largest producer of diamonds in Brazil, and the location of the first commercial diamond mine in Brazil which was developed on a kimberlite deposit, the primary source rock of diamond. This year’s conference also marks the 25th year since the first conference, which was held in the State of Mato Grosso in 1993."
Rio Tinto yesterday celebrated the opening of a fourth diamond pipe, known as A21, at the remote subarctic Diavik Diamond Mine in the Northwest Territories of Canada, the miner announced in a press release. The new open pit pipe will provide an important source of incremental supply over the next four years to sustain production levels at the Rio Tinto operated mine. The A21 pipe is located adjacent to Diavik’s existing mining operations at Lac de Gras.