Diamond miners in Zimbabwe are now required to pay half their royalties to the government in rough stones, 40 per cent in local currency and 10 per cent in foreign currency. The annual earnings of the mining sector have nearly doubled from US$2.7 billion in 2017 to US$5.73 billion in 2021. Projections by the Ministry of Finance show that mining earnings will reach US$7.3 billion by the end of the year, achieving 60.8% of the US$12 billion target for 2023.
Lucapa Diamond Company together with Project Lulo partners, Endiama and Rosas & Petalas, announced the recovery of diamonds from the initial processing of the Lulo kimberlite L164 bulk sample through the stand-alone, dedicated kimberlite bulk sample plant.
Declaring a slight -0.09% loss on the GBX in 2022, Botswana Diamonds (BD) remains optimistic regarding their latest strategy of acquiring existing lots from former mining exploitations. This year alone the company has increased its stake to 50% in the Maibwe joint venture by acquiring a stake from the liquidator of BCL in Botswana, and then landed an acquisition deal of the KX36 discovery from Sekaka Diamonds (a subsidiary of Petra Diamonds) which contains substantial quantities of diamonds.
Firestone has reported the successful resumption of operations at the Liqhobong Mine after a two and-a-half-year care and maintenance period which commenced from March 2020. Firestone management remained mindful that any potential restart of activities would be required to take place at minimal cost and in the shortest possible timeframe. To achieve this, a number of work-streams were run in parallel, including, particularly, appointing a long-term mining contractor and essential staff.
Mountain Province Diamonds has found new kimberlite on the claims and leases surrounding the existing Gaucho Kué mining operation in the Northwest Territories. The new KE kimberlite “is a distinct occurrence that is located about 450metres east of the Kelvin kimberlite,” the Toronto-based miner said on Wednesday. Further drilling of the KE kimberlite is planned for the 2023 exploration program, Mountain Province said. The mine is slated to operate until 2028.
Gahcho Kué is a joint venture between Mountain Province holding a 49% stake and De Beers Group, which owns 51%.
Lucara Diamond has concluded and extension on their diamond sales agreement with Lucara Botswana, and HB Antwerp Antwerp Trading, with the intent of selling +10.8 carat rough diamonds produced from Lucara’s Karowe mine through December 31, 2032. The general terms of the deal are as follows: Lucara’s +10.8 carat production is sold at prices based on the estimated polished outcome of each diamond, determined through state-of-the-art scanning and planning technology, with a true up paid on actual achieved polished sales thereafter, less a fee and the cost of manufacturing.
In recent years, the Kao Mine in Lesotho has established itself as a leading producer of exceptional pink diamonds. Over the last few years, some remarkable stones have been recovered, including the Pink Storm, the Purple Princess and the Rose of Kao. The last discovery, the Pink Palesa a 21.86-carat Pink Palesa diamond, was sold in June of 2021 in Antwerp by Bonas Group.
Mid September Bruce Cleaver still attended FACETS 2022, the conference on Diamonds in The Age Of The Consumer in Antwerp, organized by the Antwerp World Dmaiamond Center (AWDC). Today he announced that he will be stepping down from his role of CEO of De Beers after 8 years of holding the post, opting for the role of co-chairman of the diamond behemoth. He joined De Beers group in 2005 and became CEO in 2016.
The Financial Times reports that the Angolan Government has blocked and taken over the 18% stake of the Chinese company LLI (part of Sonangol) in Catoca. The Government now holds 59% of shares in Angola’s largest mine through IGAPE, the state body managing govt shareholding in companies active in the country. The move is considered another step in President Lourenço’s reform policy, reducing the interdependence with China that was established under the Dos Santos regime, when deals between Angola and China, especially in the oil business, were booming.
During a kickoff meeting that took place in Kananga, in the DRC’s Kasai region last week, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), together with the DRC’s Ministry of Mining and its subdivisions SAEMAPE and CEEC, NGO DDI@RESOLVE and tech company Everledger initiated OrigemA, a pilot project that aims to set up a fully transparent, digitally enabled mine-to-market program for Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM) cooperatives in the DRC.
Australia-based Lucapa acquired the Merlin Diamond Project in the Northern Territory, Australia in 2021. The miner is currently progressing the Merlin Feasibility Study and assessing different mining methods for the kimberlite pipes including vertical pit mining (VPM), illustrated in this animation.
Petra Diamonds announced the results of their Tender cycle 5 of fiscal year 2022. They sold 635,806 carats for a total of US$86.1 million. Prices decreased by 23.7% compared to Tender 4 (March 2022) but were up 3.2% on Tender 3 (December 2021).
The tender included a 13.74 ct blue Exceptional Stone for the Cullinan mine. The stone was sold into a partnership with Stargems for US$ 5.7 million, with Petra retaining a 50% interest in the profits.
Australian diamond exploration and development company Newfield announced they signed an exclusive diamond sales and marketing agreement with the Bonas Group. Newfield’s flagship asset is the Tongo Mine Development in eastern Sierra Leone.
Through this partnership, Newfield will be able to fully authenticate the source of the Tongo diamonds sold, via the Sarine Technologies traceability program used by Bonas. Buyers and retailers of those goods will therefore have full traceability of the diamonds’ origin.
Iconic diamond miner De Beers this week now officially returns to Angola, as the Anglo American diamond mining division signed two mineral investment deals with the State's mining entity Endiama, giving the miner exploration rights for 35 years in the Northeast of the country. Each exploration concession will have a separate joint venture, with the majority of shares held by De Beers, with an option for Endiama to increase it's share.
Africa Intelligence reports that Botswana’s President Masisi, speaking at a gala dinner hosted by Lucara Diamonds, is adding pressure to the negotiations with De Beers on a renewed Debswana contract, the 50/50 joint venture between the government and De Beers. In the current agreement, 75 % of Debswana’s rough is sold via De Beers, 25% is sold via the state-owned Okavango Diamond Company, the latter achieving record sales revenue via its sales in Antwerp last year.
Mining company De Beers and the government of Namibia officially unveiled a new diamond recovery vessel: ‘Benguela Gem’. The vessel will commence operations from next week.
Mountain Province, holding a 49% stake in the Canadian Gahcho Kué mine, reports its latest Antwerp sales, with proceeds amounting to US$41.4m for 322,547ct, achieved a record ROM price of US$126/ct, up another 13% compared to the first sale of the year.
The company also announces a supply agreement with Chow Tai Fook, multinational jewelry retailer with presence in China, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia and the US, providing the retailer with a select range of diamonds over a one-year, renewable term.
According to Richard Duffy, CEO of mining company Petra Diamonds, the long-predicted supply squeeze is being reflected over all diamond categories. This would mark a structural change in the diamond market, with increasing prices creating a robust and supportive market.
Duffy points out the current strong demand pull into an inventory pipeline where inventories are largely depleted. With a very low ability of suppliers to provide inventory, this will result in higher demand than supply and thus increase prices over the entire value chain.
Mining company Lucara announced that Lukas Lundin, current Chair and a Director of the company, will retire from the Board upon the completion of his term at the company’s upcoming 2022 Annual Meeting of Shareholders.
Vast Resources PLC, the London-listed Mining and Resource Development company that partnered last summer with Botswana Diamonds in a joint venture (Okwa Diamonds) aiming to buy Gem Diamonds' mothballed Ghaghoo mine in Botswana for US$4m, has announced it is pulling out of the deal, without further comment.
Results from Mountain Province Diamonds on Q4 and the full year (2021) reveal the miner, operating the Gahcho Kué mine in the Northwest Territories are in line with production guidance (1% below) while preliminary cost per tonne was down slightly. The miner sold 808,739 cts for US$65,7m in Q4 in Antwerp, at an impressive average of US$83/ct, well above the US$65/ct achieved in the same period in 2020.
Botswana Diamonds announced the preliminary kimberlite assessment on the Thorny River prospect in South Africa is encouraging, with projected volume of kimberlite in the area exceeding previous estimates, to ca. 2m tonnes. The company is now investigating mining options, and has yet to make an assessment on potential diamond grade. John Teeling, chairman, commented: "The estimated kimberlite volume in the River area is considerably better than expected. Botswana Diamonds will now determine the mining potential. Let me put this in context.
Rough & Polished reports, based on a local TV interview with CEO Sergei Ivanov, that the company is optimistic about restoration of the Mir diamond mine, and is in the final stage of a feasibility study which will determine the course of action, to be decided by a review committee in H1 of 2022.