Petra Diamonds has announced it is open to offers for (parts of) the company, after a strategic review of mounting debts, now at US$650 million. Only last year, Richard Duffy took over from former CEO Johan Dippenaar, with the task to turn around the troubled miner's balance sheets. The Covid-19 pandemic now foils the ongoing optimization and restructuring introduced by Duffy, as mines were forced to shut down and the global diamond market came to grinding halt.
Rio Tinto has ended speculation about a potential move to acquire Dominion Diamond Mines' 40% share in the Diavik mine in Canada's Northwest Territories, which would give the global miner full control of the mine in which it currently owns a 60% stake. According to a May 28 court filing, Rio "does not seek to bid" on Dominion's stake, nor does it intend to acquire Dominion's Ekati mine.
According to a Business Wire news release, Canadian miner Dominion has signed a letter of intent with an affiliate of the Washington Companies to sell all of Dominion's assets for approx. US$126 million, and has made an agreement for up to US$60 million in short-term financing from Washington. In April, Dominion filed for and obtained insolvency protection under the CCAA. The agreements will allow Dominion to resume operations at the Ekati mine and meet obligations owed to employees.
Mining Weekly reports that UK-based BlueRock, operating the Kareevlei mine in Kimberley, South Africa, will be marketing its goods through Antwerp starting at the end June, in an agreement with Bonas-Couzyn, the Antwerp-based diamond consultancy and tender house. By choosing Antwerp, the world's largest rough market, over the much smaller domestic market, the company hopes to boost sales as the market recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
A Canadian judge has ordered the Rio Tinto subsidiary, in the joint venture managing the Diavik mine, to release Dominion's share of production that Rio Tinto has been holding as collateral for overdue payments. Dominion Diamonds filed for protection last week granting the company protection from creditors.
De Beers has launched its online "Buy platform", a segment of the De Beers Group Auctiones, where Registered Buyers can now buy rough diamonds online. The platform works like any other e-commerce platform, where buyers can search, "view" and select goods, add them to their shopping cart and complete their purchase via a virtual checkout. In addition buyers can create favorite products, which are assorted in four categories; "very high-end", "high-end", "mid market" and "low-end".
Canadian mining company Lucara Diamonds reports a net loss of $3.2 million in Q1, a result of the continued strain on the diamond mining industry and decreased revenues from sales, despite the fact that operations at Karowé have continued throughout the crisis and production was in line with guidance. In the same period last year, the company achieved a net income of $7.4 million, while cash flow dropped to $2.4 million, compared to $10.6 million in Q1 2019.
Star Diamond Corporation recently announced that Rio Tinto Exploration Canada Inc. (RTEC) has commenced the processing of bulk samples from RTEC's trench cutter program at the Orion South Diamond Project in Saskatchewan, Canada. These bulk samples, estimated by RTEC to be approximately 8,271 wet tonnes, were collected in 2019 and are stored on-site in approximately 6,848 cubic metre bulk bags.
Gem Diamonds has been granted permission by the government of Lesotho to reopen its Letšeng Mine following the three week lockdown, with effect from Monday 27 April. The country will remain on lockdown for more than another week, until May 5. The miner said it is taking all of the necessary precautions to protect its people. The mine is located in the Maluti Mountains of Lesotho at an elevation of 3,100 m (10,000 ft). It is the world's highest diamond mine.
De Beers has announced that their first quarter 2020 rough diamond production was in line with Q1 2019 and Q4 2020 output, ending at 7.8 million carats. The miner noted a limited impact from the COVID-19 measures introduced at the end of the quarter in producer countries. Nonetheless, De Beers has revised its production guidance downward by over 20% to 25-27 million carats (previously 32-34 million carats), citing the impact of COVID-19 on mining operations, wholesale trading activity and consumer traffic in key consumer markets.
Mountain Province Diamonds has announced improved production and sales results for the first quarter of 2020, though their sales are currently on hold. In Q1 2020, Mountain Province sold 659,318 carats at an average value of $99 per carat (US$75 per carat) for total proceeds of $65.4 million (US$49.2 million) in comparison to 643,739 carats sold at an average value of $94 per carat (US$71 per carat) for total proceeds of $60.7 million (US$45.8 million) in Q1 2019.
Firestone Diamonds has announced it would shutter its Liqhobong diamond mine in Lesotho likely for "at least" 12 months until the diamond market recovers. The suspension of operations at the mine necessitated by the South African Governmen's directive requiring a 21-day national lockdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic only added to Firestone's troubles, but the pandemic is starting to take its toll right across southern Africa’s diamond mining sector.
Stornoway Diamonds has decided not to resume activity at its Renard operation despite a provincial classification of mining as "essential operation". "The unprecedented global events we are experiencing have unfortunately led to the board of directors to take this difficult decision impacting our employees and a number of our valued stakeholders.", Stornoway CEO and President Patrick Godin commented.
The Angolan government has announced it will extend the open tender, announced at the end of February, with another 45 days, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Angolan Ministry of Mineral Resources and Oil initialised the public tender in search of five independent rough diamond valuers, who will be contracted to handle Angola’s entire rough production, totalling 9 million carats valued at $1.3 billion last year.
The oubreak of the coronavirus has led to uncertainty concerning Lucara Diamond's next rough diamond tender, prompting the Government of Botswana to already give Lucara its permission to hold their next scheduled tender in Antwerp, if necessary. The next quarterly tender isscheduled to take place in mid May 2020, according to a statement from the Canadian miner.
Diamond mining company De Beers announced that its Chief Financial Officer, Nimesh Patel will be joining Spirax-Sacro Engineering. Patel will leave the company at the end of July, a successor remains to be named.
In an effort to tackle difficulties caused by travel restrictions in the framework of the COVID-19 crisis, the Russian miner Alrosa has decided to cancel its special size auction and has set up a digital tender for a number of large rough diamonds, running from March 23 to April 6. Interested buyers will be able to see a full digital scan of the rough, making it easier to decide whether or not to make a bid.
Dominion Diamond Mines (Dominion) yesterday, March 19, announced that it has decided to suspend operations at the Ekati Diamond Mine in Canada to safeguard its employees and the communities surrounding its operations from threat posed by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) today officially announced the postponement of the African Diamond Conference due to safety and travel concerns arising from the COVID-19 outbreak. The conference was scheduled to take place in Durban, South Africa from May 5-6, and will likely be rescheduled for late October.
Lucapa Diamond Co. has updated its estimated volume of carats at the Lulo Diamond Resource in Angola, showing a 25% increase to 100,700 carats despite the depletion of ~19,000 carats from alluvial mining during 2019. The average US$ per carat value for Lulo diamonds modelled in the updated Lulo Diamond Resource has also increase 14% to US$1,620 from the previous modelled estimate of US$1,420 per carat. Overall sales of Lulo diamonds to date total ~US$168 million at an average price per carat of ~US$1,900.
Gem Diamonds yesterday announced that its profit for 2019 took a plunge as weaker diamond prices and fewer large diamond recoveries put pressure on a miner whose product was expected to shelter it somewhat from a challenging market. Gem's profit for the year from continuing operations fell 71% to $15.0 million from $52.4 million in 2018, while its attributable profit lost 77%, falling to $7.1 million from $31.7 million a year ago. The stock market was not kind to Gem's share price, which this week sunk to an all-time low.
Canadian miner Star Diamond Corporation is taking Rio Tinto Exploration Canada to court over what it claims is a breach of their agreement, excessive costs and a failure by the mining giant to share information. The legal proceedings are related to the June 2017 option to joint venture agreement over the Star-Orion South diamond project in central Saskatchewan.
If you want to shine, sometimes you just have to take the plunge. It is by taking this attitude that the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) distinguishes itself when it comes to sustainability, specifically by focusing on corporate social responsibility in Africa.
Russian diamond miner Alrosa has published its financial results for 2019, and while the totality is not pretty, there was reason for optimism to close out the year. As expected, Alrosa’s performance in 2019 was subject to pressure from external factors, and while the miner took steps to respond accordingly, it could not prevent its profit from falling 31% for the year, to 90.4 billion rubles ($1.26 billion) to 62.7 billion rubles ($876 million). For the full details, click 'Read the full article'.
Lucapa Diamond Co. announced yesterday (Wednesday March 4) it had received applications for a $2.8 million share placement to advance the Lulo kimberlite exploration program and for general working capital and corporate purposes. Investors looking to get in on the action which will issue 25,899,916 new shares at an issue price of $0.11 per share - representing a discount of approximately 13% to the volume weighted average price - must be a 'to sophisticated and professional investor' by today (March 5).
Gem Diamonds dug up a 114-carat high quality D color diamond on 2 March 2020 at the Letšeng mine in Lesotho. It is the second stone larger than 100 carats they have unearthed this year. The previous one was an exceptional 183-carat white Type IIa diamond receovered a month ago (3 February 2020). That very same day, the company said, they also recovered another two high-quality diamonds, one of 89 carats and the other of 70 carats.
Alexey Moiseev, Russia's Deputy Minister of Finance and Kimberley Process (KP) Chair, last week held a briefing to highlight the priorities of the Russian chairmanship in the Kimberley Process (KP) in 2020, according to a release from the Ministry of Finance. Moiseev noted that one of the key priorities of the Russian chairmanship was to update the definition of conflict diamonds and stemming their flow to the market.
Newfield Resources is on track to produce the first diamonds from its Tongo diamond mine in Sierra Leone in the fourth quarter of this year, the company announced last week in a press release. Newfield Executive Director, Karl Smithson, said the ASX-listed company is ready to commence the drilling and blasting of the underground decline.
Firestone Diamonds has reported that production during the second fiscal quarter (ended Dec. 31, 2019) fell significantly on account of the disruption in power supply to the mine in October. The power supply to the mine was disrupted on 1 October, causing the processing plant to be shut down until 26 October when an alternative electricity supply was provided by diesel generators. During this time, no ore could be treated. The mine ran on generator power until until 1 December when the grid power was restored and operations returned to normal.
Rio Tinto's diamond division recorded a $21 million loss for FT 2019 as its revenues fell 11% to $619 million from $695 million a year earlier, according to the company's Annual Results released on Wednesday. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) tumbled by 50% to $151 million from $301 million in 2018.
Firestone Diamonds this morning (Feb. 25) announced its plans to cancel its AIM listing as its anticipated value of its diamonds never materialized, leaving the miner unable to service its debt. The deterioration of the rough diamond market in 2019, putting additional price pressure on the smaller stones that form the bulk of the diamonds recovered from the Liqhobong mine is Lesotho, effectively sealed the deal. Firestone says that the costs associated with maintaining the AIM listing provide minimal benefit and the funds can be better utilised to extend the company's operating window.
Lucara Diamond Co. pulled off a strong performance in 2019 despite a tough market and achieving a lower average price per carat than in the previous five years, largely due to a solid performance in the final quarter and record production through the plant in 2019. The miner, which owns and operates the Karowe mine in Botswana, earned total revenues of $192.5 million (2018: $176.2 million) from the sale of 411,732 carats, or $468 per carat (2018: $502 per carat) during fiscal year 2019, beating their guidance of $170 million to $180 million.
De Beers Group reported its preliminary 2019 financial results today (Feb.20), confirming the already well-documented declines experienced across the global rough diamond trade in 2019. The average price earned per carat and a decline in sales volumes were the obvious and main culprits, but these were just the visible results of a whole raft of challenges the world's most famous miner faced last year - along with the rest of the industry - starting with the oversupply of polished in the manufacturing and midstream segments.
BlueRock Diamonds, an AIM-listed company that operates the Kareevlei Diamond mine near Kimberley in South Africa, has raised £1.9 million ($2.45 million) which will "primarily" be used to fast-track a doubling of production at Kareevlei and to reduce unit costs significantly, the company reported on Tuesday. The junior miner raised the funds by means of an oversubscribed placing and subscription of 2,235,289 new ordinary shares of 5 pence each in the Company (the “Placing Shares”) at a price of 85 pence per Placing Share.
Lucapa Diamond Co. has been undertaking a kimberlite exploration program at its the Lulo diamond project in Angola designed to discover the primary hard-rock sources of the alluvial diamonds being mined along the Cacuilo River valley, which have achieved exceptional average run-of-mine sale prices of ~US$1,900 per carat. This morning they announced positive exploration results, recovering 45 diamonds of up to 3.75 carats recovered from stream bulk sampling. Preliminary analysis has classified several diamonds as top D-color.
Petra Diamonds concluded H1 FY 2020 (the six months to 31 December 2019) with a $10 million net loss as ongoing market weakness and an "adverse product mix" (lower quality diamonds) which weighed on their profit from mining activities. The London-based miner reported a net loss of $10 million for the period, which represents a sizeable improvement on its $57.9 million loss in the first half of 2019.
Botswana reportedly plans to conclude negotiations with De Beers on a diamond sales agreement by the end of April to replace the current 10-year deal that expires in January, write Matthew Hill and Mbongeni Mguni for Bloomberg.
Gem Diamonds, the London-based miner that operates the famous Letšeng mine high in the mountains of Lesotho, reported a major uptick in its fortunes in the fourth quarter of 2019 as revenue for the period (Oct. 1 - Dec. 31) increased 41% over the previous quarter on a near-equal rise in the volume of carats sold and the average price per carat. The improved performance was sorely needed, as even with the Q4 increases the miner's 2019 fell by a third in a difficult market.
Russian diamond mining giant Alrosa last month had its largest sale of rough diamonds in well over a year, earning $390.2 million at its January sale and adding another $14.8 million in polished goods for a total of $405 million. The last time the miner sold more rough goods in a single month was back in April of 2018.
Dominion Diamond Mines and its owner The Washington Companies has appointed Patrick Merrin to be its new interim chief executive officer, taking over from Shane Durgin who has left Dominion to “pursue other opportunities,” according to Dominion’s statement. He is the miner’s third CEO since The Washington Companies took over the Canadian diamond miner in November 2017 for $1.2 billion, acquiring all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Dominion for US$14.25 pe
Lucara Diamond Corp. has unearthed yet another exceptional diamond at its Karowe Diamond Mine in Botswana - the latest is an unbroken 549 carat white diamond "of exceptional purity". It is the fourth largest diamond ever recovered at the Karowe mine, the third largest gem-quality stone (the Sewelô is of 'near-gem quality) and already Lucara's sixth diamond larger than 100 carats recovered in 2020. According to independent analyst Paul Zimnisky's estimates, it is only the 4th gem-quality stone exceeding 500 carats recovered globally in the last 5 years.
In a wide-ranging keynote address at the African Mining Indaba taking place this week in Cape Town, Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani laid out his vision for the mining industry and the steps it must take to "connect the future of mining with emerging and next-generation societal values. These are the values of increased transparency, responsible technological innovation, sustainability and shared prosperity, all of which are emergent in our world and are shaping a very different future society."
Gem Diamonds officially rang in the new year with the recovery of an exceptional 183-carat white Type IIa diamond on 3 February 2020. On the same day, the company said, they also recovered another two high-quality diamonds, one of 89 carats and the other of 70 carats, from the Letšeng mine in Lesotho.
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), on the margins of the African Mining Indaba in Cape Town, South Africa, yesterday announced it will be organizing its second African Diamond Conference (ADC) in Durban, South Africa, on May 5 & 6. The program and registration details are available here.
With its share price last topping $1.00 on October 28, 2019, Canadian miner Mountain Province Diamonds (MPD) has notified the Nasdaq Stock Market of its intention to voluntarily delist its common shares from the Nasdaq Stock Exchange (NASDAQ). MPD's shares will continue to trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) after the NASDAQ delisting becomes effective on or around February 11. The miner had already indicated last August that delisting was imminent.
Diamcor, a publicly-traded junior diamond mining company based in Canada and operating in South Africa, saw the prices achieved for its rough diamonds fall sharply again in the third fiscal quarter ending December 31, 2019. The company sold 13,218 carats, generating gross revenues of US$1.4 million, which resulted in an average price of US$107 per carat for the period, declining from $149 per carat achieved in Q2 and $196 in Q1.
London-based mid-tier miner Petra Diamonds booked a 3% increase in production from its mines in South Africa and Tanzania in H1 2020 (six months ended 31 December 2019) recovering 2.07 million carats. This keeps the miner on track to meet or exceed its FY 2020 production guidance of approximately 3.8 Mcts despite several disruptions. Revenue for H1 FY 2020, however, fell 6% in comparison to H1 FY 2019 to $193.9 million due to lower diamond prices mainly relating to the weaker diamond market (-10%) and compounded by a poorer product mix at the Finsch and Williamson mines.
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.