Lucapa Diamond Company has recovered of a gem-quality, 126-carat diamond from the new Mothae kimberlite mine in Lesotho. The 126-carat stone is the largest diamond recovered since commercial mining operations commenced in January 2019 and the largest gem-quality diamond ever recovered from Mothae.
Russian diamond miner Alrosa believes that the former and current management of Angolan diamond mine Catoca - in which Alrosa holds a 41% stake - is responsible for secreting away nearly $10 million, and will call upon a U.S. court to obtain discovery of evidence.
The Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) board of directors has fired seven senior officials as it seeks to rebuild public and market confidence following allegations of rampant corruption and abuse of office by the executive, Zimbabwe newspapers reported yesterday. Chief Operating Officer Roberto De Pretto, a South African mining veteran who spent the majority of his career at De Beers and Anglo American before becoming COO at Diamcor and then ZCDC, will take over as acting CEO from Morris Mpofu.
Debmarine Namibia, a 50/50 joint venture between the Government of the Republic of Namibia and De Beers Group, have approved the construction of the world’s first ever custom-built diamond recovery vessel. The new vessel is expected to cost US$468 million (N$7 billion) and represents the largest ever single investment in the marine diamond industry. The ship will become the seventh vessel in the Debmarine Namibia fleet and is scheduled to commence operations in 2022.
Lucapa Diamond Co. has recovered a 130 carat gem-quality diamond from its Lulo Diamond Project in Angola. The 130-carat diamond is the 13th diamond larger than 100 carats the miner has recovered to date and the second recovered so far in 2019 from the mine that produces the highest average US$ per carat alluvial diamond production in the world. Lucapa continues to recover large Special (+10.8 ct) white and fancy colored diamonds at the Lulo diamond concession.
Stornoway Diamond Corporation saw its losses widen in Q1 2019 as the miner faced "continued downward pressure on the market price for rough diamonds." The Canadian miner reported a net loss of C$48.4 million (US$36 million) in the first quarter of 2019, in comparison to a net loss of C$11.0 million (US$8.2 million) in the first quarter of 2018. The latest results follow a year in which Stornoway encountered a host of difficulties on its way to a US$246.8 million (CA$329.4 million) loss, substantially widening the loss of US$85.6 million (CA$114.2 million) recorded the year prior.
Canadian miner Lucara Diamond has reported the best quarter in the history the Karowe mine in Botswana in terms of ore processing performance, lowering the cost of its operations and achieving the best results from its regular diamond sales in over a year. This was before the April recovery of the largest diamond to be mined at Karowe to date, an unbroken 1,758 carat near-gem-quality stone, which became the largest diamond recovered in Botswana and one of the largest diamonds in recorded history, superseding the spot held by the 1,109 carat Lesedi La Rona recovered from Karowe in 2015.
Continuing its its non-core, non-diamond-related assets disposal program, from January to March, Alrosa disposed of RUB 1.24 bn ($19 million) of its non-core assets by selling, liquidating, transferring without consideration or exchanging them, the company has announced in a statement. The most significant transaction included the sale of a 100% stake in JSC Golubaya Volna Resort, which was sold in February at an open auction for RUB 1.21 bn ($18.5 million), almost RUB 70 ($1.07 million) above its book value.
While the volume of carats Gem Diamonds sold in Q1 2019 (Jan. 1 - March 31) from its Letšeng mine in Lesotho fell by 18% from the previous quarter to 27,335 carats, those sales packed a punch, generating $51.9 million in value, a 24% increase from Q4 2018. Still, the miner could not keep pace with its torrid start to 2018.
Canadian miner Mountain Province Diamonds has added two diamond industry veterans and a long-time investor to its board of directors as the company looks to "execute our strategy to deliver long-term value to our shareholders." Among the new appointees is William Lamb, the former CEO of Vancouver-based Lucara Diamond Corp. (May 2011 to February 2018), who brings 25 years of experience in mining operations and project development to the Canadian miner.
The Diamond Producers Association (DPA), a global alliance of the leading diamond mining companies, which represents 75% of the world’s diamond production, today released its first independent research report on Members' impact on local communities, employees and the environment. The report, authored by Trucost and titled The Socioeconomic and Environmental Impact of Large-Scale Diamond Mining, is the world’s first comprehensive analysis of the contributions of DPA Members, examining socioeconomic and environmental benefits and impacts.
A mechanical breakdown and the mining of a lower grade area of the Liqhobong Diamond Mine in Lesotho led to a signficant production decline for Firestone Diamonds during the quarter ended 31 March 2019 (Q3 of tFY 2019), but revenue rose on a rebound in the average price per carat and the sale of high value stones.
De Beers Group reported a diamond production decline in the first quarter of 2019 driven by a 65 reduction in South Africa as the Venetia mine as it approaches the transition from open pit to underground mining. Venetia yielded only 0.4 million carats due to lower mined volumes, while the Voorspoed mine was placed onto care and maintenance in Q4 2018 in preparation for closure. De Beers' production guidance for 2019 remains unchanged at 31 - 33 million carats, subject to trading conditions.
Mountain Provice Diamonds recorded a 3% year-over-year drop in recovered carats at the Gahcho Kué Diamond Mine during Q1 2019 despite a 11% increase in tonnes of ore treated, as the average recovered grade slipped by 13%. Rough diamond sales also fell by 12% as a result of a 28% decline in the average price per carat sold, offsetting the larger volume it marketed through Bonas tender house in Antwerp.
The Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) yesterday launched the Maendeleo Diamond Standards (MDS) an innovative certification system that enables an ethical production of diamonds by artisanal and small-scale mining operations, through the adoption of standards and best practices.
Russian diamond miner Alrosa unearthed a gem-quality stone weighing 118.91 carats on April 16th, the eve of the launch of Zarya - a new deposit of ALROSA at Aykhal Mining and Processing Plant. It is the largest gem-quality diamonds found at the ‘International’ pipe over the past two years. The mined crystal is one of the largest gem-quality diamonds extracted from the ground at the mine ‘International’ in recent years; a similar large gem-quality diamond (109.61 carats) was mined here in summer of 2017.
De Beers Group has announced it is expanding its pilot project in Sierra Leone called GemFair, an innovative project to trace and sell ethically-sourced artisanal and small-scale mined (ASM) diamonds. The development of a toolkit that can be used in the field should help to create a secure and transparent route to market, a genuine sore spot for ASM diamonds.
"Meet Argyle Octavia" writes Rio Tinto on its Twitter account, referring to a rare 28.84-carat diamond discovered at the Argyle mine in east Kimberley, Western Australia. Named for her octahedral shape, the Argyle Octavia is one of the largest gem quality white diamonds ever found at Argyle, and may be one of the final significant finds from the famous diamond mine, which is scheduled to close in 2020. The 28.84-carat stone was discovered in March and will be sold by tender in Antwerp later this year.
The OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains kicks off today in Paris, and the World Diamond Council (WDC) will be an active participant.
Russian diamond mining giant Alrosa has decided to further develop the Aikhal underground mine to 300 meters in depth, making it possible to replenish the raw material base and extend the mine life up to 2044. Implementation of the project to strip and mine the Aikhal pipe reserves at the levels of -100 meters/-400 meters will replenish the miner's reserves by almost 20 million carats and maintain the annual production level of 500,000 tons of ore up to 2044.
Only weeks after recovering a 425-carat diamond, Petra Diamond's famed Cullinan mine has produced another big stone, this time a 209.9 carat D-Colour Type II diamond. The big diamond is the third +100ct Type II D color gem-quality diamond Petra has recovered since March 2019 and the fourth in this financial year. The find will take some of the sting out of the 7% production decline in the third fiscal quarter due to a slowdown at its Finsch mine in South Africa.
Alrosa's rough diamond production in Q1 2019 declined significantly from the same period in 2018, as did its sales, impacted by a sharp decline in prices and a larger share of small-size diamonds in the sales mix and lower prices mostly for medium-size diamonds.
Rio Tinto's diamond production in Q1 2019 declined by a total of 18% on an annual basis from its two mining operations in Australia and Canada due to lower recovered grade. The lower grade particularly affected diamond output at its 100% owned Argyle mine in Australia, where production fell by 22% year-over-year and 13% from the final quarter of 2018 to just under 2.8 million carats.
Lucapa Diamond Co. has reported an "excpetional performance" from the Mothae kimberlite mine in Lesotho in its first full quarter of production, while output from the Lulo alluvial mine in Angola fell as the miner focused predominantly on lower grade mining areas. The miner held two milestone tenders during Q1 2019: its first ever sale of Lulo diamonds via international tender under the new diamond marketing reforms enacted by the Angolan President, Joao Lourenco, and its first commercial run of mine tender from Mothae via Bonas tender house in Antwerp.
Mountain Province Diamonds has provided an update to the Mineral Resource Estimate for the Faraday 2 kimberlite, reporting a 74% spike to 5.45 million carats of diamonds, outstrippiing the 2017 estimate of 3.13 million carats. The update now cites an inferred resource of 2.07 million tonnes of kimberlite, a 49% increase from the1.39 million tonnes cited in 2017. The overall grade has also increased by 17% to 2.63 carats per tonne, and the average value per carat has jumped 25% to US$140 from the 2017 estimate of US$112 per carat.
Russian diamond mining giant Alrosa saw its March rough diamond sales gain 8% over its February results, as the market is gradually stabilizing, although it is still lagging far behind its rough sales a year ago. Alrosa sold $369.2 million in rough goods compared with $340.6 million last month and $278.2 million in January, saying demand for smaller-sized stones picked up during the quarter.
As the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) sifts through the wreckage of the devastating Cyclone Idai - which has already claimed the lives of nearly 1,000 people in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi, displacing hundreds of thousands, destroying crops and leading to a cholera outbreak - preliminary indications are that the firm will miss its first quarter production target due to the cyclone and other challenges, including fuel shortages and effects of the January 14-16 violent demonstrations.
Canadian miner Stornoway Diamond Co. rebounded from a difficult final quarter of 2018 to post significant increases in total carats sold, leading to a big rise in gross proceeds. Stornoway in Q1 2019 sold 429,506 total carats at two tender sales a Bonas tender house in Antwerp, earning about US$35 million (C$47 million) at an average price of US$83 per carat (C$110 per carat).
Firestone Diamonds recovered of a 72 carat yellow, makeable diamond from its Liqhobong Mine in Lesotho, during the past weekend. The 72 carat diamond was recovered together with a 22 carat makeable white stone, followed by an 11 carat fancy light-pink stone. These diamonds will go on sale via First Element tender house at the next tender in Antwerp, which is scheduled to take place from May 8-14 2019 (see the entire Antwerp tender schedule here).
Russian diamond mining giant Alrosa and Angola's state-owned diamond firm Endiama have signed an agreement to develop joint projects including diamond production, exploration, training, research and technology exchange. It identifies areas of mutual interest to develop diamond production in Angola as well as cooperation on mechanisms in diamond sales. The companies also intend to work together on the development of industry self-regulation mechanisms and responsible diamond supply chains in support of the Kimberley Process.
Botswana’s GDP per person is one of the top three in Africa and it’s off the back of diamond mining. There is no commodity in the world that means as much to a group of people in terms of lifting them out of poverty than diamonds in Botswana. In terms of revenue and the benefits to the people of Botswana, it can’t be understated. From the President to people living on the ground, they understand the importance of diamonds and the contribution to society.
- Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani, on the social benefit of diamond mining
Diamond mining stocks have taken a beating in recent years, with most believing there is no end in sight. Post-financial crisis oversupply and rising concerns about the assumed influence of laboratory-grown diamonds have tested the patience and tainted the sentiment of investors in the diamond arena. But the imminent shrinkage of supply and continuing demand for the product is not imaginary. Those who doubt the resilience of the diamond industry and have given up on its ming sector may regret selling low.
Expanding the scope of the Kimberley Process to include issues related to human rights and labor relations, as is being advocated by the World Diamond Council (WDC), will help create conditions in which Sub-Saharan Africa’s artisanal diamond miners can meet their economic potential and support the development of their countries’ economies, Marie-Chantal Kaninda, Executive Director of WDC, told the 6th Forum of the Africa-Belgium Business Week, meeting yesterday in the Belgian town of Genval.
Canadian diamond miner Stornoway encountered a host of difficulties in 2018 on its way to a US$246.8 million (CA$329.4 million) loss, substantially widening the loss of US$85.6 million (CA$114.2 million) recorded last year. The miner's challenges included delays in the ramp-up of the Renard 2 underground mine, the processing of low-grade stockpiles during the transition from open pit to underground operations and weak diamond prices.
Mining in Africa is at the core of our business, just as it always has been, and just as it will be in future ... De Beers is and will remain a natural diamond business.
- De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver discusses Africa portfolio, exploration, technology and laboratory-grown diamonds.
Chinese mining company Anjin is set to resume mining in Zimbabwe at the Chiadzwa mining fields in Marange in May this year, while Russia’s Alrosa will complete setting up its office by the end of next month, reports The Sunday Mail from Zimbabwe. Anjin had to shut operations back in 2015 as the Mugabe administration forced the closure of seven mining companies and the subsequent merger of their assets into the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC). Now the company is expected to invest an initial US$20 million to restart operations.
Gem Diamonds has recovered an exceptional, 134-carat Type I yellow diamond from Letšeng Mine in Lesotho, the miner's third important find in recent weeks and its second remarkable colored stone this year. It has been nearly two years since Gem Diamonds recovered a yellow stone of that magnitude.
Firestone Diamonds increased its first half (ended 31 December 2018) revenue to $27.4 million from three sales at First Element tender house in Antwerp despite soft prices, the miner announced late last week. Firestone managed to top the $26.0 million from four sales in H1 last year through an increase in the volume of carats sold, while the average value per carat fell 4% to $71 from $74 per carat in H1 2018, impacted by prices for smaller, lower value diamonds. The miner also managed to decrease it loss for the period to $6.6 million from $7.8 million in H1 2018.
Just about a year ago, the executive chairman of Botswana Diamonds John Teeling told us, "Instead of being an explorer, I would like to be a producer. We would like to get to production." According to yesterday's announcment from Botswana Diamonds, it looks as if he is going to get his wish: the junior miner said is on track to commence bulk sampling and become a diamond producer by mid-2019.
Arctic Star Exploration Corp. of Vancouver has begun this year’s exploration program at the 40% owned Diagras joint venture diamond property in Lac des Gras, Northwest Territories, Canada (NWT). Margaret Lake Diamonds holds the remaining 60% and is the project operator. Preliminary results have been "encouraging."
Following test drilling carried out earlier this month at the Verkhne-Munskoye diamond deposit located in the west of Yakutia, Russian diamond miner Alrosa has announced that it has the potential to "become one of the richest in large diamonds among Alrosa’s deposits."
Gem Diamonds unearthed a 161-carat top-quality Type II white diamond at the Letseng mine in Lesotho on 21 March 2019. It is the first recovery announced of a diamond weighing more than 100 carats in 2019, but not their first major find of the year. Last month, Gem recovered a high-quality 13.33-carat Type I pink diamond, which sold for $8,750,360 in Antwerp.
Lucapa Diamond Co. reports that its inferred diamond resource estimate of in-situ carats at its 40%-owned Lulo diamond mine in Angola has nearly doubled since it was last analyzed in May 2017, increasing 90% to 80,400 carats. The modelled average price per carat also rose to $1,420, a 17% increase over the previous modelled estimate of $1,215 per carat. Overall sales of Lulo diamonds to date total ~US$141 million at an average price per carat of ~US$2,100.
Despite a 22.12% vote recorded against his re-election at Petra Diamonds' 2018 Annual General Meeting, the miner will keep company founder Adonis Pouroulis on as its chairman, while adding in a statement that "we have considered the concerns raised by our shareholders." While the company has been attempting to right the ship in the midst of sharply declining shares and a huge debt increase incurred in the process of expanding its iconic Cullinan mine in South Africa, they stated that the appointment of a new chair was "not appropriate" at this time.
The Gahcho Kué Diamond Mine, a joint venture between Mountain Province (49%) and De Beers Canada (51%), exceeded expectations in its first full year of commercial production, setting records for carat recoveries and sales despite a challenging end of year 2018. Mountain Province reports that the Gahcho Kué Mine exceeded its upper end of FY2018 guidance of tonnes treated, processing 3,194,000 tonnes (2017: 2,775,000 tonnes) and recovered 17% more carats than last year, settting a new high for the mine of 6,937,000 carats (2017: 5,934,000 carats) with a 4% increase in the average grade.
Russia's Alrosa has been exploring its options for the currently suspended Mir underground mine development, and has announced that it has worked out a decision-making concept regarding whether to restore Mir as an operating mine or move toward full closure of the mine. Should the miner decide the plan to reopen the Mir mine is economically viable and can be done safely, the earliest it might reopen would be 2030, and it could take even longer.
The Debswana Diamond Company (Debswana), a 50/50 joint venture between the Government of the Republic of Botswana and De Beers Group, has today (March 18, 2019) announced the commencement of the Cut-9 project to extend the life of Jwaneng Mine, one of the world’s most valuable diamond mines. The project will extend the life of Jwaneng Mine to 2035, and is expected to yield an estimated 53 million carats of rough diamonds from 44 million tonnes of treated material. It is called Cut-9 because it is the ninth cut, or expansion, of the mine.
Russian diamond mining giant Alrosa has released it results for FY 2018, reporting a 6% increase in the value of diamonds sold to $4.4 billion, and a 9% rise in revenue despite an 8% decline in the volume of goods sold, totalling 38.1 million carats for the year. The miner attributes the increase in sales and revenue to stronger prices and improved mix of gem-quality diamonds. While Q4 diamond sales increased 34% q-o-q to 9.0 m carats, the main increase was from industrial quality diamonds, causing Q4 sales to decline 13% q-o-q (-7% y-o-y) to $824 million as large-size diamond sales fell.
Gem Diamonds, which operates the Letšeng mine in Lesotho, recovered four high-quality diamonds larger than 100 carats in January 2018 and never looked back, riding a record number of +100-carat diamond recoveries in a single calendar year (15) to increased revenues and profit, but they have declined to pay out a dividend. The first big find of the year was the exceptional 910-carat Lesotho Legend, which the miner sold last March for $40 million.
Diamond-rich Botswana expects mineral revenues in the 2019/20 fiscal year to drop by 4 percent to 13.6 billion pula ($1.26 billion) due to a decline in royalties and dividends, a minerals ministry budget document showed last week. Botswana is heavily dependent on its diamond resources which, according to the World Bank, is responsible for 25% of the country's GDP, approximately 85% of exports earnings and about one-third of the government's revenues.
Petra Diamonds received a welcome respite from their recent struggles with debt and low prices for small diamonds across the global market. It arrived in the form of a 100.83 carat D-Colour Type II gem quality diamond, which followed another recent recovery of a 6.12 carat Type II blue stone at its Cullinan Diamond Mine in South Africa.
Russian diamond miner Alrosa sold $340.6 million worth of rough diamonds and diamond powder in February 2019. While such a result is very low for this time of the year - a 36% decline from last February, when the Alrosa sold $532.8 million - it is nonetheless a 22% improvement over the $278.2 million revenues achieved last month, which gives some hope that the polishing wheels are turning again. For the first two months of the year, Alrosa's rough sales are down 40% from 2018, falling to $618.8 million from $1.032 billion last year.
Diamcor Mining, a publicly traded junior diamond mining company based in Canada and operating in South Africa, sold 1,220 carats of rough diamonds recovered from ongoing processing exercises performed at its Krone-Endora at Venetia Project in South Africa for US$376,000, achieving an average sale price of $308.06 per carat. This represents an increase of 76% compared to the company’s average price per carat of $176.16 realised on all rough diamonds tendered and sold to date, and included the sale of a 44 carat gem quality rough diamond.
Canadian junior miner Star Diamond Corp. has reported "unusually high proportions of Type IIa diamonds" at its kimberlite diamond project in Saskatchewan, and investors did not fail to notice, sending its shares soaring almost 15% on the news, closing at 24 Canadian cents.
De Beers sold $490 million worth of rough diamonds in Cycle 2 2019, holding steady at just $10 million less than their January sale but at a lower level than last year. The miner's sales fell 13% compared to the $563 million sold at their second sight last year, and combined sales for the first two sights of the year have fallen by 20% compared to 2018.
UK-based and AIM and BSE listed exploration company Botswana Diamonds, one of the most prolific diamond exploration and project development companies around, intersected 12 kimberlites from 18 holes drilled as part of its first phase of the intensification drilling program at the company's flagship Thorny River project in South Africa. The junior miner said drilling is now complete on the farm Hartbeesfontein bulk sampling target of 1.5 km of kimberlite fissure intersection were also identified.
Australian diamond miner Lucapa has reached two milestones in the space of a month: first, the inaugural international tender of Angolan diamonds offered for sale via a competitive tender under the new diamond marketing policy enacted by the Angolan President, Joao Lourenco, and the maiden tender of goods from the Mothae mine in Lesotho held at Bonas t