Namibia this week assumed the chairmanship of the Association of African Diamond Producers Association (ADPA), assuming the leadership of the group from Guinea.
Canadian miner Stornoway Diamonds delivered a strong performance in rough sales as well as production in Q2 2019, but ever-softening diamond prices in a market that continues to be challenging kept proceeds level with those achieved in Q1.
UK-based and AIM-listed junior miner BlueRock Diamonds on Monday announced it achieved record production at its flagship Kareevlei mine in South Africa during the second quarter of 2019. During the three-month period to June 30, the diamond miner produced a company record 3,516 carats, more than four-times greater than the 875 carats produced in the end of the second quarter in 2018.
According to Angola's Natural Resources and Oil Minister Diamantino Azevedo, the national diamond company Endiama will be privatized and its capital will be partially floated on the stock exchange, the Portuguese news agency LUSA first reported. "The improvements that we are making are in the governance of the sector," Azevedo said.
North Arrow Minerals and joint venture partner and operator Dominion Diamond Mines have said that mobilization is underway for the summer field program, including exploration drilling, at the Lac De Gras (LDG) Joint Venture Diamond Project in the Northwest Territories. The LDG Project is located in the Lac de Gras kimberlite field, close to two of the world’s richest diamond mines: Diavik and Ekati. Summer exploration work is scheduled to include LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) surveying, till suitability mapping and sampling and approximately 1,000m of exploration drilling.
Gem Diamonds today announced it has appointed Ms. Mazvi Maharasoa, who served as the Chief Executive Officer of Letšeng Diamonds from 2009 to 2017, as a non-executive director. Maharasoa has over 20 years' of senior management experience, more than 10 of which in the mining sector. Prior to her time as CEO of Letšeng Diamonds, she served as its resident director for two years. Ms. Maharasoa was also the founder and president of the Lesotho Chamber of Mines (2016).
Firestone Diamonds today announced its 75%-owned subsidiary Liqhobong Mining Development has received a waiver from ABSA Bank for certain of its covenants measured as at 30 June 2019 in terms of the $82.4 million facility agreement, with the support of its bondholders. The next measurement date will be 30 June 2020.
The world’s largest coloured gemstone producer, Gemfields, yesterday announced it has established a joint venture with Mwiriti to explore for gold and assorted minerals in Mozambique. Mwiriti is Gemfields’ existing partner in Montepuez Ruby Mining (MRM) and holds 12 greenfield licences located as little as 20 kilometres from MRM’s existing operations, including an extension of the known Montepuez ruby belt with both secondary gold incidence and primary corundum mineralisation having been observed.
Russia diamond-mining giant Alrosa's shareholders at their Annual General Meeting decided to allocate 100% of free cash flow for the second half of 2018 to the period-end dividend – 30.3 billion rubles, or approximately $480 million. Taking into account the nearly $692 million (43.7 billion rubles) in dividends the company paid for the first half-year of 2018 (equaling $0.09 or RUB 5.93 per share), the total dividend for 2018 will amount a record $1.17 billion (RUB 73.9 billion) or $0.16 (RUB 10.04) per share.
Gem Diamonds has unearthed a 135-carat yellow from its Letšeng mine in Lesotho, making it the third major recovery of a colored diamond discovery from the mine this year. Gem recovered an exceptional, 134-carat Type I yellow diamond back in April - the first yellow stone of that magnitude since they dug up a 151.52-carat yellow diamond nearly two years ago.
Gem Diamonds has sold its Ghaghoo mine in Botswana to Pro Civil, a local company, for $5.4m (R77m), bringing to an end Gem's struggles with the underground mine that never lived up to its expectations. Pro Civil, a company registered in Botswana, will acquire Gem Diamonds Botswana Proprietary and the Ghaghoo mine, which has been on care and maintenance since March of 2017.
The UK-based and AIM- and BSE-listed exploration company Botswana Diamonds (BoD) recently received positive results from bulk sampling at the Thorny River project in South Africa, while its joint-venture partner Vast Resources is said to be moving closer to mining diamonds in Zimbabwe. Last week, BoD said its associate Vutomi had received permisston to sell diamonds recovered during bulk sampling at their Thorny River project in South Africa, which will enable funding of further exploration and development by Vutomi. The project has deliverd 256 carats of diamonds to date.
Rio Tinto Exploration Canada (RTEC) has completed the drilling of the first bulk sample hole on Star Diamond Corp.'s Star Kimberlite, employing a massive 'trench cutter sampling rig'. The first of 10 bulk sampling holes has been drilled to a depth of over 228 metres and intercepted a total of 117 metres of kimberlite on Star Diamond’s Star-Orion South site at Fort à la Corne.
President Mokgweetsi Masisi is said to have opened negotiations with Lucara Diamond Corp. for the government to buy and own shares in the company, reports The Botswana Gazette. Masisi reportedy met with Lucara CEO Eira Thomas at JCK Las Vegas, telling the newspaper, “I have proposed for Lucara to allow government to invest in the company,” adding that he will discuss with his cabinet and relevant authorities to agree on investing in Lucara.
BlueRock Diamonds plc, the AIM-listed junior mining company which owns and operates the Kareevlei Diamond Mine in the Kimberley region of South Africa, has recovered its largest diamond to date: a 24.98 carat gem-quality stone. The miner’s largest diamond prior was 16.28 carats, which sold for $78,947. BlueRock's shares jumped 15% on the news published June 7, but the gain was short-lived, having receded to its level prior to the fiind. Update - The 24.98-carat rough diamond sold for for $190,000, representing an average price of $7,606 per carat.
Stornoway Diamond Corp., 100% owner and operater of the Renard Diamond Mine in Quebec which began commercial production in January 2017, is in dire financial straits and is looking for new investment in, if not a buyer for the mine and its assets. Stornoway has endured some very turbulent times over the past year and a half, seeing its losses mount as a result of operational difficulties and a highly unfavorable market for its diamonds, and will need to restructure if it is going to continue operations.
Mountain Province Diamonds has discovered a new kimberlite at its Gahcho Kué Joint Venture (GKJV) leases, the company announced today in a press release. The Wilson kimberlite - named after Alice Evelyn Wilson (1881-1964), who is officially recognized as Canada's first female geologist - is located roughly 200 meters east of the Tuzo kimberlite and was discovered during drill testing of geophysical and geological anomalies in the area.
Russian police uncovered around $3 million worth of stolen diamonds, and over $2.5 million in cash, at the homes of a criminal ring operating inside state-controlled diamond producer Alrosa, authorities said on Monday, reports Reuters. Alrosa confirmed that security services had uncovered an ongoing diamond theft ring in its sorting and grading department, with someone on the inside faciliating the larceny. The authorities detained a woman (Elena Kanunnikova), the Alrosa employee said to be in charge of the embezzlement, a mediator, and another man said to be responsible for sellin
Newfield Resources has received the green light to commence development of the Tongo Kimberlite Project (Tongo) in Sierra Leone, which will become the world's newest diamond mine which is expected be operational in 2020. Confirmation of the plans to develop the mine came in the form of the recently completed postive Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) study, establishing probable reserves at just over one million carats of diamonds at 100 cpht, with a Final Investment Decision (FID) expected in Q3 2019.
Lucapa Diamond Co. yesterday formally annouced the launch of the next exploration phase to locate the kimberlite source of the high-value alluvial diamonds at the Lulo project in Angola. The next 12-month program is based on an extensive technical review of Lulo kimberlite exploration results to date, including those of the extensive 2018 drilling program which confirmed a further 70 kimberlites within the Lulo alluvial diamond field, which increased the total known kimberlites within the concession to more than 100.
The Bunder Diamond Project in the Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh in India - a deposit estimated to have diamond reserves of 34.2 million carats - will be put up for auction, according to a decision taken by the state government at a cabinet meeting this week. The Project disappeared from the headlines about two years ago following Rio Tinto's announcement in February 2017 that it would relinquish its interest in the project "due to commercial considerations" and gift it to the Government of Madhya Pradesh.
A new discovery has the potential to change how we look for diamonds in Canada and around the world, write Katie Willis from the University of Alberta, Canada. This comes as potentially big news to an industry that has discovered scant few significant and economic diamond deposits in the past decade.
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.