De Beers might "significantly reduce" its number of sightholders and could be introducing changes to the way it allocates and sells its rough diamonds, according to Thomas Biesheuvel of Bloomberg. The miner's current six-year contract with buyers expires at the end of 2020.
Lucara, the Canadian mining company that owns the Karowé mine in Botswana announced they will be collaborating with luxury brand Louis Vuitton and an Antwerp-based high-end polishing company (HB) to polish the largest rough diamond ever found in Botswana, the 1758ct Sewelô diamond recovered in April last year. In the arrangement, the stone - qualified as near-gem, variable quality, will be polished into a collection of diamonds, and apart from an up front non-material payment, Lucara will retain a 50% interest in the polished results.
2019 was a challenging year for the global diamond trade. The entire industry, from miners to manufacturers and from diamond traders to jewelry retailers saw their trade figures and profits decline during the past year. Antwerp, as the leading diamond trading hub, was caught in the middle of the industry-wide storm. “Geopolitical instability led to economic turmoil, which negatively impacted consumer confidence,” says Ari Epstein, CEO of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre.
International rough diamond brokerage and marketing service provider I. Hennig today announced the launch of its innovative state-of-the-art online rough trading platform: “Virtual Broker”. Virtual Broker (VB) provides a secure environment for rough diamond trading where sellers and buyers negotiate online directly between themselves on a wide range of goods.
Diamond traders established in the United Kingdom should not be too greatly affected by the latest, if not last, round of negotiations ahead of the country's exit from the European Union (EU). The UK has managed to secure the status of participating member of the Kimberley Process (KP) diamond certification scheme. The UK had already held the status as a member of the European Union.
Russian diamond miner Alrosa ended a challenging 2019 on a high note, with December rough diamond sales increasing 7.4% year-over-year to $352.1 million, good for their second largest monthly haul of 2019. The company also sold $11.6 million in polished diamonds last month, an increase of 132% over December 2018 and also representing their highest monthly earnings for polished diamonds last year. These end-of-year improvements, however, were not enough to correct the significant downturn in sales that typified 2019.
As we welcome a new year and extend our hopes that you, our readers, will enjoy good health and good fortune in 2020, we take a moment to look back at the issues and articles of the past year that most sparked your interest.
Russian diamond mining giant Alrosa plans to hold 34 international auctions for special size rough diamonds (weighing over 10.8 carats) in 2020, the comapany recdently announced. They plan to hold seven auctions in the first quarter (Q1), eight in Q2, seven in Q3 and 12 in Q4. The schedule is available here.
Lucara Diamond Corp. has reported that its final diamond tender of 2019, held on December 12, generated sales proceeds of US$52.9 million. Sales of goods from the Karowe Diamond Mine in Botswana were 16% higher than expected, and achieved an average price of US$548 per carat. They noted improvments to market pricing in all size classes. The December tender bring Lucara's 2019 revenue at $192.5 million, exceeding the 2019 revenue guidance of $170 - $180 million and outpacing their 2018 sales of $176.2 million.
De Beers brought a tumultuous 2019 to a close on a positive note, as provisional rough diamond sales of $425 million at their Cycle 10 sight represents their highest earnings in seven months since the April sight and the fourth straight sight with increasing sales. While it does not quite match the $544 million earned at the final sight of 2018, it does demonstrate that demand for rough is stabilizing - though their buyers did not really have much say in the matter, as the miner had withdrawn the additional flexibility provided to sightholders since July.
Lucapa Diamond Company earned US$6.4 million (A$9.3 million) at the latest sale of diamonds from the Lulo alluvial mine in Angola and the Mothae kimberlite mine in Lesotho. This sales brings Lucapa's total 2019 sales of Lulo and Mothae diamonds to US$55.0 million (A$79.0 million), more than doubling their entire earnings of US$26.4 million a year ago.
Grib Diamonds today (11 December) sold more than $30M and 370K carats though its online Spot Auction in Antwerp. The diamonds included, for the first time, goods purchased from Angola as well as its usual Russian production from its wholly owned mine in Arkhangelsk, Russia.
Russian diamond mining giant Alrosa reported a rise in rough-diamond sales for the second straight month, selling $282.1 million in November, which is a 6% increase over November 2018 ($266.6 million) and an 11% increase over last month ($253.9 million). The miner's polished-diamond sales fell to $5.8 million from $10.4 million last month and $7.4 million in November 2019. Total sales of $287.8 million worth of rough and polished diamonds represent a 5% increase year-over-year.
Antwerp’s rough-diamond trade put a weak October performance in the rear-view mirror in November, as the volume of rough exports in particular rose sharply despite another decline in the average price per carat, according to figures from the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC). The polished-diamond sector remained more sluggish than usual in what has been a modest month for trade over the past several years.
Despite the concerted efforts of the Angolan government to bolster its rough diamond trade, the challenging market has led to less postive results this year than hoped for. According to the Ministry of Finance (Minfin), Angola exported 706,900 carats of rough diamonds in October, a decrease of 8.3 percent compared to September, reports Macauhub. Since the beginning of the year, the country has exported 7.12 million carats, which is 11.4% fewer than in the same period last year.
Russian miner AGD Diamonds' most recent rough diamond auction on the electronic sales platform of its trading subsidiary, Grib Diamonds NV, fetched over $25 million. The company noted an increase in demand for diamond goods and a pickup in the diamond market. AGD commented that the prices they achieved represented a cessation of the decline in average prices and that the first signs of market stabilization are now tangible. The company said it expects a full recovery of demand and rough prices in the second half of 2020.
India's exports of cut and polished diamonds in October declined by 15.4% year-on-year to $1.95 billion as compared to $2.30 billion in October 2018, according to the provisional data released by The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) of India. The $1.95 billion is the same amount exported in September, which represented an 18% decline from the year prior. The volume of polished diamonds exported declined 8% to 2.8 million carats, as the average price per carat for the month fell 22% to $689 per carat. For the fiscal year to date (April - Oct.
Petra Diamonds has announced the sale of an exceptional, 20.08-carat blue diamond recovered at the Cullinan Mine in South Africa in September 2019, which fetched US$14.9 million, or approximately $741,000 per carat. The buyer is a leading diamond company that wishes to remain anonymous, the miner said in a press release.
Alrosa sold 93 rough diamonds with a total weight of 1,560 carats, and earned $11 million in sales revenue at an auction for special size rough diamonds (weighing over 10.8 carats) held in New York. At approximately $7,050 per carat, the miner says it is the best result achieved in the last few months. There were 95 participants from the US, Belgium, India, Israel, UAE, Russia and Hong Kong.
The first ever direct tender in Antwerp of rough diamonds from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) officially opened today at the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), with viewings starting tomorrow, November 14.
The price cut De Beers introduced for the November sight (Cycle 9) appears to have generated some movement in the rough diamond market, as the miner sold (provisionally) $390 million at its latest sale. This marks the third straight sight with increasing sales and a 31% jump over the $297 million in sales at the previous sight, though it is still 12% lower than in Cycle 9 a year ago.
Teaming up with Sarine Diamond Technologies, Alrosa has launched a pilot program to provide digital mapping of its rough diamonds on tender so buyers can better assess the polished output and lower their purchasing risk. In a press release, the Russian miner said it provided the Digital Tenders information for the first time during the October 2019 trading period, offering its clients a full digital scan of each rough diamond for detailed analysis.
The difficulties facing diamond miners delivering products at the lower end of the market hit Mountain Province Diamonds (MPD) particularly hard in Q3 (the three months ending Sept. 30), though the miner has been struggling with low prices for some time now. Q3 revenue from sales declined by 26% as the average price per carat fell by 28%. The company attributes a downturn in carats recovered, as well as the low prices achieved, to mining activity in a lower grade and quality areas that delivered "the expected poorer product mix", as well as "challenging" market conditions.
While Russian diamond mining giant Alrosa's October rough diamond sales remained steady at $253.9 million and even outpaced by $20 million their sales in the same month last year, Q3 (July-Sept.) saw a significant downturn as the market remained difficult and sales volumes declined. Meanwhile, the miner got a bit of sparkle from their polished diamond sales during the month, earning $10.4 million, good for their best polished results of the year by over $2 million. The miner says supply and demand have shown signs of regaining their balance.
Starting November 14, 350,000 carats of rough Congolese diamonds worth an estimated $6 million will go on tender in Antwerp, as the DRC and Antwerp take a first major step toward implementing a cooperation agreement signed in September to facilitate access for DRC miners to Antwerp’s transparent diamond market, and in particular its tender houses. The complete parcel will contain approximately 15% gem-quality goods and 85% industrial-grade diamonds, with closing bids on November 20.
The Angolan National Diamond Trading Company (Sodiam) has reported an increase in revenues from the sale of rough diamonds during Q3 2019, driven by a significant increase in the volume of carats sold as the average price per carat fell.
Leading producer of high-value stones Gem Diamonds recorded modest declines in Q3 compared to Q2, reporting fewer carats sold, lower revenue and average prices achieved for its goods from the Letšeng mine in Lesotho. A year-over-year comparision, however, paints a picture of a more substantial decline and reflects the realities miners are facing in this slumping market.
According to Bloomberg News' Thomas Biesheuvel, De Beers at its November sight took the nearly unprecendented step of lowering the price of rough diamonds by 5%, according to sources that spoke anonymously as the matter is private. Our sources in Antwerp were able to confirm a softening of prices in most categories but did not place a percentage figure on it.
Firestone Diamonds last week reported a decline in revenue during for the quarter ended 30 September 2019 (Q1 of their 2020 FY) due mainly to lower sales prices for diamonds from its Liqhobong mine in Lesotho. The miner has had to deal with a power supply cut to the mine since 1 October, which forced Firesetone to temporarily shut down the mine's treatment plant until power is restored.
Stornoway Diamond Corp. is a Canadian diamond exploration and producing company that developed the Renard mine over the course of two decades from a grassroots exploration project to a world-class diamond mine - the first in Québec. The massive project, built for $774 million - under their budget of $811 million - sparked enthusiasm across the diamond industry, which has seen few new mines open in recent years. Stornoway delivered the first ore to the processing plant in July 2016 and achieved full production in the summer of 2017.
Mid-tier diamond miner Petra Diamonds Ltd said its first-quarter revenue sank sharply as sales and prices fell, despite production increasing slightly compared to the same period the prior year. For Q1 FY 2020, covering production and sales from 1 July 2019 to 30 September 2019, diamond production rose 1% to 1.08 million carats from 1.07 million carats a year prior.
De Beers' rough diamond production in the third quarter of 2019 declined by 14 percent to 7.4 million carats, with significant reductions in South Africa and Canada which the miner says was planned. "In addition," they note, "we continue to produce to weaker market demand due to macro-economic uncertainty as well as continued midstream weakness." For the year to date, De Beers ouput is lagging 12% behind the first nine months of 2018, falling to 23 million carats from 26 million carats. Q3 output fell 3% from Q2 output.
Diamcor Mining Inc., a TSX-listed junior diamond mining company with operations in South Africa, sold 4,033 carats of rough diamonds at its first tender in Antwerp and has delivered another 6,369 carats which it expects to sell at a second tender at Koin International in Antwerp in November. A third tender is planned for December. The more than 10,000 carats of rough diamonds expected to be delivered and tendered in Q3 represents a significant increase compared to 3,882 carats delivered and tendered in Q2.
A 27% decline in the average price per carat led to an equivalent decline in total Q3 proceeds for Canadian miner Mountain Province Diamonds, as the company sold about the same number of carats as in Q3 last year.
Russian diamond mining giant Alrosa increased its Q3 diamond production by 15% year-over-year while the volume and value of carats sold declined, leading to the miner holding 40% more diamonds in stock than at this time last year. However, they write, globally, the second half of Q3 2019 saw an upward trend in rough diamond sales and a turning point in destocking in the midstream, creating a basis for the market recovery in the future.
De Beers Group Auctions today announced the launch of its new auction portal, the company stated in a press release. The new platform "provides customers with an improved bidding experience through a range of enhancements to functionality and to the user experience. The portal harnesses cutting-edge technology and incorporates a range of valuable insights garnered from customer feedback," the Group writes. They describe it as a "better, smarter and faster way for customers to purchase their diamonds." See the announcement in annex below.
Lucapa's latest sales of rough diamonds from its Lulo (Angola) and Mothae (Lesotho) mines totalled $US10.4 million ($A15.5m), taking combined sales to date for 2019 to $US45.9m ($A65.7m).
Petra Diamonds will hold a special tender of the 20.08-carat blue diamond the miner recovered from the Cullinan mine in South Africa last month, with analysts speculating it fetch as much as $15 million. The stone is a gem-quality Type llb diamond.
Russian diamond miner Alrosa saw its September sales of rough diamonds make a modest recovery after a slow summer, selling $256.5 million, which represents a 42% increase over the $180.2 million sold in August. The company acknowledged, however, that market demand for rough diamonds is still low, as this past month's sale was 27% lower than in September 2018, when they moved $331.6 million of rough goods. Adding $2.2 million in polished-diamond sales (-69% y-o-y), total sales for September were $258.7 million.
The Antwerp diamond industry’s import and export figures for the month of September were mainly in line with what we could call ‘2019 normal’ – prices down, polished trade slow – but the volume of rough goods traded in Antwerp’s hit its highest levels of the year, with the quantity of rough exports more than doubling those in August, according to figures from the Antwerp World Diamond Centre's Diamond Office.
De Beers Group Auctions has appointed Alastair Bickerstaff (pictured) as the Head of Product Development and Sales. The new role, which was created following the departure of the Head of Sales and CRM, combines those two instrumental elements of the business, and he is tasked with developing more synergy between the product development and sales and to better address their customers’product needs.
De Beers' rough diamond sales during Cycle 8 in Sept.-Oct. provisionally totaled $295 million, a 39% drop from the $482 million sold in the same period last year. The decline comes as no surprise as it had already been reported that the miner once again offered sightholders several options to increase the flexibility of buyers struggling with an industry-wide slump caused mainly by an oversupply polished stones in the diamond 'pipeline'.
The Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) says it will conduct another diamond auction before the end of the year, and is aiming to sell between 400,000 and 500,000 carats. Two weeks ago, the MMCZ conducted its third auction this year, where they auctioned 316,000 carats and attracted 25 companies from around the world.
The Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) today (Sept. 25) unveiled the redesigned and upgraded Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE) auction facility, which it is calling the world’s largest diamond trading floor. Located at the Almas Tower in Dubai, UAE, the refurbished trading floor has 41 viewing stations with specially designed lighting and high-resolution cameras. Designed principally for rough and polished diamonds, the DMCC says that changes have been made to the DDE windows to enable trade of colored gemstones.
The Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) says the country’s third diamond auction for this year, which closed last week, attracted 25 companies from around the world. The tender of 316,000 carats opened on September 9. MMCZ general manager Tongai Muzenda said “We had invited 28 companies for this third diamond auction and three did not come, and this means we attracted 25 companies." The results of the tender are not yet avaiable, with Muzenda saying they are currently working on the bids made by the prospective buyers.
Lucara Diamond Corp. has recovered a 123-carat gem quality top white Type II diamond from its 100% owned Karowe Diamond Mine located in Botswana. The miner also recently recovered a 375-carat gem quality diamond at Karowe from the processing of historic DMS recovery tailings, generated prior to the incorporation of Lucara's XRT diamond recovery circuits.
H.E. Félix Tshisekedi, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), today paid a visit to the Antwerp diamond industry in the context of a broader mission to improve the relationship between Belgium and the DRC, which has been on the rocks in recent years. As President of the fourth largest diamond-producing country by volume, President Tshisekedi was welcomed by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), representative of the world’s largest diamond trade center.
Despite a comparatively modest decline in revenue in fiscal year 2019 (ended 30 June 2019), Petra Diamonds saw its profits decline by 22% this past year, falling short of industry estimates and sparking a downturn in the company's shares, which hit their lowest level ever. The stock is down about 80% this year as the miner is focusing on reducing its sizeable debt incurred by investments in its flagship Cullinan mine in South Africa. Revenue for the year fell 6% to $463.6 million from $495.3 million, with their average diamond prices achieved falling approximately 5%, which is slightly bett
Russian diamond miner Alrosa sold $180.2 million in rough diamonds during the month of August, representing one if its lowest sales months in years as continuing headwinds - macroeconomic as well as industry-specific - conspired with a traditionally slow summer month to keep the market soft.
The global diamond industry in the first half of 2019 faced a variety of well-doucmented challenges leading to declining commerce across all segments of the trade.
Sodiam, the Angolan state diamond marketing company, today announced the opening of its online registration process to participate in its future competitive sales of rough diamonds, following through on Angolan president Joao Lourenço's intention to fully reform the country's diamond industry. Last year, the country approved new diamond marketing laws, with Lucapa Diamond Co.
Lucapa Diamond Company, which operates high-value mines in Lesotho (Mothae) and Angola (Lulo), saw its first half 2019 net profit after tax jump to US$1.1 million compared with a US$4.3m loss during the same period last year as an increase in production led to higher sales, complemented by a massive jump in the average price per carat sold. Their combined rough sales rose by 85% to US$29.4 million from US$15.9 million a year ago.
De Beers rough diamond sales continued to be very slow in August, as the company announced provisional revenues at the seventh sight of 2019 totalling $280 million. This is significantly lower (-44%) than the $503 million sold at Sight 7 2018, and represents a modest uptick from the $250 million sold at Sight 6, which was the lowest amount earned from a sale since December 2015. As with the previous sight, the miner gave its clients the opportunity to leave up to 50% of available goods on the table to lower the pressure on buyers without lowering their prices.
Impacted by the persistent slump in the global rough diamond market, which has yet to show any signs of abating, Russian diamond giant Alrosa has reported a sharp decline in Q2 and first half 2019 profits and revenues, adjusting its anticipated sales for the year 2019 downward by 13-16% to 32-33 million carats from their anticipated 38 million carats, the miner announced on Monday.
Replicating the first-half results of 2018 was always going to be a challenge for Gem Diamonds, and against that high bar the miner came up short in H1 2019.
Despite higher production and sales volumes, Lucara Diamond recorded a much lower profit in Q2 2019 than the same period a year earlier, as the extended slump in the diamond trade demonstrates it offers no immunity. L Lucara reported net earnings of $700,000 for the quarter on revenue of $42.5 million, figures which compare unfavorably with a profit of $19.7 million on revenue of $64.5 million in the same quarter in 2018.
The persistent slump in the global rough diamond market showed no signs of abating in July, as Alrosa's rough sales fell to a low not seen in several years. The Russian mining giant sold $164.6 million in rough diamonds in July, falling another 25% below 2019's previous low in June ($219.3), and 51% lower than the $333.8 million earned in July. 2018. For the year to date, Alrosa's sales have declined 34% compared to last year, falling to $1.95 billion from $2.97 billion a year ago.
President Donald Trump said Thursday that the U.S. is putting 10% tariffs on another $300 billion worth of Chinese goods, effective Sept. 1. This means that starting at the beginning of next month, every single good coming into the U.S. from China, except those with exemptions, will be subject to an import tax. Called the 'tranche four' tariffs, the list includes rough and polished diamonds (whether or not worked), loose 'synthetic ...
Over the last five years, we’ve probably seen too much supply of rough going into the market. The big producers are seeing the need to restrict supply. There's a realization that we have to get back in balance. We see the diamond market as being more positive in the future but we’ve got some challenges right now.
Stuart Brown, CEO at Mountain Province on rough supply, the diamond retail market and LGDs.
The Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE), a subsidiary of the DMCC, completed three rough and polished diamond tenders in the week of July 16 - 23 while the DDE is under renovation. The three separate tenders were hosted by Rapaport, Stargems and Trans Atlantic Gem Sales (TAGS), with reportedly over 200 companies participating.