Stellar Diamonds and parent company Newfield Resources are on the verge of commencing development of their Tongo Diamond Project in Sierra Leone. When completed, it will be the second largest diamond operation in the country. The Diamond Loupe spoke with CEO of Stellar Diamonds and Executive Director at Newfield Resources Karl Smithson, first in Antwerp and again when he was on site in Tongo (“in the middle of the bush”) about the project, how it is progressing and what to expect going forward.
Diamond production in Angola remained flat in 2018 at 9.43 million carats, but revenue from diamond sales increased by 9% to $1.2 billion from $1.1 billion due to a 27% rise in the average price per carat, the chairman of the state mining company Endiama, Ganga Júnior, announced this week. Diamond production fell slightly from 9.44 to 9.43 million carats, but the average price per carat of the 8.26 million carats sold increased to $149 per carat from $117 per carat.
Stornoway Diamonds got its production levels back on track in Q4 2018 after "challenging" year of ramping up their underground operations at the Renard mine in Canada, giving them the confidence to raise their production guidance for 2019. Production, sales and revenue all declined significantly from the miner's 2017 levels, but they recorded a 24% increase in the average price per carat earned despite a market downturn in the second half of 2018.
Canadian miner Mountain Province Diamonds reported a 17% jump in carat production for the full year 2018, with sales rising 30% to $US240 million. The company's 49% share of production from the Gahcho Kué mine it shares with De Beers totalled 3.4 million carats, (full GK production 6.9 million carats) compared to the 2.9 million carats (5.9m) recovered last year, following from a 25% rise in total tonnes mined (ore & waste) and a 15% rise in total tonnes treated.
Alrosa finished the year with a 6% increase in rough and polished diamond sales after a strong December in which the Russian miner's rough sales rose 44% year-over-year to $324 million from $228 million, which was also good for a 23% rise over November. The company sold $5 million in polished diamonds in December.
Lucara Diamond Corp. has completed its highly anticipated inaugural diamond sale through Clara Diamond Solutions, its digital sales platform for selling rough diamonds individually, based on polished characteristics and demand.
Russian mining company AGD Diamonds has reported that from January to November of 2018, AGD Diamonds earned approximately $280 million (18.9 billion rubles) from diamond sales – up 35% year-on-year. According to Rough & Polished, the miner in 2018 the company extracted 22,150,000 cubic meters of rock mass from the Grib diamond mine, recovering 3,433,000 tons of ore.
"For the first time since 2011, 2018 saw the Israeli diamond trade stabilize," writes The Israeli Diamond Industry, bringing to an end what the President of the Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE), Yoram Dvash calls “a few years of crisis." According to the Diamonds, Gemstones and Jewelry Administration in the Ministry of Economy, exports of polished diamonds fell by only 2.5% percent to approximately $4.5 billion, representing an improvement over sharper declines in recent years, while polished imports reached $3.0 billion, an improvement of 4.1% over last year.
Laurelton Diamonds, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tiffany & Co. and supplier to the famous jeweler, will be holding tenders of rough as well as polished goods in Antwerp during the month of January. The tender of rough and sawn goods gets underway on Tuesday, January 8 at the Antwerp Diamond Tender Facility located in the Antwerp World Diamond Centre building, Belgium, and will continue until Thursday, January 17. The tender will include a selection of white and Cape Rough parcels in sizes from +5cts to -7 in regular and high quality assortments in Cts and Grs.
De Beers reversed a four-month trend of declining rough diamond sales at the final sight of 2018, as the miner sold $540 million of rough goods in its December cycle. The company attributed the increase in sales to the restarting of Indian manufacturing units after the Diwali holiday, when factories close for several weeks, and the spike in demand precipitated by the crucial holiday season and in anticipation of the need for replenished stocks in January.
The rough diamond trade in Antwerp during the month of November was marked by a resurgence of imports and exports of lower-priced rough after three sluggish months concerning the volumes of goods traded, while the polished trade experienced a general slowdown.
Mining company Lucapa Diamonds and its partners on the Lulo project in Angola have announced that their diamonds will feature in an historic inaugural international tender in the country. The tender is part of the new Angolan diamond marketing laws recently been approved by President Joao Lourenco and the Council of Ministers. According to Lucapa, the policy shifts in Angola allow management to plan for the sale of such high-value stones, something the company was not able to do before because previous rules forced producers to sell their gems to middlemen below international prices.
Russia's Alrosa, the world leader in diamond production, sold $267 million of rough goods in November 2018, which represents a 14% increase compared to its October revenue derived from a much higher volume of sales, but is not ready to claim demand for small rough has rebounded. Sales of smaller and less expensive rough goods have tumbled throughout the industry in recent months, as a lack of financing and a devalued currency have slowed purchases of goods destined for manufacturing in India.
Russian diamond miner AGD Diamonds held its final rough diamond auction of the year on the e-trading platform of Grib Diamonds, its selling arm in Antwerp, earning over $25 million. The auction was attended by the company’s regular customers from India, Israel and Belgium, reports Rough & Polished. At the same time, AGD Diamonds was also able to attract new buyers from China due to perfect preparation of goods to be auctioned and smart organization of viewings.
Russian diamond miner AGD Diamonds, which in September acquired an 100% stake in Antwerp-based Grib Diamonds N. V., the international sales arm for rough goods produced at the Grib Diamond Field, held a public auction last week for the sale of special-size diamonds (10.8+), earning a total of $14.1 million. The lots included large-size top-grade diamonds, including a unique bright yellow colored stone weighing 57.03 carats, which had been extracted by the Grib Mining and Processing Unit on June 18, 2018.
Russian diamond giant Alrosa held two auctions of special rough stones (10.8 carats and up) during the month of November, first in Vladivostok and then in Dubai, earning an average of approximately $4,900 from the sale of 4,030 carats, yielding a total of $19.8 million. In Vladivostok, the miner sold 119 gem-quality rough diamonds with a total weight of 1,890 carats for $10.3 million, representing an average price per carat of $5,540. This was the fourth and final auction in Vladivostok, their Far Eastern platform, for 2018. They started holding auctions there in late 2016.
Discussions between the Government of Botswana and De Beers Group are already underway as the long-standing partners look to strike a new deal. The current 10-year agreement for the sorting, valuing and sales of Debswana’s diamond production (Debswana is a 50/50 mining joint venture between Botswana and De Beers) is set to expire at the end of 2020. Botswana is reportedly pushing for a larger stake in its "new marriage" with De Beers ahead of the negotiations for the next sales agreement, writes The Southern Times.
Australian miner Lucapa Diamonds earned $4.2 million from its latest tender of rough goods from its Lulo alluvial mine in Angola, as it continues to hold back high-value goods until it can take advantage of Angola's new marketing policy. The sale involved 3,411 carats and earned an average price of $1,220 per carat, and brings the miner's total sales of Lulo diamonds for the year to $24.5 million at an average price per carat which now stands at $1,353, a figure which has declined from an average price per carat of $1,642 as of the half-way point of 2018.
Riding the current wave of depressed rough diamond sales throughout the industry in recent months, De Beers' ninth sale of 2018 earned (provisionally) $440 million, the miner's lowest earnings in a sales cycle since October 2017. Soft demand from India has been the predominant factor in the decline of rough sales - particularly of smaller goods - across the industry.
The EU Plenary, which brings together the three pillars of the KP and its many stakeholders, was marked as a unique opportunity to advance the ambitious reform agenda set in 2017. Under the leadership of the EU, the KP discussed an agenda with three priorities: a deepening of the KP, including the reinforcement of the system of controls and the transformation of KP recommendations into minimum requirements; an expansion of the KP by broadening the definition of conflict diamonds; and professionalization of the KP by, among others, the establishment of a permanent KP secretariat.
Canadian miner Mountain Province Diamonds has sold US$17.7 million (CDN$23.3 million) from 245,751 carats at an average realized value of US$72 per carat at its ninth rough diamond which closed on November 14, 2018. The total proceeds from the sale were the lowest of the year thus far, but the average price per carat was the highest since the $85 per carat earned at the company's fifth sale of the year in June.
Several sources, including Bloomberg and Rapaport, have reported that De Beers has slashed its prices on lower-quality diamonds at its latest sight this week, with the discounts ranging from high-single digits to as much as 10%. Difficult trading conditions have been widely reported in the rough diamond market in recent months, although the market for higher-quality and larger goods has remained strong with firm pricing in all categories.
Canadian miner Mountain Province's production and sales of rough diamonds from the Gahcho Kué mine underwhelmed in the third quarter of 2018, as production was on the downside of flat during the quarter, while sales increased against a low comparison point in 2017 and the cost of production rose. Sales increased by 15% to US$57 million (C$75 million) at an average price of US$73 per carat, but net income dropped by 37% to US$13 million (C$17.5m) from US$21million (C$16m).
This week, a group of nine government officials from four African diamond-producing countries (Cameroon, Congo Braza, Cote D'Ivoire, Guinea) embarked on a ten-day training course in Antwerp, furthering their knowledge of rough-diamond evaluation and valuation. The course, called the "KP Technical Assistance Valuation Program", originates from the commitment of the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI), which coordinates requests for Technical Assistance on behalf of the Administrative Support Mechanism (ASM) in the framework of the KP.
Russian diamond mining giant ALROSA reported a steep decline in rough diamond sales during the month of October, falling 28% year-over-year and 29% from September, but has still recorded 6% growth during the first ten months of the year. In October, ALROSA Group sold $243 million worth of rough diamonds compared with $326 million in October 2017, and $331 million last month. “In October, demand for small-size inexpensive rough diamonds continued to remain weak," says ALROSA Deputy CEO Yury Okoemov.
The Antwerp diamond trade in October booked value gains across all categories - particularly for polished-diamond exports and imports - with the exception of rough-diamond imports, which followed the recent decline in production and sales from the diamond miners.
Lucapa Diamond Company, which only two weeks ago commenced its commissioning of the 1.1Mtpa (million ton per annum) treatment plant at the high-quality Mothae kimberlite open-pit diamond mine in Lesotho, will be holding its first ever tender of Mothae diamonds in Antwerp, starting November 12. The Mothae treatment plant, which incorporates two XRT diamond recovery circuits, will be ramped up to its nameplate capacity throughout the December quarter.
The Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), according to a column written by President Mnangagwa in The Sunday Mail, that the country's diamond output was expected to shatter previous records. Zimbabwe aims to produce (at a stretch) three million carats this year, driven by a US$100 million investment in operations over the last two years. The ZCDC unearthed 2.4 million carats between January and October 2018, a significant increase over the 1.8 million carats achieved last year. ZCDC chief executive officer Dr.
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre today welcomed the President of Sierra Leone, Julius Maada Bio. The presidential delegation’s visit emphasizes the importance of trade relations between Sierra Leone and the Antwerp diamond industry, and falls within the framework of President Bio's efforts to take his country in a "new direction", which includes a strong focus on revising key legislation pertaining to the mining sector to ensure a win-win situation for the government, mining companies and local communities.
All signs are pointing upward for Lucapa Diamond Co. these days, with the exception of their rough diamond sales in Q3, which fell by 49% as the miner withheld several exceptional, large and premium-value specials (+10.8 ct.) for sale at a later date. This parcel (pictured) includes a 46-carat pink, and top-color Type IIa white diamonds weighing 114, 85, 75, 70, 62, and 43 carats respectively.
De Beers’ rough diamond production declined by 5% to 8.7 million carats in the third quarter due to planned reductions in mining volumes in Botswana and South Africa, the miner announced today. In Botswana, production at the Jwaneng mine declined by 6% to 5.7 million carats due to the planned processing of lower grade material. Production at the Orapa mine remained in line with Q3 2017 at 2.6 million carats.
Petra Diamonds, with mining operations in South Africa and Tanzania, has released a promising and much-needed set of results from Q1 2019 (July 1 to September 30), reporting a 21% increase in diamond production and a 22% rise in revenue in the last three months.
Lucara Diamond Corp. will launch Clara Diamond Solutions, its 100% owned digital sales platform, in November 2018 with a select group of large vertically-integrated jewelry houses and global diamond manufacturers, the miner announced today. Rough diamonds offered in Clara's first sale will include a selection of diamonds from Lucara's Karowe mine and additional aggregated third-party rough diamonds consisting of stones between one and fifteen carats in size in the better colors and qualities.
Mountain Province Diamonds, which owns 49% of the the Gahcho Kué mine in the Northwest Territories in Canada, earned $24.2 million in its latest diamond sale in Antwerp, its eighth of the year. The miner sold 366,505 carats at an average realized value of US$66 per carat, which the miner said was in line with their expectations and reflect current market conditions.
India’s polished diamond exports rose by 6.6% during the six-month period ended September 30, 2018 (H1 FY 2018-19) despite a dip of 10.8% in exports during the month of September, according to provisional data released by The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). Exports of cut and polished diamonds from India during September fell to $2.37 billion from $2.65 bn in September 2017, while polished diamond exports from April-September 2018 increased $2.68 billion from the $11.90 bn exported over the same months last year.
The De Beers Group provisionally sold $475 million worth of rough diamonds during their eighth sales cycle (October 8-12) of 2018, representing the lowest value of sales at a sight this year. October sales fell by about 6% compared to Sight 7 after the actual September sales were revised down to $503 million from the provisional value reported last month at $530 million. Still, the recent sight is a significant, 26% improvement in comparison to the $376 million in rough sales achieved at Sight 8 in 2017.
Russian diamond miner ALROSA recently concluded an auction of special-sized (10.8 carats and above) rough diamonds in New York, earning $7.9 million from the sale of 1,300 carats for an average price of approximately $6,077 per carat. This by far outstrips the average price the miner recently earned at an auction of the same category of diamonds in Hong Kong, which achieved $4,790 per carat.
Canadian diamond miner Stornoway sold 184,620 carats in two tender sales for gross proceeds of $24.7 million at an average price of US$103 per carat (C$134 per carat) as price weakness returned to smaller and lower quality diamonds, a decline of 7% compared to the second quarter. Prices in the larger and higher quality items have remained firm. By way of comparison, the miner sold 201,283 carats at two tenders in Q2 for $28.6 million, at an average price of US$109 per carat.
Russian diamond mining giant ALROSA's September sales continued the miner's positive trend in 2018 with an 8% increase in rough diamond sales compared to September 2017, which was admittedly a low comparison base. ALROSA sold $331.6 million worth of rough diamonds compared to $305.8 million a year ago, as the larger sized stones sold well while lower qualities and sizes set forth their downturn.
The polished-diamond trade in Antwerp during September again witnessed a surging average price per carat, particularly for imports (+22%), however, the trading center remained quiet after the traditionally slow summer holiday, as a result of which the volume of goods traded declined notably. Some have attributed the September slowdown to the Jewish holiday period, while others tell us that Indian companies are still hesitant to acquire smaller goods, with many having already purchased what they need for the upcoming Diwali holidays.
Stephane Fischler, President of the World Diamond Council, spoke with Mines to Market. Some key takeaways [for the complete interview, click 'Read the full article']:
MtM: What is your idea of the ideal environment for the diamond industry to evolve in today’s scenario?
Fischler: The ideal scenario for the diamond industry, as for any industry, is a combination of positive tension on the 'supply and demand' side and growing consumer desire for the product. That is the theory.
Zimbabwe's Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), the state-run entity overseeing the country's diamond mining and marketing operations, has announced it will introduce an electronic trading system to improve efficiency in line with international best practice. The online system will allow for the participation of international buyers who cannot physically attend an auction, as well as "do away with the excessive human interface which breeds corruption," writes The Herald. Zimbabwe’s second diamond tender of 2018 earned $28.3 million from 423,066 carats, even though the tender attrac
Russia's ALROSA has sold 2,234 carats worth of special size rough diamonds (larger than 10.8 carats) at an auction in Hong Kong, earning $10.7 million in sales revenue at an average price of $4,790 per carat. The 2,234 carats derived from 136 gem-quality diamonds, including 25 fancy yellow stones weighing 440 carats in total. 54 companies from Hong Kong, mainland China, Belgium, Israel and India took part in the auction.
Rio Tinto and Dominion Diamond Mines have revealed three of the finest large rough diamonds from their Diavik diamond mine in Canada, which will be showcased in Antwerp and Israel before being tendered to diamond specialists from around the world. The three rough diamonds, collectively named “The Diavik Stars of the Arctic”, will highlight a rough diamond tender of 'specials' (diamonds weighing more than 10.8 carats) before bids close on October 25.
Firestone Diamonds has just completed its first full year of production at the Liqhobong Diamond Mine (75% Firestone, 25% Government of Lesotho), ending an "eventful" year with mixed results. The company describes their first full year of production as "characterised by exceptional operational performance", as Firestone achieved their carat recovery guidance and exceeded their tonnage treated while operating at significantly lower cost than expected, and maintained an unblemished safety record.
Zimbabwe’s second diamond tender of 2018 earned $28.3 million from 423,066 carats, for an average price of $67 per carat. This represents a huge step forward as the country tries to regain market confidence and reclaim a stake in the global diamond trade, even though the tender attracted fewer international buyers than expected.
Ari Epstein, CEO of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), along with several representatives from the Antwerp diamond industry today met King Letsie III of Lesotho in Brussels. Lesotho, a mountainous country fully surrounded by South Africa and numbering only two million inhabitants, is the world’s seventh most important diamond-producing country in terms of value. Lesotho’s entire diamond production, worth $342 million in 2017, is traded on the Antwerp market.
ALROSA, the world's largest diamond mining company, has sold 'special size' rough diamonds (larger than 10.8 carats) at auction in Vladivostok, with overall revenue amounting to $12.6 million. At its latest sale of large stones, the company sold 108 gem-quality lots with total weight of 2,003 carats. 76 companies from Russia, mainland China, Hong Kong, the US, Israel, Belgium, India and UAE took part in the auction.
Russian diamond mining company Arkhangelskgeoldobycha (the licence holder for the Grib diamond pipe in the Arkhangelsk Region), which recently changed its name to AGD Diamonds, has consolidated a 100% stake in Grib Diamonds. Grib Diamonds is the Antwerp diamond trading company responsible for marketing rough diamonds produced at the Vladimir Grib Diamond Field through auctions held on its web-based platform. The move is intended to establish a fully-fledged diamond mining company, including exploration, production and sales.
Rough diamond imports to India, home to the largest world's largest diamond cutting and polishing industry, have fallen for five consecutive months, according to figures from industry body the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). The GPEPC's most recent figures show that from April through August (FY 2018), the value of rough diamond imports have declined by 7 percent to $7.16 billion from $7.69 billion a year earlier. In volume terms, imports are down 9% to 68.6 million carats from 75.3 million carats compared to the same period last year.
Russia's ALROSA, the world's largest diamond mining company, has commenced a rough diamond auction in New York, featuring 81 rare gem-quality 'specials' (diamonds larger then 10.8 carats) discovered in 2017-2018. The auction will include some of ALROSA's most unique recent recoveries, such as a transparent 98-ct diamond with a yellowish hue (pictured above) and a diamond weighing over 100 carats. Both stones were mined at the Yubileinaya pipe in Yakutia.
Lucapa Diamond Company today announced that a selection of large, premium-value Lulo diamonds will be the first Lulo production sold through new marketing channels being introduced as part of Angola’s diamond sector reforms, which represent a milestone for Angola's rough diamond trade. Additionally, Lucapa has exported its first parcel of ~2,500 carats of diamonds recovered from the Mothae kimberlite diamond mine in Lesotho to the global diamond trading centre of Antwerp, Belgium.
Russian diamond miner ALROSA presented its first ever collection of large, fancy-colored polished diamonds at the Hong Kong Jewelry & Gem Fair, marking the initial stage of their new strategy to become the world leader in the production of colored polished diamonds. The collection showcased in Hong Kong is comprised of 250 diamonds of different shapes and hues, with the auction scheduled for September 19. "ALROSA polished branch now focuses on the processing of large and coloured diamonds and the subsequent sales," said Evgeny Agureev, Director of the United Selling Organization of ALRO
The polished-diamond trade in Antwerp rode a higher average price per carat, particularly for exports (+6%), to solid value gains during the traditionally slow month of August, when the industry takes a three-week hiatus. The volume of rough goods traded during the month declined notably without having much impact on the overall value of those goods, as the average price per carat for rough goods is also outpacing that of the year prior by approximately 6%.
Russian diamond miner ALROSA sold $294.9 million worth of rough and polished diamonds in the typically slow month of August, representing a 14% rise year-over-year. The miner sold $283.2 million worth of rough diamonds during the month, an 11% increase over the same period in 2017. Meanwhile, polished-diamond sales increased 516% y-o-y and 121% over July, earning $11.7 million, as the group hosted several sales.
Representatives from the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) this morning joined Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs, Didier Reynders in Angola, where he hosted a Diamond Breakfast Symposium in cooperation with the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium to Angola, HE Frank Felix. The mission to Angola is intended to reinforce the momentum established between the two countries during the visit of the President of Angola, João Lourenço, to Antwerp last June, where they discussed increased cooperation concerning diamond trading.
Diamond mining giant De Beers reports provisional sales of $505 million during the seventh cycle (September 3 - 7) ahead of the Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair, which gets underway this week. Rough sales were flat year-over-year ($507 million in 2017) and declined as anticipated from the $533 million sold in Cycle 6.
Last week, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and the University of Antwerp hosted an “Innovation and Diamonds” conference at the Antwerpsche Diamantkring - the only rough diamond bourse in the world - featuring internationally-recognized experts from across the spectrum of the diamond trade, including alternative financing, the impact of digital on the luxury segment, the feasibility of small-scale ethical mining, as well as the earthquake and aftershocks of De Beers’ foray into lab-grown diamonds: LightBox.
Gem Diamonds, which operates the Letšeng mine in the mountainous kingdom of Lesotho in southern Africa, famous for producing the world’s most valuable stones, is in the midst of a banner year as a record number of large diamond recoveries (+100ct) pushed revenue to $167.7 million, up 81% from $92.9 million in H1 2017. The company set a half year record of ten diamonds greater than 100 carats, including the recovery of the 910 carat Lesotho Legend, which was sold in March to an Antwerp company for $40 million ($43,912 per carat).