Currently on tender in Antwerp, Bonas Group and Namakwa diamonds are showcasing two exceptional rough stones from the KAO mine in Lesotho; a 88.21ct white and 13.74ct pink, part of an offering of singles stones and more than 60,000ct of the mines regular production. The tender is ongoing in the Bonas Group offices in Antwerp, through to July 16.
Petra Diamonds has announced it is open to offers for (parts of) the company, after a strategic review of mounting debts, now at US$650 million. Only last year, Richard Duffy took over from former CEO Johan Dippenaar, with the task to turn around the troubled miner's balance sheets. The Covid-19 pandemic now foils the ongoing optimization and restructuring introduced by Duffy, as mines were forced to shut down and the global diamond market came to grinding halt.
De Beers is currently holding its 5th cycle sight viewings in Antwerp, a new initiative allowing sightholders who wish to do so, to view the goods outside of the usual sights held in Gaborone, Botswana. The goods will continue to be sold from Botswana, but the country has closed its borders for foreigners, forcing De Beers to literally think outside of the box. As the city is home to a large number of De Beers Sightholders, Antwerp is the first location to have such viewings.
In a statement Gem Diamonds has announced it has sold all large diamonds during its latest Antwerp tender, organized in strict compliance with COVID-19 measures. The company realized an average $/ct price of $1707 in H1, up from an average $/ct of $1687 in H1 and $1506 in H2 2019 respectively. A 13 carat pink diamond achieved $40,110 per carat, and a 61 carat white Type II diamond achieved $31,400 per carat. 15 diamonds sold in H1 2020 for in excess of $1 million each and one diamond for over $5 million.
By just about any measure - with the exception of last month - Alrosa's diamond sales in May 2020 scraped rock bottom as the Russian miner enabled its long-term clients to postpone their purchases in an attempt to lower the pressure on the market. Alrosa expects buying activity to improve in the middle of the third quarter.
Grib Diamonds, the Antwerp-based marketing arm of Russian miner AGD Diamonds, on June 16 sold over $20 million of rough diamonds from its fully-owned Grib Diamond Mine in Russia. Despite the troubled times the rough diamond market is going through, Grib was able to sell more than 90% of the goods on offer and approximately 350k carats.
In a press release, Sodiam, the state-owned body that markets of Angolan rough diamonds, announced its 2019 figures, with a net profit of US$27million, less than in 2018, as new legislation introduced in 2019 allows miners to market a portion of their production directly instead of through Sodiam. In September of last year, Sodiam introduced its online platform for competitive sales, and according to the release has reduced its operating cost by 17% in 2019. Tax contributions amounted to US$26,6 million, an increase of 21%.
Mining Weekly reports that Mountain Province, owning a 49% stake in the NWT Gahcho Kue mine, has proposed a deal to Dunebridge Worldwide, an affiliate of shareholder Dermot Desmond, to sell its run-of-mine production, at current market prices at the moment of each sale. The first sale is scheduled for roughly US$22 million later this week. Mountain Province will be entitled to a certain portion of the potential added value - after fees and expenses - generated by Dunebridge when it sells the diamonds in the future.
At its first tender after lockdown measures were relaxed in Antwerp, tender house Koin International has launched an innovative approach to allow customers to virtually participate in rough tenders, through a concept called "Virtual Viewer". Using specialized equipment and technology, including high resolution livestreamed video, a Koin expert acts as the eyes and hands of the client in a realtime viewing experience. The sessions are also recorded, allowing buyers to review goods whenever suits them and make an informed bidding and purchasing decision from any location in the world.
Namibia's Minister of Mines & Energy, Tom Alweendo, has blocked the extension of controversial middleman Neil Haddock, of Dubai based Global Diamond Tenders, who was appointed in 2016 to sell Namdia's diamonds. For years, Haddock and his company have allegedly been selling Zimbabwean and Namibian roug far below market value to Dubai companies.
Alrosa reports its first E-sight, offering long-term clients the possibility to purchase on a stone-by-stone basis was a success, “demonstrating market demand for rough diamonds and a willingness to purchase via online channels.”, says Alrosa deputy CEO Evgeny Agureev.
In a second tender, currently going on, the miner is tendering 700 rough stones from 5 to 10ct batches, open for purchase to long-term clients, as well as Alrosa’s spot and auction customers.
According to Reuters, De Beers, together with the government of Botswana is looking into (temporarily) shifting its sight viewings from Gaborone, Botswana, to major trading hubs, closer to their clients, for example in Antwerp. Reuters cites De Beers Executive Vice President, Diamond Trading, Paul Rowley; “If we can move our product closer to them it would give us the flexibility to restart sales as soon as the markets reopen”.
Alrosa announced that it is currently offering its long-term customers over 800 rough diamonds in the 5 to 10ct range, the largest volume the company has ever put on its digital platform. Since the implementation of the system, Alrosa has made several improvements to the platform, and now allows its customers to bid on a stone by stone basis in a semi-automated bidding process.
The COVID-19 pandemic is causing a paradigm shift, not only in how we live our lives, stay in touch with friends and family or do our shopping, but also in the way we do business. In an industry that has long relied on face-to-face interactions, particularly in the rough trading business, the crisis is accelerating business processes at a rapid pace. The Diamond Loupe spoke with Johan Erikson, CEO of First Element, a tender house operating in Antwerp, on how their processes have changed in the past few months to adapt to “the new normal”.
Rapaport reports that the Russian precious metals and gemstones repository, the Gokhran, may buy up part of the Russian miner's diamond stockpile, for an amount that ranges anywhere between $500 million and $1.7 billion. Rough sales have dropped dramatically as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, as the miner offered its clients maximum flexibility in purchasing obligations. During past crises, notably in 2009, the state repository alleviated the company in a similar way, at that time buying $1 billion worth of diamonds.
Mining Weekly reports that UK-based BlueRock, operating the Kareevlei mine in Kimberley, South Africa, will be marketing its goods through Antwerp starting at the end June, in an agreement with Bonas-Couzyn, the Antwerp-based diamond consultancy and tender house. By choosing Antwerp, the world's largest rough market, over the much smaller domestic market, the company hopes to boost sales as the market recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
De Beers has launched its online "Buy platform", a segment of the De Beers Group Auctiones, where Registered Buyers can now buy rough diamonds online. The platform works like any other e-commerce platform, where buyers can search, "view" and select goods, add them to their shopping cart and complete their purchase via a virtual checkout. In addition buyers can create favorite products, which are assorted in four categories; "very high-end", "high-end", "mid market" and "low-end".
Alrosa announced today it will temporarily put its Aikhal underground mine and Zarya open pit operation in care and maintenance starting May 15 in response to the decreased demand and sales of diamonds caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Aikhal underground mine is scheduled to reopen at the end of September, while the Zarya mine will remain closed to the end of the year, with regular reassessment of market conditions. Combined, the two operations produced 2.6m carats last year.
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre continues its AWDC Webinar Series tomorrow, April 29 from 15:00-16:00 with a presentation on the "Rough Market: a Q&A with Paul Zimnisky."
Gem Diamonds has been granted permission by the government of Lesotho to reopen its Letšeng Mine following the three week lockdown, with effect from Monday 27 April. The country will remain on lockdown for more than another week, until May 5. The miner said it is taking all of the necessary precautions to protect its people. The mine is located in the Maluti Mountains of Lesotho at an elevation of 3,100 m (10,000 ft). It is the world's highest diamond mine.
In a press statement, Dominion Diamonds, operating the Ekati Diamond in the Northwest Territories has announced it has filed for insolvency protection under the Canadian Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act ("CCAA") granting the company protection from creditors. Dominion is said to have received and is considering a proposal from an affiliate of its current equity owner, The Washington Companies, to provide financing to pilot the company through the CCAA process.
In a letter signed by GJEPC Chairman Agrawal, President of the Bharat Diamond Bourse Anoop Mehta and Marendra V Gandhi, President of the Mumbai Diamond Merchants Association, the industry organizations are calling on their members to implement a cessation of rough diamond imports for the duration of one month, starting May 15.
The writing appears to be on the proverbial wall: the Indian diamond industry is careening toward a temporary ban on rough-diamond imports which, if implemented, will effectively bring rough diamond trading to a halt. How can manufacturers survive without rough, you may ask? If Chaim Even-Zohar’s calculations are correct, it is because they are sitting on $1.5-$2 billion of rough diamond inventory already, with another $5 billion in polished ready for sale. The question then becomes: why buy more?
For a few days now, rumor in the industry has it that the Indian diamond industry - or at least some members - want to impose a voluntary ban on rough imports into the country. The rumours aren’t confirmed by any official body, but some sources claim the voluntary ban would start one week after India lifts the strict lockdown measures - preliminary scheduled for May 3 - and would be instated for one month, others claim the ban would last as long as three months.
Stornoway Diamonds has decided not to resume activity at its Renard operation despite a provincial classification of mining as "essential operation". "The unprecedented global events we are experiencing have unfortunately led to the board of directors to take this difficult decision impacting our employees and a number of our valued stakeholders.", Stornoway CEO and President Patrick Godin commented.
Mid-tier miner Petra Diamonds has been keeping us up to date with regards to the impact on the company of the global COVID-19 pandemic, unfortunately reporting that they experienced depressed and opportunistic bidding for its diamonds at its fifth sales cycle of FY 2020, particularly in the larger size and higher quality, greater value categories. Petra therefore chose to only sell a portion of its South African goods, representing approximately 75% by volume and 50% by value.
Gem Diamonds is seeking alternative methods to keep revenue flowing during the days of the coronavirus lockdown. Today they announced that the first round of the flexible tender sales process concluded on 26 March 2020 and raised US$12.1 million for a selection of Letšeng’s large, high quality diamonds.
Russian diamond miner Alrosa will allow its long-term contracted clients to defer !00% of their April supply to later this year, a spokesperson has told us. "The spread of coronavirus and counter-pandemic measures implemented around the globe have severely affected the diamond industry. With this in mind, Alrosa supports its long-term clients with a full flexibility for the April 2020 trading session, lifting mandatory buyout requirements."
De Beers has cancelled its third rough diamond sale (sight) of 2020 in response to the logistical difficulties arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. "Due to the public health restrictions on the movement of people and product in Botswana, South Africa and India, which prohibit customers from traveling and prevent the shipment of goods to customers’ international operations, De Beers Group will not hold its third Sight of 2020," the miner wrote in a press release.
In an effort to tackle difficulties caused by travel restrictions in the framework of the COVID-19 crisis, the Russian miner Alrosa has decided to cancel its special size auction and has set up a digital tender for a number of large rough diamonds, running from March 23 to April 6. Interested buyers will be able to see a full digital scan of the rough, making it easier to decide whether or not to make a bid.
Lucapa Diamond Co. has announced that the Lulo alluvial mining company, Sociedade Mineira Do Lulo (“SML”), is to receive US$4.0 million (A$7.0 million) under a partnership agreement with leading international diamond manufacturer Safdico International. The partnership was forged in an effort to create added value for some of Lucapa's exceptional rough diamonds.
Grib Diamonds, the Antwerp-based marketing arm of Russian miner AGD Diamonds, conducted an auction on March 23, 2020, selling 90% of the lots on offer for approximately $20 million. Due to the spread of the coronavirus and the cessation of much of worldwide trade, prices were under considerable pressure, the company noted. This price decline was anticipated following the diminution in activity in the main centres of sales and processing of rough diamonds.
Gem Diamonds held a tender of small diamonds in Antwerp from the Letseng mine in Lesotho, earning $7.8 million at the sale which concluded earlier this week. The miner called the results "resilient" given the circumstances, as the average price per carat fell 18% below the like-for-like prices reached at the last small diamond tender held in November last year before the Covid-19 economic crisis.
De Beers third sight (rough diamond sale) of 2020, scheduled for March 30 to April 3 in Gaborone, will go ahead as planned despite Botswana’s announcement of a travel ban on foreigners arriving from “high risk” countries that include Belgium, China and India. Many of the companies that participate in De Beers’ sales are headquartered in these countries.
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) has released a coronavirus-related update to the Antwerp diamond community, stating that the Diamond Office will remain open. The Diamond Office is essentially the beating heart of Antwerp's diamond trade, being the place where all rough and polished diamonds are imported and exported from the country. In a typical year, that is $46 billion annually, or $210 million every working day.
Russian diamond miner Alrosa is offering greater flexibility to its long-term customers at its March trading session, taking "further action to support long-term customers amid global market uncertainty," the company wrote in a press release. Given the current market developments, they say, the company has decided that, starting this week, it will let customers lower their minimum purchase to 40% of their initially-contracted volume and carry the remaining part over to the end of May 2020.
Mumbai Customs in India has seized two shipments of diamonds from Antwerp – one rough, one polished – on very questionable grounds, according to a trusted source. Another sixteen shipments are on hold.
Russian diamond miner Alrosa earned less at its February rough sale than in January but defied expectations somewhat by limiting the damage despite the nervousness pervading the indsutry. The miner's February rough diamond sales totaled $342.3 million, representing a 12% decline from January sales of $390.2 million and no change (+0.5%) from February 2019. Total sales for the month fell 14% to $346.4 million from $405 million last month due to a 74% decline in polished diamond sales, which fell to $4.1 million from $14.8 million in January.
Russian diamond miner Alrosa has published its financial results for 2019, and while the totality is not pretty, there was reason for optimism to close out the year. As expected, Alrosa’s performance in 2019 was subject to pressure from external factors, and while the miner took steps to respond accordingly, it could not prevent its profit from falling 31% for the year, to 90.4 billion rubles ($1.26 billion) to 62.7 billion rubles ($876 million). For the full details, click 'Read the full article'.
Russian diamond miner Alrosa met in Antwerp with its long-term clients and representatives of the Antwerp World Diamond Center (AWDC) to discuss the current market situation and potential scenarios, as well as the needs of rough diamond buyers - the key issue for whom was to receive assurances of purchasing flexibility.
The cautious optimism that had returned to the Antwerp diamond industry following the first month of 2020 was short-lived, as the explosive spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 in February effectively closed eastern markets and caused great uncertainty across the global diamond trade. Antwerp's rough-diamond trade still enjoyed the boost from the miners' strong January sales, but the warning signs appeared there as well - particularly toward the end of the month.
The optimism at the beginning of the year regarding improved demand for rough diamonds has shifted to uncertainty following the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus; as expected, De Beers' sales at the second sight of the year took a nosedive, ending at a provisional $355 million. That result is 36% off the pace of their first sale of the year ($551 million) and 28% lower than the $496 earned at the second sight of 2019.
At meetings in Botswana coinciding with its second rough diamond 'sight' of 2020, De Beers detailed to clients its plans to scrap the one-size-fits-all supply model and create three different types of contract: manufacturer contracts, dealer contracts and integrated retailer contracts, a company representative explained to us. Each type of contract is said to be designed around the broad needs of the three types of business model to which they apply. The move is designed to help the diamond miner ensure that each buyer gets the stones most suited to its needs and business type.
Russia's Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev, the 2020 Kimberley Process (KP) Chair, has stated that Russia will work to lift restrictions on the export of diamonds from the Central African Republic (CAR), according to Reuters. A total ban on diamond exports from CAR was imposed in 2013 but partially lifted in 2016, allowing CAR to resume sales of diamonds from five 'green zones' where the government could certify the stones were conflict-free. The partial lifting of the ban, however, has not significantly increased CAR's legal trade in rough diamonds.
Rio Tinto's diamond division recorded a $21 million loss for FT 2019 as its revenues fell 11% to $619 million from $695 million a year earlier, according to the company's Annual Results released on Wednesday. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) tumbled by 50% to $151 million from $301 million in 2018.
Lucapa Diamond Co.'s second sale of diamonds in 2020 from the Lulo alluvial diamond mine in Angola achieved an average price of US$1,535 (A$2,324) per carat. The parcel of 1,223 carats of Lulo diamonds achieved gross sales proceeds of US$1.9 million (A$2.84 million). The sale brings to US$5.3 million (A$7.9m) total sales of Lulo diamonds to date in 2020 at an average price of US$1,906 (A$2,842) per carat.
The Republic of Angola's Ministry of Mineral Resources and Petroleum has announced a public tender for independent rough diamond valuators with the capacity to handle Angola's entire national diamond output, which last year reached 9 million carats and $1.3 billion. The search for a truly independent valuator gives teeth to the country's efforts to ensure a fair market price for their diamonds and to generally bring greater transparency and accountability to the country's new diamond marketing policy, a priority of President Lourenço.
Koin International will hold a rough tender for the Kimberley Ekapa Mine (KEM) production from Kimberley, South Africa, from 27 February to 4 March. The tender includes an exceptional 82ct yellow diamond, recovered in February.
The Kimberley Underground mines have a history of producing large diamonds and fancy yellows, such as the Oppenheimer (253 carats rough). The largest diamond ever recovered at Kimberley Underground was +800 carats and the mine is also the source of the Kimberley Octahedral, at 616 carats, one of the largest uncut diamonds in the world.
Lucara Diamond Co. pulled off a strong performance in 2019 despite a tough market and achieving a lower average price per carat than in the previous five years, largely due to a solid performance in the final quarter and record production through the plant in 2019. The miner, which owns and operates the Karowe mine in Botswana, earned total revenues of $192.5 million (2018: $176.2 million) from the sale of 411,732 carats, or $468 per carat (2018: $502 per carat) during fiscal year 2019, beating their guidance of $170 million to $180 million.
India’s exports of polished diamonds continue to fall short of last year’s levels, declining by 5.7% during the month of January 2020, according to provisional data released by The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). The value of rough-diamond imports for manufacturing fell again as well, despite a notable increase in volume. Meanwhile, India's synthetic-diamond imports (rough) and exports (polished) continue to grow rapidly.
De Beers Group reported its preliminary 2019 financial results today (Feb.20), confirming the already well-documented declines experienced across the global rough diamond trade in 2019. The average price earned per carat and a decline in sales volumes were the obvious and main culprits, but these were just the visible results of a whole raft of challenges the world's most famous miner faced last year - along with the rest of the industry - starting with the oversupply of polished in the manufacturing and midstream segments.
Petra Diamonds concluded H1 FY 2020 (the six months to 31 December 2019) with a $10 million net loss as ongoing market weakness and an "adverse product mix" (lower quality diamonds) which weighed on their profit from mining activities. The London-based miner reported a net loss of $10 million for the period, which represents a sizeable improvement on its $57.9 million loss in the first half of 2019.
The second major tender of rough diamonds from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) at the Antwerp Diamond Tender Facility, located in the AWDC building, concluded Wednesday 12 February, closing the book on another highly successful sale. As with the first tender, held only two months ago, this one exceeded expectations: organizer Samir Gems sold some 535,000 carats of rough goods for $7.84 million.
Gem Diamonds, the London-based miner that operates the famous Letšeng mine high in the mountains of Lesotho, reported a major uptick in its fortunes in the fourth quarter of 2019 as revenue for the period (Oct. 1 - Dec. 31) increased 41% over the previous quarter on a near-equal rise in the volume of carats sold and the average price per carat. The improved performance was sorely needed, as even with the Q4 increases the miner's 2019 fell by a third in a difficult market.
Lucapa Diamond Co. and its partners today announced its first run of mine diamond sales from the Lulo alluvial mine in Angola and the Mothae kimberlite mine in Lesotho generated combined gross proceeds of US$5.5 million (A$8.2 million).
Russian diamond mining giant Alrosa last month had its largest sale of rough diamonds in well over a year, earning $390.2 million at its January sale and adding another $14.8 million in polished goods for a total of $405 million. The last time the miner sold more rough goods in a single month was back in April of 2018.
Russian diamond miner Alrosa has decided to relocate its March auctions for rough and polished diamonds from Hong Kong to other trading centers. The move follows the decision of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) to reschedule the Hong Kong trade shows from March until May in response to the coronavirus epidemic.
Angola state-owned diamond mining company Endiama plans to float as much as 30% of its shares in an initial public offering (IPO) in 2020, according to Chairman José Manuel Gango Junior from an interview on the sidelines of the Africa Mining Indaba. He said the sale is part of a government plan to increase transparency in the diamond sector and bolster production. “We are preparing Endiama for a public listing and we are currently assessing the company’s value,” Gango Junior told Bloomberg.
This morning, February 6, some 535,000 carats of rough diamonds from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) went on tender at the Antwerp Diamond Tender Facility. The tender runs through Februay 12. The leading position of Antwerp as a rough diamond trading center convinced SACIM, a Congolese diamond miner, to hold its second Antwerp tender of DRC rough goods in the past ten weeks.