ALROSA has shifted operations at the iconic Udachnaya mine from open-pit to underground mining that will eventually yield 5 million carats a year. The company said it completed open-pit mining at the Udachnaya pipe earlier this month, having recovered 2.67 million carats of rough diamonds in the first half of 2015.
Andrei Zharkov, who was appointed in April, says no changes are needed regarding the miner's existing long-term strategy although there may be "manual adjustment" of some sales policy mechanisms to increase efficiency during slowdowns or at a time of rising prices. "I don't think it is now necessary to adjust the strategy and the long-term program of ALROSA. The company has taken certain decisions on strategic development and it is moving in accordance with them," he told Interfax on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
The firm explores and develops Saskatchewan's diamond resources and is currently working on the FALC-JV and Star Diamond project in the Fort à la Corne forest in central Saskatchewan in Canada.
The firm's Chief Operating Officer Paul Day also told the Botswana Resource Sector Conference that diamond sales from its Karowe mine in the country were predicted to be 400,000 to 420,000 carats this year. He added that the firm would hold a tender of 'exceptional', or large stones, that will close on July 16, with another expected in November.
Debswana, the mining firm jointly owned by De Beers and the government of Botswana, is to put major diamond production projects in place at Jwaneng and Orapa in the next five years, its managing director Balisi Bonyongo told the Botswana Resource Sector Conference. He said investments would unlock further diamond potential under a program called Horizon 2.
Describing itself as in “a transitional period”, Petra Diamonds on Friday said it expected its revenue for the full year to be around $430-million, owing to variability in its product mix. The diamond miner further noted that it expected to meet its initial full-year production target of 3.2-million carats, but not the 3.3-million-carat revised guidance it had set in February.
Mining production jumped by 7.7% from year a year before in April, with the highest growth rate of 81.6% posted in the platinum group metals (PGMs) sector. That was due to the work stoppages a year before when the sector was adversely affected by several months of industrial action.
Botswana-focused Lucara Diamonds is spending $55-million on upgrading its Karowe diamond plant in central Botswana. Currently all material goes through a dense media separation (DMS) unit but in the future all of the material bigger than 75 mm will be subjected to X-ray transmission (XRT) technology, which picks out the diamonds from their carbon, improves recovery of large diamonds and limits diamond damage. “We’ll be pioneering XRT recovery in diamond processing,” Lucara COO Paul Day told Creamer Media’s Mining Weekly Online.
Rapaport conducted an interview with Stephen Wetherall, CEO of Lucapa Diamond Company, about the Lulo alluvial mine in Angola that it operates and partly owns (40%). “Our goal is to reach alluvial production of 50,000 carats per year, which should enable us to generate sufficient cash to fund part of our kimberlite exploration program."
The Johannesburg-listed firm recorded strong earnings for the financial year ended March 31, as operations recovered from losses the year before, with net earnings up sharply.
Peter Major, a mining specialist at Cadiz Corporate Solutions, warns against assuming current conditions will prevail since the mining industry in the country has changed so much over the last few decades that the old rules no longer apply. “South Africa is the world’s richest country in terms of mineral resources. We have more resources than Russia and the US combined. This was the greatest mining country in the world for 100 years, but it’s not anymore.”
Diamond explorer DiamondCorp says mining operations at the the Upper K4 (UK4) mining block at its Lace diamond mine in the Free State, South Africa, is on schedule to commence in the second half of this year – several months ahead of the original development schedule.
Having completed the upgrade of its Kareevlei plant, BlueRock Diamonds has accelerated commercial production at its Northern Cape mine. “Now that we have restarted production, we are revenue-generating again and expect to make our first sales since commissioning of the new plant, in the June auction,” said BlueRock CEO Riaan Visser in an update to shareholders on Tuesday.
The ALROSA subsidiary, OJSC Almazy Anabara, has secured a license for geological survey, exploration and diamond mining at Eyekitsky which has an inferred resource estimate of 31 million carats. ALROSA plans to produce a total of 38 million carats of rough this year compared to 36.2 million carats in 2014.
Located 220 kilometres northeast of the city of Yellowknife and next to the remote lake from which it takes its name, De Beers’ Snap Lake Mine is Canada’s first completely underground diamond mine. The fish tasting is one of the ways the De Beers team works to strengthen traditional knowledge-based environmental programs as part of its partnership with local Aboriginal communities.
De Beers is currently investing over US$2 billion in converting the Venetia open pit mine in South Africa into an underground operation. Extending production at the site to 2043, with the potential to deliver an estimated 96 million carats, the project is the biggest capital investment in South Africa in the company’s history. It is on track for production to commence in 2021.
Credit agency, Moody's Investors Service, has revised upwards diamond miner Alrosa’s credit rating to Ba2 from Ba3 and gave a positive reassessment of the company’s financial outlook. “Following a reassessment of the credit profile, today's rating action reflects Moody's view that despite the inherent risks that remain in the Russian market, Alrosa has continued to perform in line with Moody's guidance for a positive rating action, and to maintain a solid liquidity profile," Moody's wrote.
ALROSA’s Q1 2015 diamond production totalled 8.4 million carats, up 6% y-o-y. Indicatively, they sold a total of 9.0 mil. carats, including 7.0 mil. carats of gem-quality diamonds at an average price of USD 161 per carat. Signifcantly, this represents a 3% decline in rough diamond prices, affected by a softer diamond market.
The Q1 2015 revenue from rough diamond sales is set to reach at least USD 1.1 billion.
Andrey Pismenny, former Chief Engineer of ALROSA, is appointed as CEO of Severalmaz JSC operating in the Arkhangelsk region for the next 5 years. A processing capacity increase in 2014 will give Severalmaz an opportunity to increase diamond production at the M.I. Lomonosov diamond field to 2 million carats in 2015 and to over 5 million carats thereafter.The development of Severalmaz is an important part of ALROSA’s Long-term development program that envisages production growth from 36.2 million carats in 2014 to more than 41 million carats by 2019.
Mwana Africa Plc said it will cost almost $100 million to realize plans to raise production tenfold at its venture with the Democratic Republic of Congo’s state-owned diamond miner. The Societe Miniere de Bakwanga, or Miba, has the potential to increase annual diamond output to as many as 8 million carats from 500,000 carats now, said Mwana CEO Kalaa Mpinga. The plan involves shifting from alluvial mining to targeting kimberlite diamonds.
The firm, which explores and mines in West Africa, posted a loss of $934,000 for the six months that ended on December 31 compared with a $1.55 million loss a year before. The firm said that it was seeking to raise $20 million for its project in Sierra Leone.
The ALROSA Executive Committee considered the prospects of diamond mining at the Verkhne-Munskoye and Zarnitsa deposits whose development is a part of the company’s long-term program that aims to raise output to 41 million carats.
Zimbabwe's Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Walter Chidakwa, told parliament earlier this month of a plan to merge all the diamond miners in the country into one consolidated firm to be called the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company in which the government would take a 50% stake. Some of the diamond mining firms operating in the country are reportedly “afraid of saying no” to the proposed merger.
The Botswana government has awarded a new license to the firm's Atlas Minerals local subsidiary to be explored as part of the exploration joint venture with Russia's Alrosa. Company Chairman John Teeling: "A small but important step. We feel that there is a very good chance that unknown kimberlites exist in the area covered by our existing block PL 207 and the new block PL 085. The joint venture is now zeroing in on targets."
The firm's directors asked the Australian stock exchange in Sydney to suspend trading in its shares as of March 23 However, the firm said it is still going ahead with capital raising announced on March 19 relating to its diamond mine in the Northern Territory, Australia.
Rio Tinto PLC is expecting to shore up its profitability by recovering more from its resources thanks to 3D mapping. The 3D technology is similar to an ultrasound image, allowing to quickly and easily evaluate what is underground.
John Paulson, one of AngloGold Ashanti's largest investors, will oppose plans for a corporate break-up, saying the spin-off would destroy shareholder value. Shares in AngloGold fell 14% after the spin-off plan was announced.
Kimberley Diamonds has selected Consulmet to design plant modifications for the purpose of treating ore. Kimberley set to restart operations in fourth quarter of 2015.
Rio Tinto has announced that it is giving 500 carats of rough diamonds to the U.S. Smithsonian Institution for exhibition and research purposes.