Firestone Diamonds announced it had entered a binding share sales agreement for its Botswana operations. Botswana-owned Visionary Victor Resources will acquire the BK11 mine, as well as Firestone’s 90% interest in its local subsidiary, Monak Ventures, for US$50,000.
Firestone Diamonds has been trying to offload their Botswana asset for nearly six years, as the project has been on care and maintenance since 2012. At that time, the mine plan estimated it still had 1.2 million carats in reserves.
Last week Tanzania assumed the chairmanship of the African Diamond Producers Association (ADPA) from Namibia. The minerals minister Dotto Biteko accepted the chairmanship on behalf of the country, saying that in their term as leader, "Tanzania will make sure that it improves ADPA systems so as it can bring positive benefits to member states just as intended."
The oubreak of the coronavirus has led to uncertainty concerning Lucara Diamond's next rough diamond tender, prompting the Government of Botswana to already give Lucara its permission to hold their next scheduled tender in Antwerp, if necessary. The next quarterly tender isscheduled to take place in mid May 2020, according to a statement from the Canadian miner.
South Africa has joined the list of countries on lockdown to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. It will go into effect on midnight Thursday 26 March to midnight Thursday 16 April. President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the move on Monday night. This will be a massive hit to an economy that is already in recession, and likely to its critical mining industry. To help cushion the blow, he announced interventions, including tax relief and other measures.
Dominion Diamond Mines (Dominion) yesterday, March 19, announced that it has decided to suspend operations at the Ekati Diamond Mine in Canada to safeguard its employees and the communities surrounding its operations from threat posed by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) today officially announced the postponement of the African Diamond Conference due to safety and travel concerns arising from the COVID-19 outbreak. The conference was scheduled to take place in Durban, South Africa from May 5-6, and will likely be rescheduled for late October.
Canadian miner Star Diamond Corporation is taking Rio Tinto Exploration Canada to court over what it claims is a breach of their agreement, excessive costs and a failure by the mining giant to share information. The legal proceedings are related to the June 2017 option to joint venture agreement over the Star-Orion South diamond project in central Saskatchewan.
Firestone Diamonds this morning (Feb. 25) announced its plans to cancel its AIM listing as its anticipated value of its diamonds never materialized, leaving the miner unable to service its debt. The deterioration of the rough diamond market in 2019, putting additional price pressure on the smaller stones that form the bulk of the diamonds recovered from the Liqhobong mine is Lesotho, effectively sealed the deal. Firestone says that the costs associated with maintaining the AIM listing provide minimal benefit and the funds can be better utilised to extend the company's operating window.
Anglo American and Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) have joined forces to develop what will become the world's largest hydrogen powered ultra-class electric mining haul truck. The monster truck is key to Anglo American’s Sustainable Mining Plan and is part of their efforts to live up to their assertion that mining ought to contribute to a low-carbon world.
Botswana reportedly plans to conclude negotiations with De Beers on a diamond sales agreement by the end of April to replace the current 10-year deal that expires in January, write Matthew Hill and Mbongeni Mguni for Bloomberg.
Dominion Diamond Mines and its owner The Washington Companies has appointed Patrick Merrin to be its new interim chief executive officer, taking over from Shane Durgin who has left Dominion to “pursue other opportunities,” according to Dominion’s statement. He is the miner’s third CEO since The Washington Companies took over the Canadian diamond miner in November 2017 for $1.2 billion, acquiring all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Dominion for US$14.25 pe
In a wide-ranging keynote address at the African Mining Indaba taking place this week in Cape Town, Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani laid out his vision for the mining industry and the steps it must take to "connect the future of mining with emerging and next-generation societal values. These are the values of increased transparency, responsible technological innovation, sustainability and shared prosperity, all of which are emergent in our world and are shaping a very different future society."
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), on the margins of the African Mining Indaba in Cape Town, South Africa, yesterday announced it will be organizing its second African Diamond Conference (ADC) in Durban, South Africa, on May 5 & 6. The program and registration details are available here.
Russian diamond miner Alrosa has started drilling at the Mir kimberlite pipe as part of the company's investigation into the safety and economic feasibility of restarting production at its unique diamond deposit, the miner announced last week. The company said it will commence its studies at the depth of 1,200 – 1,600 meters below the surface in an effort to define more precisely the pipe’s dimensions, its position, diamond quality and grades, as well as geological conditions and hydrogeology of the deposit. Total exploration costs are estimated at $32.5 million (RUB 2 billion).
The Angolan diamond sector might put an end to semi-industrial mining, aiming to provide more competitiveness, transparency and efficiency to the activities in the sector, said José Manuel Augusto Ganga Júnior, president of Endiama's board of directors. Endiama is Angola’s national diamond prospecting, exploration, cutting and marketing company. Summing up the sector’s activities in 2019, he said the aim was to bring an end to semi-industrial exploration and keep only industrial operations, regardless of whether they are run by large or small cooperatives.
Petra Diamonds, a leading independent diamond mining group, on Tuesday announced it had appointed a successor to the miner's founder and chairman, Adonis Pouroulis: the company has named mining engineer Peter Hill as nonexecutive director and chairman-designate effective January 1, 2019. He will take over as Non-Executive Chairman on 31 March 2020, at which time Pouroulis, who founded Petra in 1997 and has been its chairman ever since, will step down. The company recently eliminated the role of chief operating officer because of a management restructuring.
Having already revised their 2019 full-year production guidance downwards to ~31 million carats in response to a backlog of polished diamond inventories in the midstream and weaker trading conditions, De Beers' parent company Anglo American yesterday announced it is lowering its diamond production estimate by a million carats in 2020 and 2021. Citing "challenging market conditions," Anglo American notes that De Beers' year-to-date revenues have fallen 26% since 2018, due to lower volumes of sales, a weaker product mix and a softening price index.
Zimbabwe's treasury will cut the royalty for diamond mining to 10% from 15% of gross revenue to reduce the cost of mining for conglomerate (hard rock) diamonds, attract investment and increase extraction, The Sunday Mail wrote over the weekend. Presenting the 2020 National Budget, Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube said that since diamond miners are now exploiting deep-lying deposits, the cost of extraction has significantly increased.
Press release: 1 week until the first Angola Mining Conference & there is still time to register
After a nearly month-long cessation of production activities due to power outages, Firestone Diamonds resumed production at its 75% owned Liqhobong Mine in Lesotho on October 26. The company successfully commissioned rented diesel generators and the processing plant is currently operating at between 80% and 90% of full capacity as the new power generation system is being optimised.
Press Release: Only 3 weeks until AMC 2019: “Unlocking the potential of the national mining sector through investment and diversification”.
The inaugural Angolan Mining Conference & Exhibition will take place in just three weeks. The Angolan president recently invited foreign industry giants to invest in the country’s economy, including the mining sector. In less than four years, Angola’s rough diamond production is estimated to reach more than 14 million carats, securing its position as the world’s fifth largest diamond producer.
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.
Russian diamond miner Alrosa served as a co-organizer of the ‘Russian-African Collaboration in the Diamond Industry’ panel session at the Russia-Africa Economic Forum business program in Sochi, the company announced today. Russia and African countries together account for about 75% of the global rough diamond production and are truly interested in the sustainable development of the global industry.
As first reported nearly two weeks ago, the power is still out at Firestone Diamonds' Liqhobong mine in Lesotho. The company said that "whilst every effort has been made over the past week to identify and to resolve the power issue, the Liqhobong mine remains without sufficient power to operate the processing plant."
The first ever Angola Mining Conference & Exhibition will take place from 20 - 21 November 2019 in Luanda, Republic of Angola. The theme of the conference is “Unlocking the potential of the national mining sector through investment and diversification” and it is being organized by the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Petroleum (MMRP) in association with AME Trade Ltd, United Kingdom.
Firestone Diamonds has announced a production disruption at its 75% owned Liqhobong Mine in Lesotho due to intermittent power supply. The Liqhobong Mine is supplied electricity from the Muela Hydropower Station (MHS) which is owned by the Lesotho Electricity Company (LEC) and which forms part of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project Phase 1 Katse Dam.
Members of the World Diamond Council (WDC) will be traveling to Antwerp, Belgium, for the organization’s Annual General Meeting, scheduled to take place October 2 and 3, 2019. The yearly gathering of the WDC membership will provide the opportunity to review the position of the diamond and jewelry industry regarding the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, less than two months before the KP ends its current reform and review cycle.
Russian diamond miner Alrosa, the world leader in diamond production, confirmed its status as a leader among gold and diamond mining companies in terms of investments in social programs, according to a study conducted by the PwC Advisory. The study, which is based on the official reports of companies who mine precious metals and rough diamonds, covers the period from 2016 to 2018 and focuses on key aspects of sustainable development, including investments in social programs and environmental protection me
The World Gold Council (WGC), the market development organisation for the gold industry, last week announced the launch of its Responsible Gold Mining Principles (RGMP). The RGMPs are a framework that set out clear expectations for consumers, investors and the downstream gold supply chain as to what constitutes responsible gold mining. The WGC, working with its members, the world’s leading gold mining companies, has set out the principles that it believes address key environmental, social and governance issues for the gold mining sector.
Two major Canadian diamond miners, Stornoway and Mountain Province, have been put on notice and will be facing a delisting review from respectively the Toronto Stock Exchange and Nasdaq, as an extremely soft market has punished their recent results and their share prices have plummeted.
Namibia this week assumed the chairmanship of the Association of African Diamond Producers Association (ADPA), assuming the leadership of the group from Guinea.
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.
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 2019 Kimberly Process (KP) Intersessional, with India as its Chair, will take place in Mumbai starting next week Monday. Ahead of the meeting, Stéphane Fischler, President of the World Diamond Council (WDC), urged mining and manufacturing countries in particular to heed the concerns of those in the diamond-consuming countries and to address issues regarding the integrity of the diamond value chain. Those in the industry who are more directly involved with consumers appreciate the urgency of KP reform, as time is running out.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Diamond-rich Botswana expects mineral revenues in the 2019/20 fiscal year to drop by 4 percent to 13.6 billion pula ($1.26 billion) due to a decline in royalties and dividends, a minerals ministry budget document showed last week. Botswana is heavily dependent on its diamond resources which, according to the World Bank, is responsible for 25% of the country's GDP, approximately 85% of exports earnings and about one-third of the government's revenues.