A veritable bonanza of large diamond recoveries, including the 910-carat Lesotho Legend, a high-quality diamond unearthed on 15 January - the second largest gem quality diamond recovered in the past century - sent Gem Diamonds' revenues soaring to the tune of an 174% increase in Q1 2018.
South African diamond producer Petra Diamonds reported a major revenue increase in its third quarter (Jan 1 - March 31 2018) driven by record production in the first three months of 2018. The miner said revenue for the quarter climbed 44% to $172 million from 1,373,771 carats sold, compared to $119 million from 1,069,886 carats sold a year earlier.
The world's two largest diamond miners reported diverging results in the first quarter of 2018, as De Beers production climbed 15% compared to the first quarter of 2017, totaling 8.5 million carats, while ALROSA's first quarter production fell by 17% year-over-year to 7.4 million carats. Noteworthy is that the production guidance for the year 2018 remained unchanged for both miners, as ALROSA confirmed its production plan for FY 2018 at 36.6 million carats, while De Beers' full year production guidance also remains unchanged at 34 to 36 million carats, subject to trading conditions.
Firestone Diamonds, which mines the Liqhobong mine in Lesotho (75% Firestone, 25% government of Lesotho) reports an increase in production during the third fiscal quarter ended 31 March 2018, as the higher grade led to a 6.6% rise in diamond recoveries despite challenging conditions due to above average rainfall during the wet season.
Canada's Stornoway Diamond Corp. realized a higher average price per carat from an improved size and quality mix in the first quarter of 2018, getting the year off to a strong start despite lower than expected carat production. According to the miner's First Quarter 2018 Production and Sales Results, Stornoway sold 399,135 carats at three tender sales in Antwerp for gross proceeds of US$45 million (C$56.4 million) at an average price of US$112 per carat (C$141 per carat).
Canadian miner Mountain Province Diamonds said that 2018 has seen a strong start in rough diamond markets. "The first two sales of the year substantially exceeded expectations, and prices have firmed across all product categories since the second half of 2017," said Interim President and CEO David Whittle. The company reported a net income of CAD$17.2 million for the full year which ended December 31, 2017.
Quebec-based Stornoway Diamonds full-year results reflect “a lower diamond price environment than was originally forecast by the Corporation". The company reported a net loss of CAD $114.6 million (US$ 89.1 M) from net income of CAD $19.6 million (US$ 15.2 M) in 2016 in its financial year ended December 31, 2017. The results reflect "a lower diamond price environment than was originally forecast by the Corporation". Before the impairment net income was $11.1 million for the fourth quarter and $15.0 million for the year.
Gem Diamonds returned to profit in 2017 as it recovered seven diamonds over 100 carats, but the miner's prospects are looking even better for the year ahead, as today's announcement of the recovery of a 169 carat stone is the seventh diamond of over 100 carats recovered already in 2018. Gem returned to profitability for the year ending 31 December, recording a profit before tax of $30.3m, up from a loss the previous year of $124.1m; profit after tax was $17.2m (-$144.1m) and attributable profit was $5.5m (-$158.8), after exceptional items.
North Arrow Minerals - a Canadian based exploration company focused on the identification and evaluation of diamond exploration opportunities in Canada - has recovered a total of 1,991 diamonds greater than +1 DTC (-1 mm), weighing 64.25 carats, from 209.84 dry tons of kimberlite. This represents an overall sample grade of 30.6 cpht (carats per hundred tons). The three largest recovered diamonds are 5.25, 2.09 and 1.06 carats.
Lucara Diamond achieved revenues of $220.8 million over the course of the full year 2017 (2016: $295.5 million) including the sale of the 1,109 carat Lesedi La Rona (LLR) for $53.0 million ($47,777 per carat). Including the sale of the LLR, the miner's 2017 average sales price was $847 per carat compared to 2016 average sales price of $824 per carat (including the sale of 813 carat Constellation diamond for $63.1 million).
The Sociedade Mineira de Catoca (Catoca) mining company in Angola intends to mine 7 million carats of diamonds next year, said Russian CEO Sergei Amelin. In November this year, the company announced it expected to mine 8 million carats of diamonds by the end of the year (2017), so their forecast for coming year represents a 6 percent step back comparted to 2017. The information was released on Tuesday in Saurimo City, eastern Lunda Sul Province, by the company’s general director, Sergei Amelin, who did not add the expected profit for this year.
The government of Zimbabwe reports it has doubled its diamond production to 1.8 million carats in 2017, from 961,000 carats in 2016, the drop in production exacerbated by Zimbabwe's merging of diamond mining companies previously operating in Chiadzwa diamond fields into the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC). The rise in diamond production is expected to translate into increased economic development. ZCDC CEO, Dr Moris Mpofu, said in an effort to achieve an effective system of diamond value management, the company had stopped selling diamonds in February last year.
BlueRock Diamonds plc, which owns and operates the Kareevlei Diamond Mine in the Kimberley region of South Africa, achieved record monthly sales in October 2017 of US$226,400 (ZAR 3.25 million), also achieving a record monthly number of carats sold at auction of 609.84. The October parcel was sold at an average of US$371.25 per carat, compared with the average price realised for the first 9 months of 2017 of US$336.65 per carat. The diamonds produced and included in October’s sales tender resulted in a grade of 2.64 cpht.
Vancouver-based Lucara Diamond with operations in Botswana made several announcements yesterday (Nov. 2), starting with news of its positive Preliminary Economic Assessment for taking its Karowe Mine underground, which would extend the life of the mine another ten years to approximately 2036.
Canadian miner Mountain Province Diamonds, a 49% participant with De Beers Canada in the Gahcho Kué diamond mine located in Canada’s Northwest Territories, announced in its third quarter Production Report it is well on its way to exceeding its full-year 2017 production guidance. In the third quarter of 2017, the GK Mine treated approximately 823,000 tons of ore through the process plant (14% greater than current forecast) and recovered approximately 1,825,000 carats on a 100% basis (19% greater than current forecast) for an average grade of approximately 2.22 carats per ton which, according
Petra Diamonds Ltd., the London-based diamond miner with five mining operations in South Africa and Tanzania, has reported that Q1 FY 2018 (for the period from July 1 to Oct. 20 2017, covering production and sales from July 1 to Sept. 30 2017) production was down 4% to 1,053,817 carats (Q1 FY 2017: 1,097,523 carats) mainly due to a planned reduction in tailings production at Finsch and Kimberley Ekapa Mining Joint Venture (“KEM JV”).
Canadian junior miner Diamcor Mining Inc.
Stornoway Diamond Corporation has released its third quarter production and sales results from its Renard Diamond Mine in Quebec, with better ore grades leading to higher carat recoveries; the junior miner also saw growth in carats sold and an improving price per carat, though the issue of diamond breakage has yet to be solved. During the quarter, 506,380 tons of ore were processed compared to the plan of 540,000 tons (-6%).
Gem Diamonds, which owns 70% of the Letšeng mine in Lesotho - famous for the production of large, high quality, exceptional white diamonds - and 100% of the Ghaghoo mine in Botswana, reported a 14% drop in revenue for H1 2017, to $92.9m from $109.1m a year earlier. The poor results from Letšeng were reportedly due to a 12% fall in carat recovery (50,478), as well as a decline in average diamond prices, which fell to $1,779 from $1,899 y-o-y.
Mountain Province Diamonds - a 49% participant with De Beers Canada in the Gahcho Kué diamond mine located in Canada’s Northwest Territories - reports strong interest in Antwerp for Gahcho Kué Diamonds in Q2 2017 (ended June 30, 2017), despite a challenging rough diamond market. For the three months of Q2, MPD reported a net income of US$6 million (C$7.6 million) or US$0.39 (C$0.05) per share.
Gem Diamonds has released its H1 trading update showing improvement in the discovery of highly valuable diamonds from Letšeng mine in Lesotho, as well as a strong uptick in sales prices for its large stones, but are investors convinced that real recovery is on the horizon? After a year of declining large diamond recoveries (5) and prices (-26%), the company has recovered five +100 carat diamonds since the end of March alone (4 in reporting period, 1 just after) and has seen its pricing increase to an average of US$1,779 per carat for the period, up 20% from US$1,480 per carat in H2 2016.
As anticipated, while Petra Diamonds achieved record levels of production and sales in FY 2017, with production up 8% to 4.0 Mcts (FY 2016: 3.7 Mcts) and revenue up 11% to US$477.0 million (FY 2016: US$430.9 million), investors remain worried as the company missed its production and revenue guidance by 8-9% due to the slower than anticipated build-up of its expansion programs across its operations. Furthermore, the company pushed back its production guidance and unveiled higher than expected spending and debt, causing its share price to tumble.
In the first six months of this year, ALROSA Group processed 16.2 million tons of ore and sand, which yielded 19.3 million carats of extracted rough diamonds, a 14% increase compared to the same period in 2016, the company writes in a press release. The major driver of the jump in rough diamond production was their increased processing of ore with higher diamond grade from the pipes Yubileynaya, Zarnitsa, Karpinskogo-1, Mir underground mine, and sand from alluvial deposits. The Aikhal and Udachny underground mines also demonstrated a growth in diamond mining.
Zimbabwe's rough diamond production surged to 1.1 million carats in the first half of 2017, compared to 690,000 carats produced in the entirety of 2016 (the newspaper NewsDay last month cited 2016 production as 961,000 carats), said Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa. He attributes the sudden rise to the government's $30 million capital investment in equipment for Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), which has enabled the mining company to shift from low-vale alluvial mining to more lucrative conglomerate and kimberlite diamond mining.
Rio Tinto reports rough diamond output at its Argyle Mine in Australia reached 3.2 million carats in Q2 2017, representing a 7% increase over output in the first quarter of the year, but an 8% decline compared to the 3.5 million carats recovered in Q2 2017. For the first half of 2017, production fell 9% to 6.2 million carats from 6.9 million carats in the first half last year. The company attributes the decline to lower ore volumes processed following wet weather and additional maintenance required in the second quarter of this year.
Canadian junior miner Stornoway Diamonds sold 350,159 carats in two scheduled Antwerp sales (2017 sales #4 and #5) for gross proceeds of US$31.9 million (C$40.9 million), at an average price of US$87 per carat (C$117 per carat), the company announced in a press release. This represents a drop from the 459,126 carats sold across three sales in Q1, earning US$38 million, but the price of rough per carat rose from $US83 per carat earned in the previous quarter.
As Petra Diamonds approaches the close of financial year 2017 (ending 30 June 2017), it has released a market update revising its production and revenue guidance down by 8-9%, despite the fact that the miner is on track to achieve record revenue and production figures in FY 2017. "However, due to the slower than anticipated build-up of its expansion programmes across its operations, production is now estimated to be ca. 8-9% lower than guidance of ca. 4.4 million carats. As a result, revenue is expected to be ca.
Junior miner Firestone Diamonds now expects to recover approximately 360,000 carats in the financial year ending 30 June 2017, against April's guidance of 300,000 carats, or roughly 20% more than anticipated. Firestone announced on 26 April 2017 that commissioning activities at the Liqhobong Diamond Mine in Lesotho (owned 75% by Firestone and 25% by the Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho) were largely complete and that final ramp up was progressing on track, having achieved the plant's nameplate throughput capacity on multiple occasions since the commencement of operations.
Australian junior miner Lucapa Diamond Co. earned US$0.95 million (A$1.25 million) from a parcel of 1,236 carats at their fifth sale in 2017 of rough diamonds from the Lulo Project in Angola. This represents an average price of US$770 (A$1,013) per carat, and brings their total 2017 sales to US$15.4 million (A$20.3) at an average price of US$1,620 (A$2,132) per carat.
As a result of declining diamond grades and sizes and increased costs, diamond miner Trans Hex has decided to to put its Bloeddrif mine, part of the Lower Orange River operations in South Africa on hold. According to Rough & Polished, the company said taking action is necessary to contain further losses and focus on Trans Hex’ Baken mine. The Bloeddrif mine employs 115 people.
Lucapa Diamond Company completed it’s fourth sale in 2017 from the alluvial diamonds from the Lulo Diamond Project in Angola, achieving an additional $1.3 million in revenues. The miner sold 1,878 carats at an average price of $695 per carat, lower than the $1,317 average the previous month. The latest sale brings total proceeds from the Lulo diamond sales in 2017 to $14.5m, reaching an average of $1,747 per carat.
Stornoway Diamond Corporation today announced the production of one million carats of diamonds at the Renard Diamond Mine in Quebec. The Canadian miner declared commercial production on January 1st, 2017, and as of December 31 2016, the company had recorded the recovery of 448,887 carats from total of 399,162 tons of ore. Full name-plate capacity of 6,000 tons per day, based on 73% plant utilization, is scheduled to be achieved by the end of the second quarter. According to their guidance for 2017, they expect diamond sales of 1.8 million carats at ten tender sales in Antwerp, Belgium.
Russian diamond mining giant ALROSA reports a drop in rough diamond sales in April 2017, earning US$310.2 million as, "the share of small-size, inexpensive rough diamonds was significantly higher than early in 2016." Polished diamond sales in April amounted to US$7.6 million. In January–April 2017, ALROSA sold 16.9 million carats of rough and polished diamonds, which is 7% higher than the sales in January-April 2016.
Mountain Province has announced its first quarter results (period ended March 31, 2017) from diamonds sold from the new Gahcho Kué mine, of which it owns 49% in a joint venture with De Beers. Mountain Province earned approximately US$37.7 million from three sales in Antwerp of approximately 522,000 carats - for an average price of $72 per carat.
Canadian miner Stornoway Diamond Corporation earned US$35.4 million (C$48.5m) from the sale of 459,126 carats rough of stones for the quarter ended March 31, 2017, the first full operating period for the Renard Mine. Commercial production was officially declared on January 1, 2017.
This article is reprinted from Paul Zimnisky Diamond Analytics, courtesy of Paul Zimnisky.
Lucara Diamond Corp. yesterday (May 2) today reported first quarter revenues of $26.1 million, or $405 per carat, which represents nearly a 50% drop from the $50.6 million earned at $649 per carat in Q1 2016. The company explains the results as follows: "The decrease in revenues in Q1 2017 compared to Q1 2016 was due to a lower volume of carats being sold and a decrease in the carat weight of specials sold. A larger volume of +10.8ct specials were sold in Q1 2016 (6,936 carats) compared to Q1 2017 (2,379 carats), which reflected the above average recoveries of specials during Q4 2015.
Mountain Province Diamonds announced the production for the first quarter ended March 31 from the Gahcho Kué Diamond Mine. The GK Mine declared commercial production on March 1. For the three months ended March 31 the GK Mine treated approximately 492,000 tons of ore through the process plant and recovered approximately 867,000 carats on a 100% basis for an average grade of approximately 1.76 carats per ton.
Petra Diamonds reports its rough diamond output in Q3 2017 (January 1 - March 31 2017) remained steady at 999,768 carats, from 995,905 carats a year earlier; however, the company arrived there by increasing Run of Mine (ROM) production 18% to 760,916 carats while tailings production fell 32% to 238,852, in part due to a planned reduction at Finsch and in part due to heavy rain restricting surface recovery.