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.
Visitors to the Crater of Diamonds State Park in the state of Arkansas, USA, had a prolific year of digging in 2019, recovering more than 99 carats of rough diamonds. Treasure hunters from 37 states and one foreign country found 491 diamonds during the year, including 336 white gems, 73 brown, and 82 yellow. The total weight for all diamonds registered last year was 99.14 carats, which outpaced the volume of diamonds found in 2018 by 22 carats.
In what could turn out to be a pivotal development in rough diamond financing for Alrosa's long-term clients, Antwerp-based international company Dali Diamond has signed a loan agreement with Eximbank of Russia (part of the Russian Export Center Group) for the financing of rough diamond purchases from Alrosa. Financing for the purchase of rough diamonds has been a major concern in recent years as several banks have reduced their exposure to the diamond market or withdrawn from it altogether.
As anticipated, De Beers first rough diamond sight of 2020 bounced back to historical levels, earning $545 million (provisional result) at their January sale. The January sale is typically one of the largest of the year as the industry replenishes their stocks following the holiday season and the 2020 iteration did not disappoint.
London-based mid-tier miner Petra Diamonds booked a 3% increase in production from its mines in South Africa and Tanzania in H1 2020 (six months ended 31 December 2019) recovering 2.07 million carats. This keeps the miner on track to meet or exceed its FY 2020 production guidance of approximately 3.8 Mcts despite several disruptions. Revenue for H1 FY 2020, however, fell 6% in comparison to H1 FY 2019 to $193.9 million due to lower diamond prices mainly relating to the weaker diamond market (-10%) and compounded by a poorer product mix at the Finsch and Williamson mines.
Following the tremendous success of the first ever direct tender in Antwerp of rough diamonds from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), a second tender of 500,000 carats will be held in the coming weeks. Featuring rough stones from SACIM SARL (Anhui-Congo Mining Investment Company) mined in the Province of Kasaï Oriental, with 10-15% of gem-quality, the tender is being organized by Samir Gems and hosted by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) in its Antwerp Diamond Tender Facility. The tender takes place from 6 - 12 February 2020.
The government of Russia’s Yakutia region, a major shareholder in diamond producer Alrosa, has proposed that precious metals and gems repository Gokhran buy $0.5-$1 billion of the firm’s rough diamonds in the event of diminished demand, Interfax news agency reported. Based on reporting from Reuters, the proposal was made to President Vladimir Putin and Russia’s finance ministry, which is responsible for Gokhran within the government, Interfax quoted Aysen Nikolaev, the head of Yakutia region, as saying.
London-based BlueRock Diamonds, which operates and owns 74% of the Kareevlei mine based in Kimberley, South Africa, achieved profitability for the first time in the second half of 2019 after more than doubling its diamond output and revenue. The junior miner made good on its September prediction that it would achieve profitability in H2 2019 through enhanced production.
Angola's industrial diamond miners produced 9.09 million carats in 2019, a decline of 5% on the year. Adding semi-industrial production to industrial output, the total was 9.12 million carats. The figures came courtesy of Ganga Júnior, the president of Angola’s state diamond exploration, mining and licensing company, Endiama. He attributed the declline (4.8% the actual figure cited) to the closure of a diamond mine. He said the semi-industrial diamond sector had accounted for the production of 35,856 carats last year.
De Beers might "significantly reduce" its number of sightholders and could be introducing changes to the way it allocates and sells its rough diamonds, according to Thomas Biesheuvel of Bloomberg. The miner's current six-year contract with buyers expires at the end of 2020.
Rio Tinto has lowered its 2020 rough diamond production guidance to 12-14 million carats, down from 17 million carats produced in 2019 and 18.4 million carats the year prior.
Diamond traders established in the United Kingdom should not be too greatly affected by the latest, if not last, round of negotiations ahead of the country's exit from the European Union (EU). The UK has managed to secure the status of participating member of the Kimberley Process (KP) diamond certification scheme. The UK had already held the status as a member of the European Union.
Russian diamond miner Alrosa ended a challenging 2019 on a high note, with December rough diamond sales increasing 7.4% year-over-year to $352.1 million, good for their second largest monthly haul of 2019. The company also sold $11.6 million in polished diamonds last month, an increase of 132% over December 2018 and also representing their highest monthly earnings for polished diamonds last year. These end-of-year improvements, however, were not enough to correct the significant downturn in sales that typified 2019.
Lucara Diamond Corp. has reported that its final diamond tender of 2019, held on December 12, generated sales proceeds of US$52.9 million. Sales of goods from the Karowe Diamond Mine in Botswana were 16% higher than expected, and achieved an average price of US$548 per carat. They noted improvments to market pricing in all size classes. The December tender bring Lucara's 2019 revenue at $192.5 million, exceeding the 2019 revenue guidance of $170 - $180 million and outpacing their 2018 sales of $176.2 million.
De Beers brought a tumultuous 2019 to a close on a positive note, as provisional rough diamond sales of $425 million at their Cycle 10 sight represents their highest earnings in seven months since the April sight and the fourth straight sight with increasing sales. While it does not quite match the $544 million earned at the final sight of 2018, it does demonstrate that demand for rough is stabilizing - though their buyers did not really have much say in the matter, as the miner had withdrawn the additional flexibility provided to sightholders since July.
Lucapa Diamond Company earned US$6.4 million (A$9.3 million) at the latest sale of diamonds from the Lulo alluvial mine in Angola and the Mothae kimberlite mine in Lesotho. This sales brings Lucapa's total 2019 sales of Lulo and Mothae diamonds to US$55.0 million (A$79.0 million), more than doubling their entire earnings of US$26.4 million a year ago.
Russian diamond mining giant Alrosa reported a rise in rough-diamond sales for the second straight month, selling $282.1 million in November, which is a 6% increase over November 2018 ($266.6 million) and an 11% increase over last month ($253.9 million). The miner's polished-diamond sales fell to $5.8 million from $10.4 million last month and $7.4 million in November 2019. Total sales of $287.8 million worth of rough and polished diamonds represent a 5% increase year-over-year.
Despite the concerted efforts of the Angolan government to bolster its rough diamond trade, the challenging market has led to less postive results this year than hoped for. According to the Ministry of Finance (Minfin), Angola exported 706,900 carats of rough diamonds in October, a decrease of 8.3 percent compared to September, reports Macauhub. Since the beginning of the year, the country has exported 7.12 million carats, which is 11.4% fewer than in the same period last year.
The first ever direct tender in Antwerp of 350,000 carats of rough diamonds from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) delivered on all expectations.Out of 115 companies, both Antwerp-based companies and foreign buyers from Israel, India, Dubai and other countries, attending the viewings, 79 companies placed 426 bids on 36 lots.
Russian miner AGD Diamonds' most recent rough diamond auction on the electronic sales platform of its trading subsidiary, Grib Diamonds NV, fetched over $25 million. The company noted an increase in demand for diamond goods and a pickup in the diamond market. AGD commented that the prices they achieved represented a cessation of the decline in average prices and that the first signs of market stabilization are now tangible. The company said it expects a full recovery of demand and rough prices in the second half of 2020.
India's exports of cut and polished diamonds in October declined by 15.4% year-on-year to $1.95 billion as compared to $2.30 billion in October 2018, according to the provisional data released by The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) of India. The $1.95 billion is the same amount exported in September, which represented an 18% decline from the year prior. The volume of polished diamonds exported declined 8% to 2.8 million carats, as the average price per carat for the month fell 22% to $689 per carat. For the fiscal year to date (April - Oct.
Diamcor Mining, a publicly-traded junior diamond mining company based in Canada and operating in South Africa, has reported a net income of C$350,676 for Q2 (the period ended September 30, 2019), a significant increase when compared to a net loss of C$417,368 realized during the same period in the prior fiscal year
Alrosa sold 93 rough diamonds with a total weight of 1,560 carats, and earned $11 million in sales revenue at an auction for special size rough diamonds (weighing over 10.8 carats) held in New York. At approximately $7,050 per carat, the miner says it is the best result achieved in the last few months. There were 95 participants from the US, Belgium, India, Israel, UAE, Russia and Hong Kong.
The price cut De Beers introduced for the November sight (Cycle 9) appears to have generated some movement in the rough diamond market, as the miner sold (provisionally) $390 million at its latest sale. This marks the third straight sight with increasing sales and a 31% jump over the $297 million in sales at the previous sight, though it is still 12% lower than in Cycle 9 a year ago.
While Russian diamond mining giant Alrosa's October rough diamond sales remained steady at $253.9 million and even outpaced by $20 million their sales in the same month last year, Q3 (July-Sept.) saw a significant downturn as the market remained difficult and sales volumes declined. Meanwhile, the miner got a bit of sparkle from their polished diamond sales during the month, earning $10.4 million, good for their best polished results of the year by over $2 million. The miner says supply and demand have shown signs of regaining their balance.
Starting November 14, 350,000 carats of rough Congolese diamonds worth an estimated $6 million will go on tender in Antwerp, as the DRC and Antwerp take a first major step toward implementing a cooperation agreement signed in September to facilitate access for DRC miners to Antwerp’s transparent diamond market, and in particular its tender houses. The complete parcel will contain approximately 15% gem-quality goods and 85% industrial-grade diamonds, with closing bids on November 20.
The Angolan National Diamond Trading Company (Sodiam) has reported an increase in revenues from the sale of rough diamonds during Q3 2019, driven by a significant increase in the volume of carats sold as the average price per carat fell.
Mid-tier diamond miner Petra Diamonds Ltd said its first-quarter revenue sank sharply as sales and prices fell, despite production increasing slightly compared to the same period the prior year. For Q1 FY 2020, covering production and sales from 1 July 2019 to 30 September 2019, diamond production rose 1% to 1.08 million carats from 1.07 million carats a year prior.
Russia's Alrosa, the leading diamond producer in the world by volume, has recovered its largest gem-quality rough stone in three years: 232.4 carats. The massive diamond was was unearthed at Udacnhaya kimberlite pipe on October 19.
Rio Tinto saw its diamond output fall in the third quarter of 2019 (three months ended September 30, 2019), citing lower carat grades from its Argyle mine in Australia and lower ore availability at the Diavik mine in Canada. The multinational mining group reported a 7% decline in diamonds produced during the quarter and a 9% drop over the first nine months of the year.
In a preliminary update for Q3 2019, Singapore-listed diamond equipment and services provider Sarine noted that "the significant drop (40% less y-o-y) in the quantities of rough stones entering the production pipeline" has temporarily eased the excess inventories in the midstream, "somewhat alleviating" the issue of working capital in the short term.
De Beers Group Auctions today announced the launch of its new auction portal, the company stated in a press release. The new platform "provides customers with an improved bidding experience through a range of enhancements to functionality and to the user experience. The portal harnesses cutting-edge technology and incorporates a range of valuable insights garnered from customer feedback," the Group writes. They describe it as a "better, smarter and faster way for customers to purchase their diamonds." See the announcement in annex below.
Lucapa's latest sales of rough diamonds from its Lulo (Angola) and Mothae (Lesotho) mines totalled $US10.4 million ($A15.5m), taking combined sales to date for 2019 to $US45.9m ($A65.7m).
Petra Diamonds will hold a special tender of the 20.08-carat blue diamond the miner recovered from the Cullinan mine in South Africa last month, with analysts speculating it fetch as much as $15 million. The stone is a gem-quality Type llb diamond.
Russian diamond miner Alrosa saw its September sales of rough diamonds make a modest recovery after a slow summer, selling $256.5 million, which represents a 42% increase over the $180.2 million sold in August. The company acknowledged, however, that market demand for rough diamonds is still low, as this past month's sale was 27% lower than in September 2018, when they moved $331.6 million of rough goods. Adding $2.2 million in polished-diamond sales (-69% y-o-y), total sales for September were $258.7 million.
India's cut and polished diamond exports declined by 25% year-on-year, totalling US$1.64 billion during the month (August 2018: US$2.18 bn) as the average export price tumbled by 19% to $658 per carat, the lowest level in two years. The August results do indicate a modest 9% upturn from July, when India's polished-diamond exports fell to their lowest point in 2019, at $1.50 billion. All figures are from India's Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC).
De Beers Group Auctions has appointed Alastair Bickerstaff (pictured) as the Head of Product Development and Sales. The new role, which was created following the departure of the Head of Sales and CRM, combines those two instrumental elements of the business, and he is tasked with developing more synergy between the product development and sales and to better address their customers’product needs.