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.
Beginning this month, De Beers' lab-grown diamond brand Lightbox Jewelry will be available at two select Bloomingdale’s department stores (one in N.Y., one in San Francisco) and 30 Reeds Jewelers stores in a trial run to see whether their product and value proposal perform in traditional bricks-and-mortar retail environments, reports Forbes magazine. Until now, the only way to purchase Lightbox fashion jewelry was through its website or through an occasional pop-up promotion.
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.
De Beers' rough diamond sales during Cycle 8 in Sept.-Oct. provisionally totaled $295 million, a 39% drop from the $482 million sold in the same period last year. The decline comes as no surprise as it had already been reported that the miner once again offered sightholders several options to increase the flexibility of buyers struggling with an industry-wide slump caused mainly by an oversupply polished stones in the diamond 'pipeline'.
According to the latest reporting by Thomas Biesheuvel at Bloomberg, at Sight 8 (23 Sept. - 27 Sept.) De Beers has once again offered several options to increase the flexibility of buyers struggling with an industry-wide slump caused mainly by an oversupply polished stones in the diamond 'pipeline'.
Forevermark, the diamond brand from the De Beers Group, has launched its latest consumer campaign, #TrustForevermark, in India, aiming to help prospective buyers allay their doubts, fears and questions that arise when buying diamonds, according to a Forevermark press release. Forevermark is rolling out a multi-media campaign including events, PR, digital, print, television, radio, outdoor and social media content. The #TrustForevermark campaign the brand's largest yet in India and will be rolled out nationally over the next three months targeting nine Tier I and 41 Tier II cities.
It is no secret that since De Beers stopped shouldering the promotional burden for the diamond industry more than a decade ago, investment in category marketing has steadily declined. The Diamond Producers Association (DPA) was created a couple of years ago, but by their own admission their efforts alone are not enough, and more funds are needed.
Namdeb Holdings Ltd, a joint venture between the Namibian Government and De Beers Group, said on Thursday that it has sold Elizabeth Bay Mine and its associated marine assets as a going concern to Lewcor, a 100% Namibian-owned consortium. Namdeb has explored a variety of options to extend the life of its Elizabeth Bay Mine beyond 2019, according to a De Beers press release, but ceased operations in September 2018, as Namdeb could no longer economically run the operation.
De Beers rough diamond sales continued to be very slow in August, as the company announced provisional revenues at the seventh sight of 2019 totalling $280 million. This is significantly lower (-44%) than the $503 million sold at Sight 7 2018, and represents a modest uptick from the $250 million sold at Sight 6, which was the lowest amount earned from a sale since December 2015. As with the previous sight, the miner gave its clients the opportunity to leave up to 50% of available goods on the table to lower the pressure on buyers without lowering their prices.
Over the last five years, we’ve probably seen too much supply of rough going into the market. The big producers are seeing the need to restrict supply. There's a realization that we have to get back in balance. We see the diamond market as being more positive in the future but we’ve got some challenges right now.
Stuart Brown, CEO at Mountain Province on rough supply, the diamond retail market and LGDs.
De Beers today announced that its sales of rough diamonds at its sixth 'sight' of the year in July earned a total of $250 million, a 53% decline from the $533 million sold in July 2018. It is the smallest amount earned from a sale since December 2015, as the miner gave its clients the opportunity to buy fewer goods without repercussion - an uncommon though not unprecedented move. De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver says this flexibility is part of their effort to work with its clients to help them ride out the storm currently raging in the rough diamond market.
The De Beers Group recorded a 27% decline in first-half earnings to $518 million (2018: $712 million) due to the challenging midstream trading environment and slowing consumer demand growth, parent company Anglo American stated in their interim financial results. The difficult market has led to a decrease in rough diamond prices and has put pressure on the margins of those in the trading business, the company said.
The De Beers Group’s carbon-capture research at the Gahcho Kué mine in Canada has received a funding boost following the award of a C$675,000 (US$514,000) grant from Natural Resources Canada’s Clean Growth Program.
De Beers decreased its rough diamond production in Q2 by 14% to 7.7 million carats and revised its full-year guidance downwards to ~31 million carats in response to a backlog of polished diamond inventories in the midstream and weaker trading conditions. The overall decline was mainly driven by reductions in Botswana (Debswana) and South Africa (DBCM). The miner's H1 production fell by 11% to 15.5 million carats from 17.5 million carats during the same period a year ago.
De Beers has renamed its International Institute of Diamond Grading & Research (IIDGR); it will henceforth be known as De Beers Group Industry Services (DBGIS). Based in London Maidenhead), Antwerp and Surat, DBGIS offers diamond grading, testing to verify diamonds and identify synthetics and simulants, detection instruments developed by De Beers Group Technology and education services provided by De Beers Group Institute of Diamonds. The services thus remain the same as before.
De Beers' rough diamond sales at Cycle 5 in June were (provisionally) $390 million, making sight number five of 2019 the lowest-earning sight of the year to date, the smallest since the October 2017 sight ($370 million, Cycle 8) and the lowest for a June sale since the miner started releasing monthly sales data in 2016. June is not typically a slow month for rough diamond sales. Cycle 5 sales from 2016-2018 averaged $555 million, or 30% more than in 2019.
“I’m actually really excited about it. I think it was a very positive development for the industry. It clearly serves to differentiate the two markets. The synthetic diamond market is not the same as the natural diamond market and they can co-exist ... there’s no store of value in a synthetic diamond. Rather, synthetic diamonds are filling a niche around fashion jewellery and we see it almost as an entry level opportunity for consumers. That’s how we see synthetics and natural diamonds playing together in this market."
Mountain Province Diamonds has discovered a new kimberlite at its Gahcho Kué Joint Venture (GKJV) leases, the company announced today in a press release. The Wilson kimberlite - named after Alice Evelyn Wilson (1881-1964), who is officially recognized as Canada's first female geologist - is located roughly 200 meters east of the Tuzo kimberlite and was discovered during drill testing of geophysical and geological anomalies in the area.
An annual tradition, industry veterans Chaim Even-Zohar and Pranay Narvekar present the 2018 iteration of The Tacy Diamond Pipeline, with an in-depth look at the impact that the rise and acceptance of laboratory-grown diamonds has had on the industry this past year.
Is the goal of Lightbox to lower the price of lab-growns?
Sir Gabriel Tolkowsky is one of the greatest diamond cutters of all time. His many accomplishments include the fashioning of the priceless, 273.85-carat Centenary Diamond, cut from a 599.19-carat rough stone, which is still the largest D Flawless diamond in history, and the Golden Jubilee Diamond, the largest faceted diamond in the world at 546 carats. Sir Tolkowsky - known as Gabi - is also renowned for creating the “Flower Cuts” for De Beers, which accentuate the brilliance of typically lower-quality and lower-color stones with their unconventional angles and facets.
Tracr™, the end-to-end diamond traceability platform being developed by De Beers Group in collaboration with the diamond industry, has launched an online resource called the Tracr Community to prepare for the Tracr Beta Platform which will be launched over the summer. The Tracr Community aims to foster the education and collaboration of industry participants, enabling them to share information and tools. it will also serve as a knowledge base for data standards, technical readiness and process best practices that will allow for seamless integration with the Tracr platform.
A new discovery has the potential to change how we look for diamonds in Canada and around the world, write Katie Willis from the University of Alberta, Canada. This comes as potentially big news to an industry that has discovered scant few significant and economic diamond deposits in the past decade.
De Beers' rough diamond sales in May were (provisionally) $415 million, making sight number four of 2019 the lowest-earning sight of the year to date, the smallest since the October 2017 sight ($370 million, Cycle 8) and the lowest for a May sale since the miner first released sales data in 2016. The $415 million in reported sales represents a 25% decline from sales in Cycle 4 2018 ($554 million). The company cited macroeconomic challenges and a seasonal decline in demand for rough diamonds to manufacture as weighing down sales at the sight.
Debmarine Namibia, a 50/50 joint venture between the Government of the Republic of Namibia and De Beers Group, have approved the construction of the world’s first ever custom-built diamond recovery vessel. The new vessel is expected to cost US$468 million (N$7 billion) and represents the largest ever single investment in the marine diamond industry. The ship will become the seventh vessel in the Debmarine Namibia fleet and is scheduled to commence operations in 2022.
De Beers Group reported a diamond production decline in the first quarter of 2019 driven by a 65 reduction in South Africa as the Venetia mine as it approaches the transition from open pit to underground mining. Venetia yielded only 0.4 million carats due to lower mined volumes, while the Voorspoed mine was placed onto care and maintenance in Q4 2018 in preparation for closure. De Beers' production guidance for 2019 remains unchanged at 31 - 33 million carats, subject to trading conditions.
De Beers Group has announced it is expanding its pilot project in Sierra Leone called GemFair, an innovative project to trace and sell ethically-sourced artisanal and small-scale mined (ASM) diamonds. The development of a toolkit that can be used in the field should help to create a secure and transparent route to market, a genuine sore spot for ASM diamonds.
De Beers Group announced last week that Nancy Liu will become the new Forevermark CEO, stepping up from her current role as COO and taking over the day to day responsibility for the leading diamond brand. Stephen Lussier, Executive Vice-President of Consumer & Brands for De Beers Group, will continue to oversee the strategic role Forevermark plays within the Group’s brand portfolio as Forevermark Chairman. Lussier has been the brand’s CEO since 2009.
De Beers' third sight of 2018 (Cycle 3) was easily its largest of the year thus far, provisionally realizing $575 million in rough diamond sales, a figure the miner has not reached since their Cycle 5 sale in June 2018. "As we move into the second quarter of the year, we saw a continuation of stable demand for our rough diamonds during the third cycle of 2019," commented Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group. De Beers' sales in Cycle 3 was 16% higher than the $496 million earned in Cycle 2, and 10% more than the $524 million in Cycle 3 2018.
Botswana’s GDP per person is one of the top three in Africa and it’s off the back of diamond mining. There is no commodity in the world that means as much to a group of people in terms of lifting them out of poverty than diamonds in Botswana. In terms of revenue and the benefits to the people of Botswana, it can’t be understated. From the President to people living on the ground, they understand the importance of diamonds and the contribution to society.
- Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani, on the social benefit of diamond mining
Mining in Africa is at the core of our business, just as it always has been, and just as it will be in future ... De Beers is and will remain a natural diamond business.
- De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver discusses Africa portfolio, exploration, technology and laboratory-grown diamonds.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which investigates allegations of deceptive advertising, sent eight letters to jewelry marketers warning them that some of their online advertisements of jewelry made with simulated or laboratory-created diamonds may deceive consumers, in violation of the FTC Act. The organization warned that failure to follow the Guides may result in enforcement actions if the FTC determines the companies engaged in unfair or deceptive acts or practices.
De Beers Group announced yesterday it would start providing enhanced transparency regarding diamonds purchased from its Sight sales by introducing a “diamonds from DTC” (DTC = Diamond Trading Company) source of origin claim. Diamonds from the DTC come from mines and recovery areas in Botswana, Canada, Namibia and South Africa. The idea is to support the diamond trade by providing a factual statement about provenance that Sightholders and Accredited Buyers can use for diamonds purchased from Sights.
The Gahcho Kué Diamond Mine, a joint venture between Mountain Province (49%) and De Beers Canada (51%), exceeded expectations in its first full year of commercial production, setting records for carat recoveries and sales despite a challenging end of year 2018. Mountain Province reports that the Gahcho Kué Mine exceeded its upper end of FY2018 guidance of tonnes treated, processing 3,194,000 tonnes (2017: 2,775,000 tonnes) and recovered 17% more carats than last year, settting a new high for the mine of 6,937,000 carats (2017: 5,934,000 carats) with a 4% increase in the average grade.
The Debswana Diamond Company (Debswana), a 50/50 joint venture between the Government of the Republic of Botswana and De Beers Group, has today (March 18, 2019) announced the commencement of the Cut-9 project to extend the life of Jwaneng Mine, one of the world’s most valuable diamond mines. The project will extend the life of Jwaneng Mine to 2035, and is expected to yield an estimated 53 million carats of rough diamonds from 44 million tonnes of treated material. It is called Cut-9 because it is the ninth cut, or expansion, of the mine.
There is no fundamental change in the small diamond segment. The slowdown in the smaller sizes during the second half of last year is mainly cyclical – it is driven primarily by demand-supply dynamics. It is a misconception that there is any fundamental change in consumer behavior. The prices are coming down to where they should be, and this is mainly because retailers have realized how large the margins of LGD manufacturers have been. They are now understanding the pricing dynamics for this category and are asking their suppliers why they are charging so much.
The Diamond Producers Association (DPA) and Signet Jewelers have published the first results of their ASSURE Program to independently and objectively test the performance of laboratory-grown diamond detectors (Diamond Verification Instruments). The program intends to eventually test and identify each machine on the market concerning how well they detected or referred man-made stones, including the rate at which they gave false positives.
De Beers sold $490 million worth of rough diamonds in Cycle 2 2019, holding steady at just $10 million less than their January sale but at a lower level than last year. The miner's sales fell 13% compared to the $563 million sold at their second sight last year, and combined sales for the first two sights of the year have fallen by 20% compared to 2018.
The De Beers group is set to consolidate its Canadian and South African mining business into a single unit to streamline operational management of the Venetia Mine, Gahcho Kué Mine and De Beers Marine under a single leadership team based in Johannesburg. The new unit, called De Beers Group Managed Operations, will be headed by the group’s former DBCM deputy CEO, Nompumelelo (Mpumi) Zikalala.
De Beers reported a 4% rise in total revenue for FY 2018, reaching $6.1 billion, but its earnings slid by 13% to $1.25 billion driven by expenditures such as the $87 million acquisition of Peregrine Diamonds and the launch of Lightbox Jewelry. Rough diamond sales rose by 4% to $5.4 billion (2017: $5.2 billion), driven by improved overall consumer demand for diamond jewelry and a 1% increase in the average rough diamond price index.