Archive

  • India has introduced a specific, 8-digit HS (Harmonized System) code for synthetic rough diamonds in an attempt to maintain the integrity of the diamond pipeline, an issue for which the Indian diamond industry has been subject to criticism in recent years.

  • Rio Tinto has unveiled the collection of diamonds on sale at what may be one of its last tenders of the world's rarest pink and red diamonds, as the life of the Argyle mine in Western Australia is winding down. The mine produces more than 90 percent of Australia's diamonds, and is one of the only known sources of pink diamonds in the world.

  • Australian jewelry chain Michael Hill says it underpaid staff by as much as A$25 million (US$17.45 million) over the past six years, and will pay out a sum in the range of A$10-25 million (US$7-17.5 million) to redress its error. The Brisbane-based chain is the latest in a string of organisations to admit to staff underpayments, and will face questions from the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO), writes the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). The jeweler discovered the discrepancy on its own but did not inform the FWO about it.

  • Namibia this week assumed the chairmanship of the Association of African Diamond Producers Association (ADPA), assuming the leadership of the group from Guinea.

  • A combination of factors has led to widespread uncertainty and a global downturn in the diamond industry during the first half of 2019. Antwerp - the world’s leading diamond trade centre - has not escaped its impact, particularly in the rough diamond trade. Economic uncertainty generated by an unstable geopolitical climate has also fostered a heightened sense of caution among the banks that finance the trade, as well as diamond brokers and consumers of luxury goods.  

  • The unrelenting slump in the global rough diamond market showed no signs of letting up in June, as Alrosa's rough sales fell to a low not seen since the miner started publishing monthly results in 2016. The Russian mining giant sold $219.3 million in rough diamonds in June, falling another 16% lower than 2019's previous low in May ($261.1 million), and 43% lower than the $383.7 million earned in June 2018.

  • Canadian miner Stornoway Diamonds delivered a strong performance in rough sales as well as production in Q2 2019, but ever-softening diamond prices in a market that continues to be challenging kept proceeds level with those achieved in Q1.

  • Alrosa held a tender for polished diamonds in New York this June, earning $3 million from the sale of 20 polished diamonds with total weight of 140.4 carats for an average value of approximately $21,430 per carat. The diamonds on tender included 8 gemstones of standard color and 12 fancy colored polished diamonds, most of them with Fancy Yellow and Fancy Intense Yellow characteristics.

  • Forbes Afrique has listed Marie-Chantal Kaninda, Executive Director of the World Diamond Council (WDC), as one the continent’s 100 most influential women. Kaninda ranked number 14 on the annual list from Forbes Afrique, the French-language version of the influential economic periodical that focuses specifically on African affairs,

  • UK-based and AIM-listed junior miner BlueRock Diamonds on Monday announced it achieved record production at its flagship Kareevlei mine in South Africa during the second quarter of 2019. During the three-month period to June 30, the diamond miner produced a company record 3,516 carats, more than four-times greater than the 875 carats produced in the end of the second quarter in 2018.

  • 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.

  • Global rough-diamond production fell to 148.2 million carats in 2018, a decline of less than 2% from the 150.9 million carats recovered in 2017; however, a 4% rise in the average price per carat led to a 2.4% increase in the value of the world's rough diamond production, according to Kimberley Process (KP) data. Global diamond production was worth $14.47 billion in 2018 compared to $14.12 billion in 2017, as the average price per carat rose to $97.5 from $93.6. 

  • To the chagrin of the gem & jewelry industry in the county, the Indian government last Friday (July 5) announced it would increase the import duty on gold and precious metals to 12.5% from current level of 10%. The move will raise the price of gold, silver and other precious metals on the domestic market, with concerns that smuggling may rise and tourists may seek to purchase their gold elsewhere. India is one of the largest gold importers in the world, arising mainly from demand from the jewelry sector. India imported gold worth $32.8 billion during 2018-19. 

  • Firestone Diamonds has recovered a 54-carat intense fancy yellow, sawable diamond from its Liqhobong Mine in Lesotho, the company announced this morning. This recovery follows that of a 72-carat yellow makeable stone last April. The miner also has a a 134 carat gem-quality light yellow diamond on its resumé. The most reecent diamond will go on sale in Antwerp at the next tender, which is scheduled to take place during the first week of September 2019.

  • 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.

  • Hong Kong’s retail sales are expected to decline by 5 percent to HK$460 billion (US$59 billion) for the full year, dragged down by economic uncertainty, social unrest and a decline in mainland Chinese tourists, according to international advisory firm PriceWaterCoopers (PwC). The estimate is a downgrade from its earlier forecast of a 3 percent drop in sales, reflecting a weaker outlook, as government statistics showed first-quarter retail sales falling 2 per cent compared to the same period last year, according to PwC’s Global Consumer Insights Survey 2019 report, 

  • North Arrow Minerals and joint venture partner and operator Dominion Diamond Mines have said that mobilization is underway for the summer field program, including exploration drilling, at the Lac De Gras (LDG) Joint Venture Diamond Project in the Northwest Territories. The LDG Project is located in the Lac de Gras kimberlite field, close to two of the world’s richest diamond mines: Diavik and Ekati. Summer exploration work is scheduled to include LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) surveying, till suitability mapping and sampling and approximately 1,000m of exploration drilling.

  • The diamond industry has hit its halfway mark of 2019 and the song remains the same as Rapaport releases their H1 figures detailing across-the-board declines in polished diamond prices amid, as we noted last week, a period of weak sentiment and even weaker demand, all of which is taking its toll on manufacturers and those that supply them.

  • Gem Diamonds today announced it has appointed Ms. Mazvi Maharasoa, who served as the Chief Executive Officer of Letšeng Diamonds from 2009 to 2017, as a non-executive director. Maharasoa has over 20 years' of senior management experience, more than 10 of which in the mining sector. Prior to her time as CEO of Letšeng Diamonds, she served as its resident director for two years. Ms. Maharasoa was also the founder and president of the Lesotho Chamber of Mines (2016).

  • 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.

  • Retailers and importers across the US - including those in the diamond and jewelry trade - breathed a collective sigh of relief this past weekend following the announcement of a temporary trade truce between the US and China, and an agreement to reopen negotiations. This past weekend at the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan, U.S. President Trump and President Xi Jinping of China agreed to a ceasefire that will forestall another punishing round of of $300 billion in tariffs Mr.

  • Seattle-based online jewelry retailer Blue Nile, which cleared about $500 million in revenue last year, has place an embargo on Zimbabwean diamonds over reports of human rights abuses in the Marange district, several Zimbabwe news outlets are reporting.

  • The Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair last week (20-23 June) provided a snapshot of a cautious diamond industry in the midst of a period of weak sentiment and even weaker demand, according to several traders we spoke with this week. And they do not see any quick fixes on the horizon. While it may not be the largest diamond show of the year, Hong-Kong June is the most important mid-year jewelry sourcing event in Asia, and as such provides us the opportunity to take the pulse of the polished diamond trade. The consensus? Sentiment is poor. 

    ‘Wait and see’

  • The world’s largest coloured gemstone producer, Gemfields, yesterday announced it has established a joint venture with Mwiriti to explore for gold and assorted minerals in Mozambique. Mwiriti is Gemfields’ existing partner in Montepuez Ruby Mining (MRM) and holds 12 greenfield licences located as little as 20 kilometres from MRM’s existing operations, including an extension of the known Montepuez ruby belt with both secondary gold incidence and primary corundum mineralisation having been observed.

  • The withdrawal of India’s beneficiary status under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) trade program is expected to have a "moderate" impact on India's exports of gems and jewelry to the US, but will not directly impact diamond exports - contrary to what some have been reporting.

  • Russia diamond-mining giant Alrosa's shareholders at their Annual General Meeting decided to allocate 100% of free cash flow for the second half of 2018 to the period-end dividend – 30.3 billion rubles, or approximately $480 million. Taking into account the nearly $692 million (43.7 billion rubles) in dividends the company paid for the first half-year of 2018 (equaling $0.09 or RUB 5.93 per share), the total dividend for 2018 will amount a record $1.17 billion (RUB 73.9 billion) or $0.16 (RUB 10.04) per share.

  • Gem Diamonds has unearthed a 135-carat yellow from its Letšeng mine in Lesotho, making it the third major recovery of a colored diamond discovery from the mine this year. Gem recovered an exceptional, 134-carat Type I yellow diamond back in April - the first yellow stone of that magnitude since they dug up a 151.52-carat yellow diamond nearly two years ago.

  • 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. 

  • India's rough diamond trade continued its 2019 downturn in May, as less manufacturing is taking place amid a tightening of available financing and weak demand for small goods, according to data gleaned from the Gems & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). Exports of polished diamonds also recorded their fifth consecutive month of decline in 2019, despite a solid increase (11%%) in the average price per carat.

  • The gold price reached a six-year high on Friday, June 21, hitting $1,410 at its peak as investors sought a safe haven in amid troubled global waters and announcements by the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve saying they are leaving the door open to interest-rate cuts this year. A lower interest rate in combination with a weakening dollar has historically always made gold an interesting investment. Now that bonds are yielding less, equities seem to have reached an apex and raw materials and currencies are now worth less, gold has become more attractive.

  • Christie's Maharajas & Mughal Magnificence collection earned a total of $109,271,875 in New York, representing the highest amount taken in by any auction of Indian art and Mughal objects, and the second highest for a private jewelry collection - falling just short of the 2011 auction of Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry, good for a nearly $116 million haul. Almost 400 lots were offered, ranging from legendary Golconda diamonds to dazzling coloured stones, jeweled objects used in the royal courts to swords and daggers once owned by Indian rulers.

  • Gem Diamonds has sold its Ghaghoo mine in Botswana to Pro Civil, a local company, for $5.4m (R77m), bringing to an end Gem's struggles with the underground mine that never lived up to its expectations. Pro Civil, a company registered in Botswana, will acquire Gem Diamonds Botswana Proprietary and the Ghaghoo mine, which has been on care and maintenance since March of 2017.

  • The UK-based and AIM- and BSE-listed exploration company Botswana Diamonds (BoD) recently received positive results from bulk sampling at the Thorny River project in South Africa, while its joint-venture partner Vast Resources is said to be moving closer to mining diamonds in Zimbabwe. Last week, BoD said its associate Vutomi had received permisston to sell diamonds recovered during bulk sampling at their Thorny River project in South Africa, which will enable funding of further exploration and development by Vutomi. The project has deliverd 256 carats of diamonds to date.

  • Rio Tinto Exploration Canada (RTEC) has completed the drilling of the first bulk sample hole on Star Diamond Corp.'s Star Kimberlite, employing a massive 'trench cutter sampling rig'. The first of 10 bulk sampling holes has been drilled to a depth of over 228 metres and intercepted a total of 117 metres of kimberlite on Star Diamond’s Star-Orion South site at Fort à la Corne.

  • The global personal luxury goods market grew by 6% in 2018, reaching €260 billion (more than $290 billion) in 2018, with similar growth forecasted for 2019, reports leading consultancy Bain & Co. in its “Bain Luxury Goods Worldwide Market Study, Spring 2019”. The strong growth, equivalent to that in 2017, was driven primarily by the acceleration in domestic spending of mainland Chinese consumers and an increase in European tourism. Bain & Co.

  • Independent Russian diamond miner AGD Diamonds, parent company to Antwerp-based Grib Diamonds N. V., held a public auction last week on Grib Diamonds' electronic trading platform, with revenue from the auction achieving more than $27 million.

  • Telecom billionaire and art collector Patrick Drahi has emerged as the winning bidder for Sotheby's, the 275-year-old auction house, which will be going private after agreeing to a $3.7 billion deal. The takeover will result in Sotheby's, the world's oldest and largest international auction house, ending its three decades as a public company, trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

  • HRD Antwerp today announced its expansion into the UK market with the opening of a new drop-off point in London’s Hatton Garden, giving UK jewelers easy access to HRD Antwerp’s services, such as jewelry and diamond grading reports and testing for synthetics.

  • The Kimberley Process Intersessional Meeting 2019 opened in Mumbai yesterday as the organization tasked with eliminating conflict diamonds approaches what may be considered a critical junction: will it stay the course or take a leap forward?

  • Christie's will hold the landmark Maharajas & Mughal Magnificence sale this week Wednesday (June 19) in New York, and it is slated to be perhaps the highest earning jewelry sale in the auction house's history.