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.
Australia's Lucapa Diamond Company reports that production and sales of diamonds from the Lulo Diamond Project in Angola jumped 63% and 58% respectively in the second quarter of 2017. Lulo alluvial mining company, Sociedade Mineira Do Lulo (Lucapa is 40% owner and operator) produced 4,203 carats of diamonds during the quarter, bringing their total for the first half of 2017 to 8,301 carats, a 46% overall increase compared to the year prior. In Q2, the 4,203 carats were obtained from 3,336 stones, with their average weight holding steady at 1.3 carats.
They might be small, at only 0.039 and 0.025 carats, but Australian junior miner Merlin Diamonds discovery of two pink diamonds is nevertheless promising. Merlin Diamonds Ltd., owner of the Merlin diamond mine in the Northern Territory, Australia, said it is encouraged by these discoveries that indicate the possibility of further pink diamonds at the Merlin diamond mine. The latest find follows the recovery of a 0.70 carat pink diamond announced last March.
Rio Tinto and The Perth Mint have showcased a A$1.8 million (US$1.36 million) one-of-a-kind coin collection featuring three coloured diamonds from the Argyle Diamond Mine. Known as The Australian Trilogy, the beautiful collectable comprises three precious metal coins each hand crafted with a pink, purple pink and violet diamond unearthed from Rio Tinto’s Argyle Diamond Mine in the east Kimberley region of Western Australia.
It took only a year and a few months for Australia's Kimberley Diamonds to run another mine into the ground: two years after closing the Ellendale Diamond Mine in Australia - source of Tiffany & Co’s prized yellow diamonds - and leaving in its wake a host of unpaid workers, contractors and a fat environmental cleanup bill, it
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.
This article is reprinted from Paul Zimnisky Diamond Analytics, courtesy of Paul Zimnisky.
Australia’s term as Chair of the Kimberley Process kicked off today at the KP Intersessional Meeting in Perth, which runs from May 1 – 4. The focus of this year’s meeting is the start of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) review cycle in order to strengthen the Kimberley Process.
Against the background of a bear market for iron ore in full tilt, a 43-day strike at the world's largest copper mine causing its output to fall 37% and the Group edging closer to an exit from thermal coal after winning approval from Australia’s foreign investment regulator to sell the bulk of its mines for $2.45 billion, the Rio Tinto Group's Q1 diamond output dropped 8% year on year to 4.152 million carats.
Australian junior miner Lucapa Diamond Co. reported a significant increase in diamond recoveries and processing from their Lulo Diamond Project in Angola in the March quarter of 2017, according to an ASX announcement. Lulo alluvial mining company, Sociedade Mineira Do Lulo (40% owned and operated by Lucapa) achieved record throughput volumes of 70,967 bulk cubic metres in Q1, a 91% increase over the same period a year prior. The increased processing resulted in a 33% increase in diamonds recovered to 4,098 carats.
‘Chocolate’ diamonds have gained in popularity in recent years, to the chagrin of many purists. For years some diamond jewelry companies have been accused of generating a hype about diamonds traditionally seen as bottom-the-barrel stones, effectively deceiving end consumers by rebranding brown diamonds as ‘chocolate’. Jezebel and the Daily Mail have gone so far as to call these jewelers “liars” who are “fooling women”, claiming the name and marketing of the chocolate diamond is insulting: “Women won’t be able to resist, because it’s chocolate!
Australia's Lucapa Diamond Co. has earned $2.5 million (A$3.3M) from a parcel of 1,919 carats at their third sale in 2017 of rough diamonds from the Lulo Project in Angola. This represents an average price of $1,317 (A$1,742) per carat, and brings their total 2017 sales to $13.2 million at an average price of $2,055 (A$2,696) per carat.
Merlin Diamonds Ltd., owner of the Merlin diamond mine in the Northern Territory, Australia, announced they had raised approximately $5.5 million from its Entitlements Offer to shareholders in January. The funds give the Merlin diamond mine "the necessary financial flexibility to progress its operational and corporate objectives" said the company in a statement. The Offer served as an opportunity for shareholders “to subscribe for 1 new share with ½ an option for every 2 shares held at the record date.
Merlin Diamonds Ltd., the owner of the Merlin diamond mine in the Northern Territory, Australia, has announced the recovery of five green diamonds from the Kaye pit, amongst them intense greens. The largest green diamond recovered is 1.4cts. They also note that more green diamonds have been recovered from the ongoing mining operations at Merlin, and are being validated by independent experts.
The Lulo alluvial diamond venture in Angola has declared US$8 million in a combined distribution and capital repayment, and Lucapa Diamond - as operator and funder of both the Lulo alluvial mining and kimberlite exploration programs – will be entitled to receive a gross amount of US$5.6 million (A$7.3 million), the company writes in an ASX statement.
Rio Tinto has lowered by 66% its estimate of the mineral resources available at its Argyle diamond mine in Australia: the estimate now reflects solely the current mine plan, whereas the previous estimate included resources calculated with an extension of the mine taken into account. This extension is now under review. In a statement released last week, Rio Tinto writes, "During 2016, estimated Argyle Mineral Resources exclusive of ore reserves decreased by 29 million tons (Mt), from 44Mt to 15Mt" as a result of this recalculation.
Lucapa Diamond Co. and its partners Empresa Nacional de Diamantes E.P. (“Endiama”) and Rosas & Petalas have announced the results of their second rough diamond sale from the Lulo Project in Angola: The parcel of 1,552 carats achieved gross sale proceeds of US$6.9 million (A$9.1 million). This represents an exceptional average price per carat of US$4,446 (A$5,836), bringing the total gross proceeds achieved at Lulo to date in 2017 to US$10.7 million (A$14.0 million). Lucapa has thereby reached the A$100 million ($75 m) milestone from sales of Lulo diamonds.
Australia's Lucapa Diamond Company, whose main asset is the Lulo diamond project in Angola, has sold a parcel of 2,946 carats of Lulo diamonds earning gross proceeds of US$3.8 million (A$4.9M). This represents an average price per carat of US$1,276 (A$1,671), a far cry from their $2,983 per carat average from the fourth quarter of 2016. The sale comprised diamond recoveries through December 31 2016, and included a 75-carat diamond and a 55-carat diamond.
Australia's Tychean Resources, a gold exploration and natural resource development company, has agreed to buy a 74 per cent stake in South African-based diamond company, Blom Diamonds, reports Australian Mining. The deal is reported to be worth up to $4.1 million (AUD 5.5 million).
Rio Tinto posted strong fourth quarter production in its diamond division, with increases at its Argyle Mine in Australia as well as the Diavik Mine in NWT Canada, in which Rio Tinto owns a 60 percent interest (Dominion Diamond 40%). At Argyle, Rio Tinto produced 3.6 million carats in Q4, a 6% increase over Q4 production in 2015. For the year 2016, carat production was four per cent higher than 2015 following the ramp-up of the underground mine, with higher ore throughput partially offset by a lower recovered grade. Total 2016 production at Argyle was just under 14 million carats.
Rio Tinto has appointed luxury Dubai-based jeweler Dhamani to become one of its Select Ateliers, an exclusive list of jewelers given direct access to Australia’s rare Argyle pink diamonds. The launch of this new appointment correlated with the brand’s new line of pink-diamond jewelry, the DPINK collection, showcasing more than US$25 million of Argyle pink diamond jewelry. “Dhamani are an exciting Middle East luxury jeweler with over four decades of heritage and superb craftsmanship,” said Josephine Johnson, manager of Argyle Pink Diamonds.
Australia-based Lucapa Diamond Company Limited has successfully defined a series of priority lamproite and kimberlite drilling targets at the Brooking Diamond Project in Western Australia and the Orapa Area F Diamond Project in Botswana, according to their ASX announcement. At Brooking, EM surveys have identified lamproite drilling targets in areas where diamonds and lamproite indicator minerals were recovered in sampling programs, while at Orapa Area F, a coincident magnetic/EM/gravity target has been defined within one of the world's most prolific diamond fields.
Australia's Merlin Diamonds announced the recovery of a 35.26 carat brown diamond, the fifth largest diamond discovered in Australia, as well as a 14.6 carat brown diamond and a number of smaller white diamonds.
Australia's Lucapa Diamond Company Limited has announced that diamond production in the December 2016 Quarter from the Lulo Diamond Project in Angola was 5,313 carats, an increase of 147% on the corresponding quarter in 2015 and also the highest quarterly production achieved during the Angolan wet season. For the year, Lucapa's production was up 136%, from 8,394 to 19,833 carats recovered.
The Angolan Minister of Mines and Geology has formally approved a new kimberlite exploration licence for the Lulo Diamond Project - known for yielding large, type-IIa diamonds, which account for less than 1% of global supply - operated Australian diamond miner Lucapa. The new kimberlite exploration licence is for a period of five years and covers the entire 3,000 square km concession.
The Kimberley Process (KP) Plenary held in UAE this week concluded with the announcement that that it has appointed the European Union as its Chair for 2018. The EU will assume responsibility as KP Vice Chair in 2017 with Australia as Chair, and India will be the Vice Chair in 2018 when EU becomes the organisation’s Chair. Consequently, in 2019 India will become the KP Chair.
As the 2016 Kimberley Process Plenary comes to a close, the World Diamond Council (WDC) and its president Andrey Polyakov applaud the positive steps taken in 2016, the initiatives undertaken by KP Chair UAE during the plenary itself, and look forward to the continued success of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme under the leadership of the new KP Chair, Australia.
Following their announcement earlier this month about achieving record levels of rough diamond production at their Lulo Diamond Project in Angola in Q3 of 2016, Australia's Lucapa Diamond Co. has now announced corresponding record levels of sales during the same period. Sales of 12,438 carats during the three-month period represent a 206% jump in Q3 2016 compared to 2015, while the value of those sales rose 1,343%, from $716,551 in 2015 to over $10.3 million in 2016.
West Australian-based international diamond miner Lucapa has taken up the search for yellow diamonds in the West Kimberley lamproite province in Western Australia with a Heads of Agreement (HoA) to acquire 80% of Leopold Diamond Co's Brooking Diamond Project. It will pay $A140,000 cash (US$105,128) plus 250,000 fully-paid ordinary shares and 500,000 Lucapa options exercisable at 53c (representing a 50% premium to the Lucapa share price at the time of signing the HoA). The Brooking Diamond Project comprises two exploration licenses covering 128 sq.km.
Continuing a year of impressive results, Lucapa Diamond Company has reported record diamond production in Q3 2016 from the Lulo Diamond Project in Angola. Sociedade Mineira Do Lulo (SML) produced 8,853 carats from its alluvial operations in the September quarter, a 154% increase over the same period in 2015. This puts YTD production at 14,521 carats, a 233% increase over the first nine months of 2015. Q3 production also included a record number of 'specials' (+10.8 carats), with 137 stones combining for 3,210 carats.
Merlin Diamonds Ltd., owner of the Merlin diamond mine located 900 kilometres south east of Darwin in the Northern Territory of Australia. has been given the green light to re-commence operations. ProactiveInvestors.com writes that the Department of Mines and Energy has approved Merlin’s mining management plan last week, allowing operations to restart. Since 1998, nine of the Merlin pipes have been subject to open-pit mining over a 5 year period, producing 507,000 carats of high quality diamonds.
Lucapa Diamond Company, the Australian diamond miner operating at the Lulo Diamond Concession in Angola, sold a 3,642-carat parcel of alluvial diamonds for gross proceeds of US$4.4 million (A$5.8 million), representing an average sale price of US$1,212 (A$1,606) per carat.
Rio Tinto has appointed UK luxury jeweler, Boodles, as a Select Atelier for Argyle Pink Diamonds. Josephine Johnson, manager of Argyle Pink Diamonds said, "Boodles are an exciting British fine jeweler with over two centuries of heritage, who continue to deliver contemporary and beautifully crafted designs with the finest of fancy colored diamonds. We are delighted to welcome them as an Argyle Pink Diamonds Select Atelier.” Boodles joins a group of master craftsman and luxury jewelers selected to create jewelry set with Argyle pink diamonds.
Despite its decision to withdraw from the Bunder project in India, Rio Tinto Diamonds says it will remain with the diamond business. “We firmly believe the fundamentals of the global diamonds market remain robust,” Simon Farry, vice president for sales and marketing for copper and diamonds said in a statement to JCK. “The decision to withdraw from Bunder was based on commercial considerations specific to the project as part of Rio Tinto’s ongoing efforts to conserve cash and reduce costs right across our business.”
Lucapa Diamond Company, the Australian diamond miner operating at the Lulo Diamond Concession in Angola, announced a series of production records achieved in July 2016, most notable among which is the recovery of more (59) special diamonds ( >10.8 carats) in one month than in the entire previous half year (53). This led to a record-breaking total recovery of 3,164 carats for the month, and their largest single-day total (448 carats) ever. This banner month was possible owing to a record diamond grade of 15 carats per 100 cubic meters.
Rio Tinto has launched its Australian Diamonds™ program in China "to lend further market support to its Argyle diamonds and in response to the growing consumer and trade interest in diamond provenance". Bruno Sane, general manager of marketing for Rio Tinto Diamonds, said: “Increasingly the value of a diamond is tied to where and how the diamond was mined, how it was cut and polished and the process of bringing it to sale. This is a very reasonable expectation that is steadily reshaping the diamond industry for the better.”
Rio Tinto Diamonds is to provide an audited mine-to-polished chain of custody for stones from its Argyle mine this month, while a Canadian Diamonds program covering its 60% share of production from the Diavik mine in the North West Territories will start later this year, writes Rob Bates in JCK Online. The programs have two aims, said Bruno Sané, Rio Tinto Diamonds’ general manager of marketing. For the trade, it guarantees the diamonds are not lab grown: “The screening technology today is less reliable with small and brown diamonds. The browns are usually rejected as type IIs.
Rio Tinto reports that production at its Argyle mine in Australia was three percent higher in the second quarter compared to the corresponding period in 2015 following a continuing ramp-up of underground work which resulted in higher ore volumes processed which was partially offset by lower grades. Production rose to 3.489 million carats.
Rio Tinto has revealedl the world’s first coin to feature a rare red diamond from the Argyle Diamond Mine. Known as The Kimberley Treasure and for sale at AU$1 million (US$760,000), the incredible collectable has been crafted from one kilogram of 99.99% fine gold, and features a radiant cut 0.54 carat red diamond unearthed from Rio Tinto’s Argyle Diamond Mine in the east Kimberley region of Western Australia. The Kimberley Treasure is issued as legal tender under the Australian Currency Act 1965.