Despite higher production and sales volumes, Lucara Diamond recorded a much lower profit in Q2 2019 than the same period a year earlier, as the extended slump in the diamond trade demonstrates it offers no immunity. L Lucara reported net earnings of $700,000 for the quarter on revenue of $42.5 million, figures which compare unfavorably with a profit of $19.7 million on revenue of $64.5 million in the same quarter in 2018.
The persistent slump in the global rough diamond market showed no signs of abating in July, as Alrosa's rough sales fell to a low not seen in several years. The Russian mining giant sold $164.6 million in rough diamonds in July, falling another 25% below 2019's previous low in June ($219.3), and 51% lower than the $333.8 million earned in July. 2018. For the year to date, Alrosa's sales have declined 34% compared to last year, falling to $1.95 billion from $2.97 billion a year ago.
Following the discovery of a 64-carat rough that the company considers the highest-quality diamond from the Mothae Mine to date, Lucapa Diamond Company has announced earnings of $6.2 million (AUS$8.8 million) from the latest sales of diamonds from the Lulo alluvial mine in Angola and the Mothae kimberlite mine in Lesotho. The latest sales from Lulo and Mothae take total sales from both mines to US$35.5 million (A$50.2 million) for the year to date.
Mountain Province Diamonds reported a decline in carats recovered and sales in Q2 2019, but the miner's profit rose 61% to C$10.3 million (US$7.8 million) via foreign exchange gains resulting from the relative strengthening of the Canadian dollar versus US dollar. Mountain Province achieved production targets for the quarter and was ahead of plan at the end of the first half of the year despite a “very difficult rough diamond market”.
AGD Diamonds recovered three large diamonds weighing more than 100 carats between May and July 2019 at the Grib diamond mine in the Arkhangelsk Province of Russia and has now given them names. The largest of them, a unique diamond weighing 222.09 carats - touted by the company as the largest ever discovered in Europe - was named “Vladimir Grib” in honor of the former AGD chief geologist, an outstanding exploration pioneer. The stone was recovered on May 4, 2019 and is likely to be sold in Antwerp.
Canada-based and South Africa-focused diversified junior mining company Tango Mining has announced it plans to sell off its stake in several metallurgical coal projects in order to focus solely on diamond extraction. Moving forward, the company’s attention will be centered on the Oena diamond mine in South Africa, which has proven lucrative for the miner. During the latest production period, 531.82 carats of gems were recovered from Oena. The 230 diamonds sold for an average price of US$1,382 per carat.
President Donald Trump said Thursday that the U.S. is putting 10% tariffs on another $300 billion worth of Chinese goods, effective Sept. 1. This means that starting at the beginning of next month, every single good coming into the U.S. from China, except those with exemptions, will be subject to an import tax. Called the 'tranche four' tariffs, the list includes rough and polished diamonds (whether or not worked), loose 'synthetic ...
Leading global consolidated miner Rio Tinto today (August 1) announced it would be returning $3.5 billion to its shareholders, including an interim dividend of $2.5 billion and a special dividend of $1.0 billion. The dividends decision followed a half-year performance where Rio earned $20.7 billion in consolidated sales revenue, a 9% increase over H1 2018, and ended with underlying EBITDA of $10.3 billion, a 19% increase over H1 2019.
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.
Sarine Technologies is expecting its second straight quarterly loss as the "prevailing negatives in the diamond industry midstream" are hurting their financial results. Demand for their diamond-manufacturing equipment relies on the manufacturing sector and thus indirectly on the rough trade that supplies it - two segments in the midst of a slump.
Mondiamo, an online buyer of pre-owned diamond jewelry, announced that it is merging with CIRCA, a global buyer of pre-owned fine jewelry and watches with 12 offices worldwide. The combination will create “the world’s leading buyer of pre-owned luxury diamonds, jewelry and watches,” enabling sellers to choose between shipping their pieces for evaluation or scheduling face-to-face expert consultations, according to a press release from Mondiamo. The two companies will continue to operate separately under their brands while merging their resources.
The Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE), a subsidiary of the DMCC, completed three rough and polished diamond tenders in the week of July 16 - 23 while the DDE is under renovation. The three separate tenders were hosted by Rapaport, Stargems and Trans Atlantic Gem Sales (TAGS), with reportedly over 200 companies participating.
Two members of Alrosa’s executive committee are leaving the Russian diamond miner: Deputy CEO Yury Okoemov, who has most recently supervised the work of Alrosa's diamond cutting complex, and Head of the Legal Department Alexander Matveev. The departures came about by mutual agreement, the company confirmed in a press release.
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.
Two years after becoming the biggest shareholder of the firm that owns De Beers diamonds, metals tycoon Anil Agarwal announced an exit from Anglo American by divesting his near 20 percent stake. Agarwal, the founder and controlling shareholder in Indian resource giant Vedanta Resources Plc., in March 2017 paid $2.5 billion for a 12.43 percent stake in Anglo American, and then bought a second tranche in September 2017, bringing his stake in the mining group to 19.3 percent. The bonds were to mature next year but Agarwal decided to exercise a call option and take profits on his investment.
Mercury Free Mining (MFM), a recently-established nonprofit organization, is hoping to offer a $1 million prize to anyone (individual, team or organization) that discovers an affordable and reliable alternative to mercury in artisanal a small-scale gold mining. MFM founder chief executive officer Toby Pomeroy is organizing this challenge in response to the severe global health and ecological impacts resulting from the use of mercury by artisanal gold miners (ASGM).
Gem Diamonds recovered a 123.5-carat high-quality Type II white diamond at its Letšeng mine in Lesotho on Saturday, 20 July, the company announced this week. This find brings to three the number of white diamonds weighing more than 100 carats the miner has unearthed this year, and it is its second in the month of July. Gem recovered a similar 'high-quality white diamond' weighing 140 carats July 6,
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.
Following a positive Final Investment Decision (FID) for its flagship Tongo Diamond Mine Development in Sierra Leone, Newfield Resources says that construction is now set to commence. The company says it will complete it box cut excavation, and the first blasts for the underground portal entrance and decline construction are expected to occur over coming weeks.
Firestone Diamonds achieved solid fourth quarter production to hit the lower end of its FY 2019 guidance, but the miner's year was made 'tough' by a market that eschewed the smaller, lower value goods that make up the bulk of the output at the Liqhobong Diamond Mine in Lesotho. Firestone produced 208,572 carats during Q4 ended 30 June 2019, representing an 34% increase compared to 155,206 carats in the previous quarter.
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.
Canadian junior miner Tango Mining recently sold at tender a parcel of 230 diamonds weighing 531.82 carats, achieving an average price of $1,382 per carat. The sale included a 19.87-carat diamond which sold for $4,358 per carat, a 49.6-carat diamond which sold for $2,561 per carat and a 24.97-carat diamond which sold for $1,101 per carat. The diamonds on tender were recovered during the most recent production period at its Oena project in South Africa, May 9 to July 7 2019.
For months now, the news emerging from across the diamond industry has been colored various shades of sombre, with each analysis referring to some version of the same list of issues ailing the trade: falling polished prices combined with excessive polished inventories, a financing squeeze on Indian manufacturers and a lack of profitablity, low demand for rough, economic uncertainty generated by an unstable geopolitical climate ... take your pick. The question Paul Zimnisky examines is whether this all adds up to a 'crisis'.
Petra Diamonds reported full-year revenue below analysts’ estimates on Monday and said it expects next year’s production to be slightly lower, as it struggles with a diamond market hit by weak demand and lack of easy credit. The London-based miner with operations in South Africa and Tanzania said that revenue decreased 6% to US$463.6 million (FY 2018: US$495.3 million) for the year ended 30 June 2019, reflecting a weaker diamond market.
Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group (CTF) has reported higher sales and continuing expansion of their POS (points of sale) during Q1 FY 2020 (three months ended 30 June 2019), as sales in mainland China stores continued to grow at a strong rate while those in Hong Kong and Macau declined for the second time in the past three quarters. Retail sales grew by 24% in mainland China during the period, with same-store sales (SSS) improving by 11%, the jeweler reported. Retail revenues in Hong Kong and Macau fell by 6%, while SSS dropped further, down 11%.
Canadian miner Mountain Province Diamonds has reported a 10% decline in output during Q2 from the Gahcho Kué diamond mine located in Canada's Northwest Territories. While Mountain Province mined 10.8 million tonnes of material during the quarter, 6% higher than the same period last year, a 9% decline in the recovered grade kept their overall recoveries down, but still ahead of plan. The miner produced 847,772 carats in Q2 (49% of the ouput shared with De Beers Canada). Diamond sales remained stable, particularly in the larger sizes (5 carats and up).
Meaning “rare find” in Setswana, the name Sewelô was selected for the 1,758 carat diamond from over 22,000 submissions in a contest open to all citizens of Botswana. Gofaone Tlhabuswe of Gabane Village won the Lucara diamond naming competition, along with 30,000 Pula ($2,837).
Speaking at a meeting of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), which took place during the UN’s 2019 "High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development", The World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO) president Gaetano Cavalieri advocated for the position of small and medium-sized enterprises. Sustainable economies rely on the contribution of SMEs, he said, but too often they find themselves operating at a severe disadvantage when compared to larger companies.
The impact from the Hong Kong protests is spreading to global luxury retailers, with jewelry - including Swiss watches - taking a hit as shoppers and big-spending travelers stay away. Unrest has forced many stores to close and sparked widespread social disruption. Luxury brand Richemont - which owns several of the world's leading luxury goods companies including Cartier, Piaget, Van Cleef & Arpels and Jaeger-LeCoultre - is the latest firm to say its business is being impacted by the ongoing protests.
Russian diamond-mining giant Alrosa increased its rough-diamond output in Q2 and H1 2019, but the miner's sales have fallen to a low not seen since Alrosa started publishing monthly results in 2016 as rough and polished diamond market saw weak activity and very poor demand. Alrosa pointed to changing retail practices such as consolidation and increasing online sales as reasons for a reduction in polished diamond stocks across the retail sector. As businesses embrace more efficient stock management practices, cutters and polishers reduce the volumes of their rough diamond purchases.
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.
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) has decided to discontinue its unrestricted funding of the independent Belgian research center WTOCD (Scientific and Technical Research Center for Diamond), citing the downturn in the diamond market and the sharp decline of diamond manufacturing in the city. “The current market situation has led us to take this decision,” says Margaux Donckier, AWDC spokeswoman.
AGD Diamonds has recovered an extremely rare rough diamond at its processing unit operating at the Grib Diamond Field in Russia: a gem-quality, deep-lemon yellow colored diamond weighing 47.61 carats. The stone was unearthed on July 13.
According to Rough & Polished, which issues press releases for AGD Diamonds, industry experts note its "extremely correct form, impeccable clarity and lack of technological flaws."
Rio Tinto's rough diamond production fell by 10% during the first half of the year despite improved output in the second quarter compared to the first three months of 2019. Production at its Argyle mine in Australia actually increased by 18% compared to Q1, but the nearly 3.3 million carats recovered in Q2 was 5% fewer than during the same period in 2018 due to lower recovered grade, partially offset by stronger mining rates. Output at the Argyle mine reached 6.1 million carats in H1 2019, a 13% decline compared to the same period last year.
Gem Diamonds has unearthed a 'high-quality white diamond' weighing 140 carats from its Letšeng mine in Lesotho, making it the second white diamond larger than 100 carats recovered this year as well as the fourth of this magnitude in 2019.
Alrosa, the world's largest diamond mining operation, and Zimbabwe's national diamond miner Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) have signed a joint venture agreement to develop diamond deposits in Zimbabwe. The Russian miner made certain to emphasize that its developmental work and any future mining activities would not take place in the troubled Marange region: "We would also like to note once again that ALROSA does not plan operations in Marange."
Lucapa Diamond Company is expecting to start turning an operational profit this year after achieving exceptional prices for its rough diamonds at its H1 tenders in Antwerp. The miner says it has also delivered on key operational goals at its Lulo (Angola) and Mothae (Lesotho) diamond mines in the June 2019 Quarter as well as in the first half of 2019. In H1 2019, the company recovered 20,504 carats and banked $US29.4m (AUS$41.9m) from sales.
Russian diamond mining giant Alrosa has recovered one of the largest rough diamonds to date from the Zapolyarnaya pipe of its Verkhne-Munskoye deposit, which officially opened in the autumn of 2018. The stone is a gem-quality rough weighing 63.15 carats of an octahedral shape with small chips on the edges and tops. The diamond is transparent with a yellow hue, the miner adds.
ABN Amro sent a letter to several of its diamond clients stating that it would be limiting finance for rough purchases "in view of the continued lack of profitability in the purchase of rough goods." The letter, which was obtained by JCK and IDEXonline, was sent last week from an Antwerp branch of the Dutch bank to a number of its clients declaring a moratorium on rough loans, pointing implicitly to the industry's reckless behavior in writing, "We recommend you to show constraint [sic] and only consider purchasing rough when there is sufficient profitability." In other words, the b
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.