I am bullish on the future of the diamond business. Three reasons for this optimism ... new discoveries, extending mine life and the increasing demand for diamonds.
- Martin Leake, independent diamond consultant, former head of sales at Grib Diamonds, interview @ Rough-Polished
Over the medium and long term, the supply-demand fundamentals of the diamond industry are positive and continue to point to future growth. India’s diamond consumer market has achieved almost uninterrupted growth over the last two decades. In the last decade alone, the market has nearly trebled in size to about INR220 billion ($3.2b). India’s middle classes are growing rapidly, with purchasing power of the highest income households expected to rise at the fastest pace.
Lucara Diamond CEO William Lamb spoke with Rough-Polished (R-P) about their future plans for the 1,109-ct Lesedi La Rona, their exploration projects and expectations for the industry going forward. Lamb told R-P, "With the financial strength of the company, there is no rush to sell the [Lesedi La Rona]. At this time, we have sent the stone for advanced analysis to fully understand the potential yield for the stone.
(izvestia.ru) Translation by Rough-Polished: According the Izvestia Daily, Vice President of ALROSA Rinat Gizatulin said that the Russian diamond miner is exploring the possibility of establishing its own operation to produce synthetic diamonds. However, analysts doubt ALROSA will be interested in starting its own production as an independent business: rough diamond production is highly profitable for ALROSA, and it makes no sense for the company to ‘waste its time’ on producing lab-made diamonds on an industrial scale.
We at ABN AMRO support initiatives that create more insight into the value chain, its key players, engages with the right side of the market and excludes areas which show less transparency or no willingness to learn and improve. We see other banks doing the same more and more. In the end there will only be credit lines available for companies with good corporate standards and track record, whether they are small or big doesn't matter ... We expect more consolidation and certain companies going out of business.
ALROSA president Andrey Zharkov said that the Russian diamond giant will create an analytical center tasked with targeting diamond prices and monitoring market development environment, reports Rough-Polished.
Real assets should provide investors with a sense of a safe haven. But today, the image of financial products related to gold, silver or industrial metals, which are hedged with physical assets and should therefore provide investor protection, is damaged. A changing world requires a range of long-term, value-protecting alternatives to hedge financial investments. On top of this list should be investment diamonds.
I don't simply throw diamonds at buyers and pressurize them into buying with all kinds of sales tricks. Buyers have faith in me; everything is on the table and very clear. Integrity is very important to me. Rough needs to be seen and inspected before it can be sold. This is a business that needs a personal touch. You have to create a pleasant atmosphere and give clients the feeling that they will not lose out and that they can make a profit on the goods. [The same need for transparency is true of the industry in general].
The Government of Russia has confirmed its earlier statement that it will only privatize a 10.9% stake in ALROSA, according to a Finmarket News report published by Rough&Polished, but will not consider selling 18.9% of the diamond company's shares, said Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, who heads the supervisory board of the company. "There is no dispute - (the sale will consist of) 10.9 percent stake.
In an in-depth analysis of the market for Rough&Polished, analyst Elena Levina says that despite lower reported trade figures in March, three consecutive months of growth indicate the industry seems to have regained balance.
Levina says polished prices, in certain categories, went up, as did the average rough price per carat, while at the same time, the big producers are said to have maintained the prices they instated last year. Industry sources, Levina continues, are saying that this price stability is again allowing the secondary market to trade at significant premiums.
In an exclusive interview with Rough & Polished, analyst Paul Zimnisky discusses a wide range of issues, from diamond production volume and prices to oversupply and mid-stream purchasing trends, profit margins, consumer demand and synthetic diamonds. A few key takeaways:
Rough&Polished recently interviewed Israel Diamond Manufacturers Association (IsDMA) president Kobi Korn about the new manufacturing center close to the diamond exchange in Ramat Gan and the current situation in the diamond industry in general. A key takeaway from the discussion: "This year has not been easy, and that followed a difficult 2014. The situation is very quiet globally with buyers only placing orders for their specific requirements.
The Report "aims to inform a wider audience about ALROSA’s major contribution to three areas of sustainable development: economy, environment and social systems," the mining giant said.
The miner, the star performer last year for parent company Anglo-American plc which owns 85% of De Beers, posted a 21% drop in total sales to $3.0 billion, and an identical decline in rough sales to $2.7 billion. Rough diamond output was 15.6 million carats from 16.0 million carats a year before, however the average price per carat increased to $206 from $192 due to a stronger product mix.
In an interview with Rough&Polished Africa Editor-In-Chief, Mathew Nyaungwa, Tanzania’s Tanga Small Scale Miners Association says it is looking at possibilities of exporting the stones on their own, therefore cutting out the middle-men. The association represents 14 small scale miners, each of which has their own Primary Mining License, and a co-operative red garnet mining site they mine together.