Archive

  • Russia's Alrosa has been exploring its options for the currently suspended Mir underground mine development, and has announced that it has worked out a decision-making concept regarding whether to restore Mir as an operating mine or move toward full closure of the mine. Should the miner decide the plan to reopen the Mir mine is economically viable and can be done safely, the earliest it might reopen would be 2030, and it could take even longer.

  • Lucara Diamond Corp. has announced a 54% increase in the indicated resources of the South Lobe of its Karowe Mine in Botswana, as it undertakes its feasibility study for a potential underground operation. The significant increaase in the availability of diamonds, as well the increased contribution of the higher grade, higher value EM/PK(S) geological ore unit, where some of Karowe's most valuable diamonds, including the 1,109 carat Lesedi La Rona and the 813 carat Constellation were found, signfies a significant boost to the future of the mine.

  • Stellar Diamonds and parent company Newfield Resources are on the verge of commencing development of their Tongo Diamond Project in Sierra Leone. When completed, it will be the second largest diamond operation in the country. The Diamond Loupe spoke with CEO of Stellar Diamonds and Executive Director at Newfield Resources Karl Smithson, first in Antwerp and again when he was on site in Tongo (“in the middle of the bush”) about the project, how it is progressing and what to expect going forward.

  • Canadian diamond miner Stornoway sold 184,620 carats in two tender sales for gross proceeds of $24.7 million at an average price of US$103 per carat (C$134 per carat) as price weakness returned to smaller and lower quality diamonds, a decline of 7% compared to the second quarter. Prices in the larger and higher quality items have remained firm. By way of comparison, the miner sold 201,283 carats at two tenders in Q2 for $28.6 million, at an average price of US$109 per carat.

  • Last week, Candian diamond miner Stornoway Diamond Corporation achieved sustained underground mine production at the Renard Diamond Mine following its ramp-up to or above the mine’s design capacity, marking the completion of the underground mine. Matt Manson, President and CEO, commented: “Completion of the underground mine ramp-up at Renard has not been without its challenges.

  • Canadian miner Stornoway Diamonds reported a net loss of US$27.5 million (C$35.9 million) during the second quarter despite higher revenues, as the transition to underground mining at the Renard mine impacted the company's carat recoveries and sales during the first half of the year. The move underground has taken longer than anticipated, as equipment availability and management problems have slowed their progress. The recorded loss compares unfavorably to the $3.1 million in profit the company achieved in the second quarter last year.

  • Canadian miner Stornoway Diamonds saw its sales and diamond output slip in the second quarter, with the results, "reflect[ing] the ongoing transition from open pit to underground mining and the introduction of ore-waste sorting." Stornoway held two tenders in Antwerp compared to three in Q1, earning US$21.9 million (C$28.6 million) from the sale of 201,283 carats, compared to US$43.3 million (C$56.6 million) from the sale of 399,135 carats in Q1.

  • Rain clouds have chased away the forest fire hazard at Stornoway Diamonds' Renard Mine in Quebec, and the miner expects to commence remobilization of staff to the mine this morning, July 4. "Over the last 48 hours, rainfall and a shifting of the prevailing winds have allowed the principal fires south of the Clarence and Abel Swallow Airport to be contained, allowing for the safe transit of mine staff to the Renard Mine. Stornoway expects to recommence full mine operations forthwith." Hopefully this will be the last appearance of the 'dog days of summer' for the Canadian miner.*

  • Lucara Diamond yesterday published the results of its Mineral Resource Update for its Karowe Mine in Botswana, which showed it would continue to yield a high grade of high quality diamonds for the remainder of its open pit life, and that underground mining was likely to continue until 2036. The remaining Indicated Mineral Resource for Karowe's AK06 kimberlite includes 7.9 million carats hosted in 57.85 million tons of ore at an average grade of 13.7 carats per hundred tons (cpht), with an average modelled diamond value of US$ 673 per carat.

  • Russian diamond miner ALROSA has decided to suspend the construction of deep mine levels at its International underground mine due to health and safety concerns, which will impact the mine's output plan, though the miner's 2018 production plan remains unchanged.

  • The highly controversial Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz, head of BSG Resources (BSGR), has apparently not allowed his various troubles to deter him from mining diamonds, as Bloomberg reports that the high-value Koidu mine in Sierra Leone, controlled by Steinmetz's family trust, has started mining again after halting production for almost a year. "It’s the latest step in a recovery for a business that’s spent much of the last few years in deep trouble," writes Thomas Biesheuvel.

  • Dominion Diamond Mines announced last week that it would once again be delaying expansion of its Ekati mine in the Northwest Territories, which had been schduled to commence this year, extending the Ekati mine's life to 2033. They said the work planned for this year has been put on hold while the company studies how the project's profitability can be increased, according to CBC News. Dominion did not say how this delay would affect the overall timeline for the Jay pipe, which was expected to begin production in 2021.

  • Eira Thomas was recently appointed as the new CEO of Lucara Diamond Corp., replacing William Lamb, who oversaw the successful creation of the world-class Karowe mine in Botswana. Thomas brings more than 25 years’ experience in the mining industry to Lucara, including 16 years with Aber Diamond Corporation (now Dominion Diamond), where she played an integral role as a geologist at its initial discovery and ultimately became Director of the Board.

  • Lucara Diamond has published its Operating Outlook for 2018, forecasting revenue at $170 million to $200 million, excluding the sale of high-quality exceptional stones, from 270,000 - 290,000 carats mined, bringing them back up to projected 2017 levels. Production levels in 2017 had to be scaled back as a result of extracting less ore than planned from its Karowe deposit, forcing the company to focus on mining waste material to ensure future access to larger volumes of ore from the lower-grade but higher-value south lobe.

  • Vancouver-based Lucara Diamond with operations in Botswana made several announcements yesterday (Nov. 2), starting with news of its positive Preliminary Economic Assessment for taking its Karowe Mine underground, which would extend the life of the mine another ten years to approximately 2036.

  • ALROSA issued the following press release this morning concerning the search for eight missing miners after a flood in the Mir mine in Yakutia: Mine rescuers teams, 60 people in each, started the morning stage of the search operation. The pace and scope of their work will depend on the weather conditions and geological situation in the open-pit mine. More than 330 people and over 30 units of equipment are involved in the search.

  • Botswana's Debswana Diamond Mining, a joint venture between De Beers and the southern Africa country's government, plans to extend the lifespan of its Jwaneng mine beyond 2024, reports Reuters Africa, citing a mines minister. The project, known as "Cut 9", has been under discussion for five years as part of the Jwaneng Resource Extension Project. This Project led to the development of Cut 8, the $3 billion expansion project designed to prolong the Jwaneng Mine an additional 7 years, ensuring continuous production until at least 2024 and producing 100 million carats.

  • Last year Rio Tinto’s diamond revenue slid 12%, leading them to review their plans to extend the life of the Argyle diamond mine, considering the global demand for rough had otherwise strengthened, writes The West Australian. Rio Tinto spent $US2.5 billion expanding the Argyle mine below ground with an expected lifespan reaching 2021. Should they decide not to continue with the planned underground extension, the mine’s closure could come considerably sooner. They are yet to announce whether they will continue with the second stage of the underground block cave at the East Kimberley mine.

  • Alrosa has brought the underground mine at its Mir diamond pipe to full capacity, according to Russian news service Interfax. Capacity for 1 million tons of diamond ore was reached at the end of December, and at that rate the Mir pipe can be mined for another 50 years, the company said in a statement. Alrosa described the Mir underground mine reaching capacity as its operating highlight of 2016. The mine can now produce $400 million worth of diamonds a year, it said. The Mir open pit operation was discontinued in 2001. The underground mine produced its first diamonds in 2009.

  • "Diamond mining company De Beers Consolidated Mines (DBCM) is spending more on exploration as it searches for a new diamond mine to augment its two existing South African diamond mines – Venetia, in Limpopo province, and Voorspoed, in the Free State," writes Martin Creamer for Creamer's Mining Weekly.

  • Dominion Diamonds says it will be rehiring the employees it laid off in June. The Canadian mining company temporarily laid off about 300 workers from its Ekati diamond mine in the North West Territories after a fire at a processing plant on June 23. At the time, the company said it needed to save money while it closed down operations to repair the plant, CBC News reported.

  • Russian diamond mining giant ALROSA reported that revenue for the first half of 2016 soared 42% on the year to RUB 186.7 billion ($2.88 billion). The miner, which accounts for 25% of global supply, also reported that earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization surged by 58% from the first half of 2015 to RUB 111.3 billion ($1.72 billion), with EBITDA margins surging to 60%. Net income and free cash flow doubled on the year to RUB 90.4 billion ($1.40 billion) and RUB 78.7 billion ($1.21 billion) respectively.

  • In an extensive article featuring spectacular images of ALROSA's Mir diamond mine, Britain's Daily Mail claims that it is so vast that helicopters are banned from flying over it in case they are sucked in. The Mir mine, located 5,000 miles east of Moscow, "creates a vortex potentially strong enough to suck helicopters into its depths," says the Mail while adding that the value of the diamonds so far mined at the operation together with estimated reserves come to £13 billion (almost $17 billion).

  • Russian diamond mining giant ALROSA has recovered a 136.24-carat diamond from the Nyurbinskaya pipe near Yakutsk in the Sakha Republic where most of its operations are located. The gem-quality rough diamond, is 3 Black Makeable 1 Color, measures 29.32 х 23.88 х 21.9 mm and is one of the largest found in the Nyurbin said in a statement. "The extracted stone is a combination-form translucent colorless part of a crystal with columnar interlocking sculpture. The stone contains graphite and sulphide composition.

  • According to various news sources, Anglo American Plc’s De Beers has put its Snap Lake diamond mine in Canada up for sale after suspending operations at the unprofitable mine last December. Just recently the Canadian division of De Beers got approval to flood the mine tunnels, as part of a plan to reduce maintenance costs. The flooding has not yet happened but planning work continues. “Before we get into that actual flooding of the mine ...

  • In a resource update, Russian diamond mining giant ALROSA said an independent verification showed its resources as of January 1 rose 12% on a previous valuation in 2013 to 1.077 billion carats, while reserves were 658 million carats, an 8% increase on three years ago. The rise in resources were due to an evaluation from several new sources, including the Verkhne-Munskoe deposit, the Zaria pipe in the Aikhal division, the Pionerskaya and Lomonosov pipes in the Lomonosov division and alluvial deposits including AO Nizhne-Lenskoe.

  • The Luachi diamond mine, whose commercial operation is planned to start in 2018, has reserves estimated at 350 million carats and a lifespan of 29 years, said Carlos Sumbula, president of Angolan diamond company Endiama on Thursday. This would make it one of the largest diamond mines by volume in the world. Sumbala also said the mine, in the province of Lunda Sul, will occupy an area of 100 hectares and will be excavated to an estimated depth of 400 metres. Geological and geophysical surveying of the area began in 2008 and resulted in the discovery of kimberlite in 2009.

  • De Beers Group CEO Philippe Mellier highlighted in a keynote speech to Britain’s top engineers the role that innovative engineering plays in the modern diamond industry. “The story of diamonds is a story of engineering,” he told the Royal Academy of Engineering. One pioneering development he featured was De Beers’ SQUID (Superconducting Quantum Interference Device), airborne technology that works in places where traditional survey systems struggle to operate. SQUID – an industry first – records how components of the earth’s magnetic field change in different directions.

  • DiamondCorp today announced that production ramp up has commenced from the Upper K4 Block ("UK4") at the Lace mine, in the Free State Province of South Africa. It is significant milestone for the company, which has thus far has extracted diamonds from tailings or from the material brought to surface during mine development.

  • The De Beers Group has announced it has placed its Snap Lake diamond mine on care and maintenance, with mining activities to cease immediately. The decision follows a review of the mine’s operation, particularly in light of current market conditions. De Beers will evaluate market conditions over the next year to determine the potential of the ore body as a viable mine. Work to suspend production at Snap Lake has begun, and is expected to last between one to nine months.

  • The global news giant provides its viewers and readers with an insight into Botswana's diamond industry and a look at the giant Jwaneng diamond mining operation.

  • A Faberge amethyst ring is to be raffled in London with the aim of raising £5,000 as part of a wider initiative to encourage more women to enter the mining profession. The special raffle will be held on December 2 and is organized by Women in Mining (UK), an organization dedicated to promoting and progressing the career development of women in mining and minerals.

  • Gem Diamonds reported that diamonds from its Letseng mine in Lesotho achieved an average price of $2,578 per carat in the third quarter compared with $2,264 in the first half of 2015. The average price per carat in the first nine months of this year is $2,374.

  • Dropping diamond prices caused by lower growth in Chinese jewelry demand is reducing the appeal of Canada's Arctic diamond industry, with falling exploration budgets hitting the region’s long-term prospects. Exploration spending in Canada's diamond-rich Northwest Territories (NWT), the world's third-biggest producer, is forecast to drop 54 percent this year, according to a Canadian government estimate.

  • Mountain Province Diamonds Inc. has appointed a former senior Rio Tinto Diamonds executive, Reid Mackie, as its Vice President Diamond Marketing. Mackie was formerly Manager, Sales and Marketing, for Argyle Pink Diamonds in Perth, and Senior Executive Trader in Antwerp. At Argyle Mackie was responsible for the pricing and sales of all Argyle pink polished diamonds including the Argyle pink diamond tender. In Antwerp, he was responsible for the valuation and sales of rough diamonds from the Diavik, Argyle, Murowa, Ellendale and Merlin diamond mines.

  • Diamonds, together with platinum-group metals, made the biggest positive contributions to growth in South Africa’s mining output, which slowed to 3.8 percent year-on-year in August, compared with a 4 percent year-on-year increase in July, according to Statistics South Africa.

  • South Africa’s mines minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi, a well-know figure in the global diamond industry, has been moved to a different ministry by President Jacob Zuma, a step that has surprised the mining industry and union officials. The move also comes at a time likely large job cuts by mining companies due to the ongoing fall in commodity prices.

  • Stellar Diamonds said a preliminary economic assessment shows the Tongo kimberlite project in Sierra Leone can produce almost 1 million carats over the next 18 years, according to a company announcement. "The objective was to define updated project economics for both surface and underground mining of the diamond resource in support of the mining license application," according to the assessment by Paradigm Project Management.

  • ALROSA has shifted operations at the iconic Udachnaya mine from open-pit to underground mining that will eventually yield 5 million carats a year. The company said it completed open-pit mining at the Udachnaya pipe earlier this month, having recovered 2.67 million carats of rough diamonds in the first half of 2015.

  • Andrei Zharkov, who was appointed in April, says no changes are needed regarding the miner's existing long-term strategy although there may be "manual adjustment" of some sales policy mechanisms to increase efficiency during slowdowns or at a time of rising prices. "I don't think it is now necessary to adjust the strategy and the long-term program of ALROSA. The company has taken certain decisions on strategic development and it is moving in accordance with them," he told Interfax on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.