According to new research published by the Fancy Color Research Foundation (FCRF), one of the most overlooked facts concerning the diamond industry is that the world’s diamond mines are rapidly depleting. Within a quarter of a century, the majority of the 45 most notable diamond mines operating today will cease to exist, and the last diamond will be unearthed in 60 years. According to the FCRF, diamond prices will rise as supply wanes.
Gem Diamonds had a banner year in terms of recoveries, sales and average prices acheived for its diamonds unearthed from its Letšeng mine in Lesotho. In addition to setting a company record for recoveries in a single year of diamonds larger than 100 carats (15) and of diamonds larger than 20 carats (257), in 2018 Gem's carats recovered increased by 13% to 126,875 carats (2017: 111 811 carats), sales jumped 29% to $267 million from $207 million, and the average price rose by 10% to $2,131 per carat, up 10% from $1,930 per carat in 2017.
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.
Gem Diamonds has recovered a 357 carat light brown high-quality diamond trom its 70 percent-owned Letšeng mine in Lesotho, representing the 13th stone larger than 100 carats the miner has unearthed this year, a company record. The latest find is Gem's second-largest this year, with their largest being the 910 carat Lesotho Legend, a D color Type IIa diamond recovered in January, which sold for $40 million last March.
Canadian miner Mountain Province Diamonds (MPD) has announced "very encouraging" results from its exploration program currently under way in the immediate vicinity of the Gahcho Kué mine. If the exploration success continues and is confirmed, it could lead to the potential addition to the resource of 1.5 to 2.8 million tons and 2.2 to 4.2 million carats, said Stuart Brown, the Company’s President and CEO.
Lucapa Diamond Company completed the first sale of alluvial diamonds for H2 2018 from the Lulo Diamond Project in Angola: the parcel of 2,527 carats achieved gross sale proceeds of US$2.0 million (A$2.7 million), representing an average price per carat of US$800 (A$1,079), as several large stones were excluded from the sale.
Lucapa Diamond has recovered 25 carat yellow gem diamond from the Mothae kimberlite mine in Lesotho during first two days of trial processing following bulk sampling plant modifications, causing them to rethink their expectations for the mine. "Significantly", they note, "the gem-quality Special was recovered from the Neck Zone of the Mothae kimberlite" which is not part of the current +1 million carat resource estimate. They also recovered a 6 carat diamond during the first two days of trial processing of material from the Neck Zone.
Lucara Diamond Corp. has recovered a 327 carat, top white gem diamond from its 100% owned Karowe Diamond Mine located in Botswana. Eight diamonds greater than 100 carats have now been recovered at Karowe since the beginning of the year, including the 472 carat diamond announced earlier this month.
The run of large diamond finds by London-based miner Gem Diamonds keeps going, as the company has announced the recovery of yet another huge diamond of exceptional quality, this time a 152 carat, D color Type IIa diamond from the Letšeng mine in Lesotho, the highest dollar per carat kimberlite diamond mine in the world. This is the sixth diamond of over 100 carats recovered in 2018. The third of which was the recovery of the massive 910 carat diamond announced on 15 January, 2018, the fifth biggest diamond find in history.
Kimberlite diamond deposits have been discovered in the Sese area of Chivi, with investors scrambling to start mining the gems that are expected to catapult Masvingo Province into a mining hub, reports Zimbabwe news outlet The Herald. Masvingo Provincial Affairs Minister Senator Josaya Hungwe said diamond mining was set to start in Chivi following the discovery, and said at a press conference the discovery of diamonds in Chivi would economically transform the province.
Sergey Ivanov (37), the young CEO and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the world’s largest diamond miner, ALROSA, was in Antwerp for the company’s annual meeting with its 56 long-term clients. ALROSA is a traditional company in a traditional business, and still evokes the reputation of a state-owned giant despite the partial privatization (currently 34%) of the company a few years ago.
London-based miner Gem Diamonds recently rocked the diamond world with the announcement of its latest remarkable recovery from the Letšeng mine in the Kingdom of Lesotho: a 910-carat, D color Type IIa diamond. It is the fifth-largest gem quality diamond ever recovered and is of the highest quality. The Diamond Loupe had the opportunity to sit down with Gem Diamonds CEO Clifford Elphick and Commercial Director Glenn Turner at the Gem Diamonds office in Antwerp. (see a photo of the diamond in annex below)
The world's largest diamond producer by output, ALROSA, recovered of a large gem-quality diamond of 98.63 carats from its historic Jubilee (Yubileynaya) pipe, located in the eastern Republic of Yakutia. The octahedron crystal has inclusions of olivine, graphite and sulphide, is transparent yellow-tinted and measures 28.96 х 28.03 х 27.30 mm. "One more discovery weighing almost 100 carats confirms the fact that Jubilee pipe today is ALROSA's absolute leader in the recovery of large gem-quality diamonds.
On November 9 in Sierra Leone, Meya Mining recovered a 476-carat Type IIa, D color diamond (the highest category of purity & color) from the very first sample of ore they put through their processing plant. An astounding recovery.
“We have the diamond,” said Leora Halfon of tender house Koin International on the sidelines of the African Diamond Conference, showing us a photo of the 476-carat, Type IIa, D-colored diamond just unearthed by Meya Mining in Sierra Leone. “It’s already in Antwerp.”
Following the unearthing of the 476.7-carat diamond, dubbed the Meya Prosperity, at the Meya deposit in the Kono District of Sierra Leone, Meya Mining announced the appointment of Koin International as the marketing and sales agent for the exceptional diamond.
Australian junior miner Lucapa Diamond Company and its partners, recovered a 129.58 carat rough diamond from the Lulo Diamond Project in Angola, the eight stone above 100 carats since commercial production started in 2015.
Miners in Sierra Leone have unearthed a 476.7-carat diamond, reports the country's National Minerals Agency. Mining company Meya, owned by Namibia's Trustco Resources (51%) and Germinate Sierra Leone Ltd., discovered the stone in the diamond-rich eastern district of Kono.
ALROSA today announced the recovery of several large rough diamonds from Jubilee (Yubileynaya) pipe at Aikhal Mining and Processing Division in October.
ALROSA’s affiliate Almazy Anabara has extracted a large 34.17-carat yellow diamond. It is the largest fancy-colored rough diamond extracted by the company this year, writes the Russian mining giant. The rough diamond, extracted from Ebelyakh alluvial deposit, measures 20.17 х 19.65 х 15.1 mm. It is a transparent intense yellow crystal with a small inclusion in the intermediate zone. Before the end of October, it will be delivered to the United Selling Organization ALROSA (USO ALROSA) in Moscow, where the company specialists will give it a more detailed and accurate assessment.
Dunnedin Ventures Inc., an emerging diamond exploration company based out of Vancouver, BC whose main focus is the advanced stage Kahuna Diamond Project located in Nunavut, Canada, reports the recovery of 8.17 carats of commercial-sized diamonds (+0.85 mm) from 2.03 tons of ore from the PST kimberlite - one of three at the project. This yielded a final aggregate sample grade of 4.02 carats per ton.
Russia’s dimond mining giant ALROSA recovered a 60.32 carat rough diamond which experts believe could yield up to US$174.5 thousand per carat. The Octahedron crystal is transparent with a yellow hue and was recovered at Mirny’s Mining and Processing Division, from the Gornoye alluvial deposit. It is the only plant in Russia which processes rough diamonds recovered by dredging fleet.
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.
ALROSA recovered a large diamond of 121.88 carats from Jubilee kimberlite pipe in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), according to a press release (translated by Rough-Polished). The diamond was extracted by the company’s business unit Aikhal Mining and Processing Division (MPD) at the processing plant No.14. The diamond crystal has a yellowish tint, its dimensions are 28 х 18 х 19.5 mm.
Mountain Province Diamonds, the co-owner (49%) with De Beers (51%) of the Gahcho Kué Mine in Canada's Northwest Territories, has announced the recovery of a 67.87 carat gem quality octahedron diamond during production ramp-up at the diamond mine. It is the largest gem quality diamond recovered at Gahcho Kué to date. “The presence of large gem quality diamonds at Gahcho Kué was established during the bulk sampling when a 25.13 carat octahedron was recovered”, noted Patrick Evsans, Mountain Province President and CEO.
As in previous years, De Beers has allocated $35 million to diamond explorations and, in an effort to improve the rate of discoveries, will be implementing new technology. Mining companies have cut exploratory spending due to the 2015 slump in commodity prices, as well as the widening gap between expenditure and the value of resources found, as the best quality ores are reportedly depleted. "Our exploration spend this year is likely to be in line with last year's, around $35 million,” said De Beers.
Karelian Diamond Resources, an Irish diamond exploration company focused on Finland, announced they had received results from sampling undertaken by the Geological Survey of Finland (GTK) which had been requested by the company. In one of the seven samples that had been analyzed, a diamond had been discovered from the Kuhmo region of Eastern Finland.
Dominion Diamond Corp. reports that production from the Diavik Diamond Mine for the fourth calendar quarter of 2016 ended 10% higher than in the same quarter of the prior year, reflecting higher processing volumes that were partly offset by lower recovered grade. Under a joint arrangement, Rio Tinto operates the mine and Dominion Diamond pays 40 percent of the mine’s operating and capital costs while receiving 40 percent of the mine’s diamond output.
The Bakwanga Mining Company (Societe Miniere de Bakwanga, or MIBA), a joint Belgo-Congolese company based in Mbuji-Mayi, Kasai-Oriental Province in south central DRC, denied having recovered an 87-carat white diamond worth more than $6,000,000.
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.
Lucapa Diamond Company, the Sydney-listed diamond producer and exploration firm, had started commissioning the modules for the new state-of-the-art XRT processing and recovery stream, a move they announced last summer. The he XRT technology and larger screens (55 mm) recovery and sorting solution will allow recovery of diamonds of up to 1,100 carats. This is the same technology Lucara Diamond used to recover the 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona.
Firestone Diamonds has announced the recovery of the first diamonds at the Liqhobong Diamond Mine is Lesotho as the project moves into the production ramp-up phase. Liqhobong is owned 75% by Firestone and 25% by the Government of Lesotho. The first ore was treated through the plant as scheduled with diamonds reporting to the sort house, and among the initial recoveries were fancy yellow diamonds, as the company expected. Commissioning at the plant is 96% complete and the irst ore blast in the main pit was successfully completed, while waste stripping is on target.
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.
Lucapa Diamond Co. Ltd., an ASX-listed Australian company based in Perth, has uncovered yet another exceptional diamond from its Lulo Project in Angola and believes it is closing in on the original source of the gem. The 104-carat Type IIa, D-color diamond is the fourth stone over 100 carats Lucapa has found this year and the fifth overall.
Pangolin Diamonds Corp has announced that their drilling program at the Motloutse Diamond Project, located 150 km east of the largest diamond mine in the world, the Orapa Diamond Mine in Botswana, intersected no kimberlite during their August drilling program.
Petra Diamonds has found a 138.57-carat Type IIa, D color diamond at the Cullinan mine in South Africa. The diamond will be offered for sale as part of Petra's next sales process in late August in Johannesburg.
Mozambique's National Director of Mines Elias Daude last week confirmed that diamonds had been discovered in the Massangena district of the Gaza province, writes Mining Weekly.
Discoveries of diamonds on land along Namibia's coastline in the southern Atlantic may extend ground-based mining operations by another 50 years, said the country's Finance Minister, Calle Schlettwein. Namibia is the world’s largest producer of marine gems. Namdeb Diamond Corp., jointly owned by the Namibian government and De Beers, came across diamond deposits after pushing back the sea wall at its land-based operations, Schlettwein told Bloomberg.
PJSC ALROSA reports the start of the development of a new deposit, the Zarya pipe at Aikhal Mining and Processing Division. Today, the first commercial blasting triggered the first stage of the deposit development - surface stripping to remove barren sedimentary rock overlying the ore body. The mine is to reach its design capacity of 1 million tons of ore per year by 2021. The mine life is expected to be 13 years.