De Beers' rough diamond sales in May were (provisionally) $415 million, making sight number four of 2019 the lowest-earning sight of the year to date, the smallest since the October 2017 sight ($370 million, Cycle 8) and the lowest for a May sale since the miner first released sales data in 2016. The $415 million in reported sales represents a 25% decline from sales in Cycle 4 2018 ($554 million). The company cited macroeconomic challenges and a seasonal decline in demand for rough diamonds to manufacture as weighing down sales at the sight.
Russian diamond miner Alrosa was unable last month to follow up on their modestly encouraging rough-diamond sales from March, as the $316 million earned in April represents a 14% decline from March 2019 and a 20% decline from April 2018. Polished-diamond sales during the month did not fare any better, as Alrosa earned $2.9 million, a 64% decline from March ($8 million) and a 68% decline from April 2018 ($9.1 million).
Antwerp’s polished-diamond trade continues to see rising prices in 2019 following a year which the industry recorded its highest ever average price per carat for polished exports. According to figures from the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), year-over-year, the average price of polished-diamond exports rose by 42% in April to $2,663 per carat from $1,871 per carat in April of 2018. This led to a 14% increase in the value of polished exports in April despite a nearly 19% decline in the volume of goods exported.
India's rough diamond imports continued its first quarter recession in March, signalling a slowdown in manufacturing amid a tightening of available financing; polished exports also declined for the third consecutive month. Rough diamond imports fell by 16% in value during the month to $1.4 billion on a more than 9% decline in the volume of rough imports, and their value has declined by 24% during Q1.
Russian diamond miner Alrosa recently held two auctions of special-sized rough diamonds (+10.8 carats) in Vladivostok and Dubai, earning a total of $18.6 million from the two sales. The miner's haul from the Vladisvostok auction exceeded $9.65 million, with 29 companies from Belgium, India, Israel, the UAE, the USA, Hong Kong and Russia participating. A total of 150 diamonds with a total weight of 2,482 carats were up for sale, with 121 stones (2,030 carats) sold. Two especially large diamonds were sold, weighing 58.92 and 41.48 carats.
De Beers Group reported a diamond production decline in the first quarter of 2019 driven by a 65 reduction in South Africa as the Venetia mine as it approaches the transition from open pit to underground mining. Venetia yielded only 0.4 million carats due to lower mined volumes, while the Voorspoed mine was placed onto care and maintenance in Q4 2018 in preparation for closure. De Beers' production guidance for 2019 remains unchanged at 31 - 33 million carats, subject to trading conditions.
Mountain Province Diamonds has provided an update to the Mineral Resource Estimate for the Faraday 2 kimberlite, reporting a 74% spike to 5.45 million carats of diamonds, outstrippiing the 2017 estimate of 3.13 million carats. The update now cites an inferred resource of 2.07 million tonnes of kimberlite, a 49% increase from the1.39 million tonnes cited in 2017. The overall grade has also increased by 17% to 2.63 carats per tonne, and the average value per carat has jumped 25% to US$140 from the 2017 estimate of US$112 per carat.
The Antwerp rough diamond trade had its best month of the year thus far, particularly in terms of value, though like much of the rough trade globally it is operating at much lower levels than in 2018. Exports of polished goods slowed in March while prices continue their steady climb above the record average prices achieved in 2018.
Russian diamond mining giant Alrosa saw its March rough diamond sales gain 8% over its February results, as the market is gradually stabilizing, although it is still lagging far behind its rough sales a year ago. Alrosa sold $369.2 million in rough goods compared with $340.6 million last month and $278.2 million in January, saying demand for smaller-sized stones picked up during the quarter.
De Beers' third sight of 2018 (Cycle 3) was easily its largest of the year thus far, provisionally realizing $575 million in rough diamond sales, a figure the miner has not reached since their Cycle 5 sale in June 2018. "As we move into the second quarter of the year, we saw a continuation of stable demand for our rough diamonds during the third cycle of 2019," commented Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group. De Beers' sales in Cycle 3 was 16% higher than the $496 million earned in Cycle 2, and 10% more than the $524 million in Cycle 3 2018.
Namibia’s state-owned diamond trading company, Namib Desert Diamonds (Namdia) has selected 16 companies to buy its stones from 2019 to 2021, and notably, has identified them publically. Namdia expects to sell diamonds worth over $140 million (N$2 billion) a year to 16 companies from six different countries. Belgium and Namibia top the list with four firms each, with two more companies (Pluczenik Diamond Company and Samir Gems) headquartered in Antwerp but listed under other countries.
Canadian diamond miner Stornoway encountered a host of difficulties in 2018 on its way to a US$246.8 million (CA$329.4 million) loss, substantially widening the loss of US$85.6 million (CA$114.2 million) recorded last year. The miner's challenges included delays in the ramp-up of the Renard 2 underground mine, the processing of low-grade stockpiles during the transition from open pit to underground operations and weak diamond prices.
Following modest holiday sales, slow trading at the February/March Hong Kong show and a sluggish BaselWorld, typical first quarter inventory restocking of polished diamonds was "subdued" and "cautious" this year, while rough sales tumbled as manufacturing slowed, according to a Rapaport News press release.
While still lagging behind the levels of activity recorded in February 2018, India's diamond trade last month rebounded from a remarkably poor showing in January 2019. According to figures from the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), exports of cut and polished diamonds from India fell by 3.51% year-on-year during the month of February 2019 to $2.34 billion as compared to the $2.43 billion exported in February 2018. However, February's exports represent a 34% increase over the $1.75 billion shipped out in January, which will come as a welcome sign to the Indian industry.
Diamond Fields Resources, based in Vancouver, sold 47,298 carats of Namibian marine diamonds for $1,105,530 at a tender in Antwerp, including a 5.71 carat pink diamond which sold for $97,076 or $17,000 per carat. This was the first sale of diamonds from the ML111 licence offshore Namibia since mining resumed in 2018.
Rough diamond buyers almost by default desire ‘original’ rough, flowing directly from the mine of origin to the tender house. With current supply limited and no major increases on the horizon, however, maximizing the volume of available goods becomes more of a priority. Adam Schulman at Koin International tender house in Antwerp believes he has found an answer in KoinDex, a sales system that takes the hidden supply of rough diamonds already available to the market and packages them into parcels deserving of the same respect and attention from buyers that original rough goods receive.
Gem Diamonds Ltd. has sold a 13.33 carat pink diamond on tender in Antwerp for $8,750,360. The price achieved sets a new high on a dollar per carat basis for a Letšeng diamond, at $656,933. For the sake of comparison, over the course of the 2018, Gem recovered a 138.28-carat white diamond which achieved US$60,428 per carat - the highest dollar per carat for a white rough diamond during the year - and a a 4.06 carat, pink diamond that earned US$64,067 per carat - the highest price per carat achieved during 2018.
Indpendent diamond industry analyst Paul Zimnisky takes an alternative, well-considered approach to recycled diamonds: they could be the shot in the arm the natural diamond industry needs.
Russian diamond miner Alrosa sold $340.6 million worth of rough diamonds and diamond powder in February 2019. While such a result is very low for this time of the year - a 36% decline from last February, when the Alrosa sold $532.8 million - it is nonetheless a 22% improvement over the $278.2 million revenues achieved last month, which gives some hope that the polishing wheels are turning again. For the first two months of the year, Alrosa's rough sales are down 40% from 2018, falling to $618.8 million from $1.032 billion last year.
De Beers sold $490 million worth of rough diamonds in Cycle 2 2019, holding steady at just $10 million less than their January sale but at a lower level than last year. The miner's sales fell 13% compared to the $563 million sold at their second sight last year, and combined sales for the first two sights of the year have fallen by 20% compared to 2018.
Trans-Atlantic Gem Sales (TAGS) held their first tender of 2019 this month from 12 - 19 February in Dubai, selling a record $50.1 million worth of rough diamonds, as per a press note from the company. The sale featured a total of 79,213 carats of high-quality stones, included exceptional, special rough diamond collections with large and single stones from Angola, Namibia and South Africa. TAGS said the tender achieved an average price of $633 per carat.
The Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) has introduced new national codes for rough (unworked) and cut (worked) synthetic diamonds and other synthetic gemstones based on the Harmonized System (HS) Code, the international nomenclature to classify traded products.
A delegation of ministers and miners from the mountain Kingdom of Lesotho visited the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and its Diamond Office today for the final days of the first run-of-mine tender of diamonds from Lucapa's Mothae mine, held at Bonas tender house. About 5,000 carats will be up for grabs in Antwerp and is said to include specials from Mothae, featuring high color whites weighing 78 carats and 38 carats as well as an 89-carat yellow. We will provide additional information from the sale when available.
ALROSA, the largest diamond mining company in the world, held international auction for special size rough diamonds (over 10.8 carats) in Dubai. The overall revenue amounted to $8.3 million. The company sold 121 rough diamonds with total weight of 1,950 carats. Firms from UAE, India, Belgium, Israel, Hong Kong, Russia and the USA participated in the auction, and 31 firms were recognized as winners in different positions.
De Beers reported a 4% rise in total revenue for FY 2018, reaching $6.1 billion, but its earnings slid by 13% to $1.25 billion driven by expenditures such as the $87 million acquisition of Peregrine Diamonds and the launch of Lightbox Jewelry. Rough diamond sales rose by 4% to $5.4 billion (2017: $5.2 billion), driven by improved overall consumer demand for diamond jewelry and a 1% increase in the average rough diamond price index.
HRD Antwerp, Europe’s leading reference for diamond and gemology education, diamond certification and grading, this summer (June 3-7) is launching a course in Rough Diamond Management and Production Control. The course will introduce the business concepts required to acquire and trade rough diamonds, foremost among which are various techniques for determining the value of rough stones, the key component at the basis of any career in rough diamond trading and management.
Angolan president Joao Lourenço came into power about 18 months ago, stating his intention to fully reform the country's diamond industry, and his progress has been undeniable. Starting with untangling the country from the business interests of his predecessor’s family - president Jose Eduardo dos Santos and his daughter Isabel dos Santos - he set out to increase transparency and promote the country ́s image abroad in order to facilitate the exportation of goods and services and attract direct foreign investment. Lucapa Diamond Co.
Petra Diamonds, owner of one of the world’s most famous diamond mines - the Cullinan mine in South Africa - could be about a decade away from clearing its multi-million-dollar debts, according to Reuters. As Emma Rumney and Barbara Lewis explain, Petra bought Cullinan in 2008, "aiming to breathe new life into the South African mine renowned for yielding the largest rough gem diamond ever found - 3,106 carats - and being the world’s main source of rare blue diamonds.
Russian diamond mining giant Alrosa has today unveiled a 65.7-carat heart-shaped rough diamond unearthed on January 23, 2019 at the Udachnaya kimberlite pipe in Yakutia. Said to be a high-quality stone, experts estimate it is more than 300 million years old ... who ever said love was not eternal?
Gem Diamonds recovered a high-quality 13.33 carat, pink colour Type I diamond from the Letšeng mine in Lesotho on 7 February 2019. The prices for diamonds of this color of diamond are typically exceptional. In the first half of 2018, when Gem recovered 10 rough stones larger than 100-carats at its Letšeng mine, the highest price achieved was $62,433 per carat for a 2.26-carat pink diamond.
Russia's Alrosa, the world’s largest diamond miner, could not escape the current trend on the rough diamond market at the start of 2019, as its rough diamond sales plunged by 44% to $278 million from $499 million in January 2018. This is in sharp contrast to December sales, however, when rough sales increased by 46% over the previous year. Polished-diamond sales in January were $3.4 million, bringing total sales for the month to $281.5 million.
Mountain Province Diamonds will include in its upcoming, February rough diamond sale an exceptional quality, 60.59-carat, fancy vivid yellow rough diamond. The diamond was recovered at the Company’s Gahcho Kué Mine in October 2018. Also included in the sale will be more than 50 other large, high-quality white and fancy-colored rough diamonds. Viewings will take place between February 11 to 21 at the offices of Bonas-Couzyn in Antwerp, Belgium.
De Beers' first sight of the year provided no indication that the sluggishness of the market for lower value rough is ready to subside. The January sight is typically one of the largest of the year, as manufacturers restock after the Christmas season in preparation for the holidays ahead, including Chinese New Year and Valentine's Day. De Beers rough sales in Cycle 1, however, were much lower than the two previous starts to the year.
Russian diamond mining giant Alrosa expanded the long-term customer list for the three-year contract period 2018-2020, and has added two Belgian companies to its ALROSA ALLIANCE. Participants in the ALLIANCE obtain the right to use the logo that confirms not only regular rough diamond supplies from ALROSA, but also the reputation of a client as a reliable and trusted participant of the world diamond complex. Becoming an ALROSA ALLIANCE participant makes the company a candidate to potentially sign a long-term agreement.
The De Beers Group has announced its production results for 2018 and Q4 2018, reporting that annual production increased by nearly 7% to 35.3 million carats, while a 4% decline in carats sold was offset by a higher average price per carat, leading revenues to rise 2% to $5.4 billion. They said the rise is production was due to a planned increase at the Orapa mine, although the group's output was in the lower half of the production guidance range of 35 to 36 million carats.
The value of India's polished-diamond exports grew by approximately 6% to over $24 billion in 2018 despite a 10% downturn in the volume of goods exported, according to figures from the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). The rise in value is attributable to a 17% higher average price per carat, calculated at $775, for the 31.5 million carats exported, reflecting an industry-wide trend in 2018 of softening trade in smaller, lower-quality goods and more robust demand for larger goods.
The Antwerp diamond trade was nothing if not balanced in 2018. The industry traded a total of $46 billion in 2018, representing an increase of less than a percentage point over 2017 ($45.9 billion). The value of value of the goods flowing in and out of Antwerp was once again divided equally between rough and polished goods, with the polished trade good for $22.9 billion and the rough trade representing $23.1 billion.
International Mining and Dredging Holdings (IMDH) will be holding its first tender since 2016 of Namibian marine-mined rough diamonds at Bonas-Couzyn’s Antwerp offices. Bonas said the first sale from IMDH will bring to market approximately 47,000cts of original marine goods of gem quality, mined by the specialist mining vessel, the Ya Toivo. “This exciting source will be holding regular ROM production tenders with Bonas-Couzyn in Antwerp throughout 2019,” the tender house said.
Rio Tinto's diamond production for the year fell by 15% to 18.4 million carats from 21.6 million carats in 2017, as production at the Argyle mine in 2018 fell by 18% compared to 2017, when production was enhanced by the processing of higher grade alluvial tailings. The fourth quarter in particular put a drag on the annual figures, as the 3.2 million carats unearthed represented a 48% decline from Q4 2017 - albeit against a high base of 7.21 million carats - and a 16% decline from last quarter.
Diamond production in Angola remained flat in 2018 at 9.43 million carats, but revenue from diamond sales increased by 9% to $1.2 billion from $1.1 billion due to a 27% rise in the average price per carat, the chairman of the state mining company Endiama, Ganga Júnior, announced this week. Diamond production fell slightly from 9.44 to 9.43 million carats, but the average price per carat of the 8.26 million carats sold increased to $149 per carat from $117 per carat.