Archive

  • 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.

  • The Antwerp World Diamond Centre today welcomed the President of Sierra Leone, Julius Maada Bio. The presidential delegation’s visit emphasizes the importance of trade relations between Sierra Leone and the Antwerp diamond industry, and falls within the framework of President Bio's efforts to take his country in a "new direction", which includes a strong focus on revising key legislation pertaining to the mining sector to ensure a win-win situation for the government, mining companies and local communities.

  • Koin International will hold a rough diamond tender in Antwerp from 18 - 26 June 2018, including original productions from Meya Mining (Sierra Leone), Ekapa Minerals (Kimberley, South Africa), and over 60,000cts of rough goods from Angola. The tender will also feature an Single Stone Tender of 'special' (+10.8 carat) stones from Angola. All productions are a full range of colours and qualities.

  • The fact of the matter is, if you are not selling a diamond at international commercial tender in Antwerp, you are not achieving the best price. We’re achieving the best prices in the world for an alluvial diamond mine, so it’s not a bad start. But could you get more for your diamonds at international tender? The answer would be yes.

    - Mark Drummond, Head of Investor Relations at Lucapa Diamonds, on Angola opening up diamond sales

  • 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.

  • In what can only be described as a brilliant initiative, De Beers Group today announced it is preparing to pilot a program called GemFair to create a secure and transparent route to market for ethically-sourced artisanal and small-scale mined (ASM) diamonds. GemFair will use dedicated technology to record ASM production at mine sites that meet demonstrable ethical standards, with the aim of purchasing rough diamonds from approved locations while helping improve working conditions and livelihoods for those working in the sector.

  • Stellar Diamonds and Australia's Newfield Resources (NWF) have reached agreement on the terms of a recommended all-share offer by Newfield to acquire the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Stellar, a deal worth an estimated $10.8 million. The Australian company will lend Stellar US$3 million to help it over its immediate short-term cash needs, while undertaking a right issue to raise A$30 million (US$23.6m) to re-finance the enlarged group. Stellar Diamonds' chief executive Karl Smithson recently spoke about the “extremely difficult” market for junior miners to raise new funds,

  • Stellar Diamonds PLC said Thursday it has finalised the tribute mining agreement and revenue share agreement with Octea Mining Ltd over the Tongo-Tonguma project in Sierra Leone. Stellar and Octea have agreed outstanding title opinions on the Tongo and Tonguma licences will be provided after payment of licence fees for the existing Tonguma licence, which Stellar will "shortly" fund. The licence has been approved by the Minerals Advisory Board of Sierra Leone, and the fee will be paid when Stellar gets funding, which it expects to receive as part of Newfield Resources Ltd's takeover of the c

  • Renowned jeweler Laurence Graff has bought the 476-carat Meya Prosperity Diamond from Sierra Leone for $16.5 million. It is the second major rough diamond Graff has purchased from Sierra Leone this month, having previously purchased the 709-carat 'Peace Diamond' for $6.5 million. The Type IIa, D color 476- rock was unearthed in the Kono District back in November by Meya Mining, a company jointly owned by Namibia-based conglomerate Trustco Group and Germinate Sierra Leone.

  • The 709-carat "Peace Diamond", considered the 14th-largest rough diamond in history and recovered by artisanal miners in Sierra Leone’s Kono district in March, sold at Rapaport's auction in New York for $6.5 million, approximately $1.2M less than was originally offered for the stone. This despite - or perhaps because of - its tour through the major diamond trading centers. Renowned jeweler Laurence Graff was the buyer. Martin Rapaport, surrounded by Sierra Leonean officials at their press conference in New York, apologized that his efforts did not yield what they had hoped.

  • 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.

  • The discovery of these two stones [709 & 476-carat] means we have immense resource potential. There is excellent investor trust in Sierra Leone. The proceeds from the sale will have a knock-on effect for investors and government, and a direct impact on the community where they were found. It highlights the great opportunity to partner with Sierra Leone in terms of resources.

  • “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.

  • 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.

  • Koin International will hold a rough diamond tender in Antwerp from 7-16 November, featuring a wide variety of African goods. They will present an enlarged original production of Meya Minings (Sierra Leone) as well as, for the first time, the original Allotropes Run of Mine (Sierra Leone).

  • Stellar Diamonds, a London-listed junior miner, is currently seeking funding for its Tongo-Tonguma diamond project in Sierra Leone, which it says will be the first major mining project since the Ebola crisis rocked the country’s economy.

  • Stellar Diamonds plc, a diamond development company focused on West Africa, has entered into a conditional binding Term Sheet with BDG Capital Limited (“BDG”) in relation to the proposed sale of Stellar’s assets in the Republic of Guinea, the proceeds from which will be used to advance the development of Stellar's flagship Tongo-Tonguma mine development in Sierra Leone, "A project that has an estimated post-tax net present value of $104-million,”said Stellar CEO Karl Smithson.

  • Sierra Leone's government announced yesterday (May 11) that it would seek higher offers in Antwerp for a massive 709-carat diamond after receiving underwhelming offers at auction in Freetown. British citizen Ziad al-Ahmadi, based in Antwerp and reportedly working for Raydiam BVBA, placed the $7.7 million bid which failed to match the government's unspecified reserve price, and turned out to be far lower than the $50 million the Sierra Leone government had originally hoped for, prompting the decision to try again in Belgium.

  • West Africa-focused Stellar Diamonds Project announced it had signed a tribute mining and revenue share agreement with junior Octea Mining for the Tongo-Tonguma diamond project in eastern Sierra Leone.

  • The government of Sierra Leone said Wednesday April 5 that it was extending the bidding for a massive 709-carat diamond found by an Evangelical preacher last month, after the government received only six offers for the gem, writes Times of Israel. The original plan was to open the bids today, April 6, but bids will now be accepted until May 10 - in particular to allow more time for potential buyers from Belgium, Israel, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates, a government spokesman said - with the auction to be held the following day.

  • Sierra Leone's Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources and the National Minerals Agency have issued a press release stating that the 709.48-carat rough diamond found in Koryardu village, Tankoro chiefdom in Kono district, Eastern Sierra Leone on March 14 will be sold inside Sierra Leone by international tender. Interested parties from all over the world will have the opportunity to participate.

  • A photograph of the 706-carat diamond (previously reported as 709-ct.) discovered by a Christian pastor in Sierra Leone's eastern Kono region has been published on The Republic of Sierra Leone's State House website. A local chief from Kono handed the stone to President Ernest Bai Koroma on behalf of Emmanuel Momoh who made the discovery. The government plans to auction it.

  • BBC News and Premier are reporting that an artisanal miner, who is apparently a Christian pastor, has discovered one of the world's largest rough diamonds in Sierra Leone's Kono district. If correct, and if it is gem-quality, the diamond, said to weigh 709 carats, would be one of the 20 largest gem-quality diamonds ever found - coming in at #13, right behind the famous 726-carat Jonker Diamond recovered at the Elandsfontein mine in South Africa on January 17, 1934, and just ahead of the 650.80-carat Jubilee Diamond, discovered in 1895 in South Africa.

  • Stellar Diamonds plc, the London listed diamond development company focused on West Africa, has signed an agreement to operate the Tonguma mine in Sierra Leone, adjacent to the company’s own Tongo mine.

  • “There are many exploration opportunities for diamond miners in our country. Even though the alluvial diamond deposits are shrinking, there are still diamonds in kimberlite pipes which could be mined. We want to continue to be active in the global diamond industry, and we’ll continue to make sure that investors get good return on their investments, as long as Sierra Leone get its share as well, naturally. We want to create a situation where everybody profits.” 

    - President of Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Koroma

  • Diversified mining giant Rio Tinto will “robustly” defend itself against any legal action by BSG Resources (BSGR) - owned by the notorious Israeli mining figure Beny Steinmetz - which is reportedly planning to sue the company over its alleged contribution to the loss of BSG’s mining rights for the Simandou iron-ore project in Guinea, writes Mining Weekly. BSG is reportedly seeking billions of dollars in damages.

  • Stellar Diamonds, a diamond development company focused on West Africa, has signed joint venture agreements with Citigate Commodities Trading, a Dubai-based commodities group, concerning the Company’s Baoulé kimberlite project in Guinea and two earlier stage exploration licences in western Liberia, which were awarded to Stellar in February 2016. The Company currently has a 75% interest in the Baoulé Project and a 100% interest in the Liberia Project. The press release contains the relevant details, foremost among which are that Citigate’s subsidiary company SAFA Afrique Ltd.

  • Sierra Leone, the seventh largest diamond producing country in Africa by volume and eighth by value, increased its diamond production by 19% in the first half of 2016, according to Sierra Leone newspaper Awoko. Diamond production in the first six months of 2016 was 359,080 carats valued at $101.9 million, compared to 290,380 carats valued at $60 million produced in the first six months of 2015. The country ended up producting 500,000 carats in 2015, good for $154,253,129. The price per carat fell a full $40 compared to H1 2015, from $324 to $284.

  • On August 22 2016, Stellar Diamonds announced that it had agreed with Octea Mining to combine their Sierra Leone projects to create the second largest diamond-mining operation in West Africa. Under the proposed deal, Stellar would amalgamate its Tongo kimberlite project with Octea’s adjacent Tonguma asset. The combined project would enable production of up to 250,000 carats per year of “high-value” diamonds, with mining grades of up to 290 carats per hundred tons of ore.

  • Sierra Leone exported 347,070 carats of diamonds in the first half of this year, according to the country's Diamond Dealers Club. Club President Federico Candiano told Rough & Polished that the country generated $188.9 million in revenue during the period. The figure includes $145,011,552 from mining licenses and $43,851,404 was from mining trader licenses. “The second half [of 2016] should mark a positive increase due to the seasonal washing in the rainy season,” said Candiano.

  • I. Hennig Tenders, a leading independent international diamond tender operator, will be holding three rough diamond tenders in Antwerp during the month of September in Antwerp, offering clients a full range of original goods.

  • Koin International will be offering a range of African rough production for sale in Antwerp from September 6 to 13. The tender features 10.80ct+ single stones and 30,000 carats of 6gr down stones. In addition, there is original run of mine output from the Krone-Endora mine at Venetia from Diamcor, from melee through to large single stones. There will be original tailings from the Klipspringer mine in South Africa, original production from Guiter in Guinea and from Sierra Leone of melee to single stones, and original production directly from the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

  • Stellar Diamonds plc, the London listed diamond development company focused on West Africa, has agreed a proposed transaction with Octea Mining Limited to combine Stellar’s Tongo kimberlite diamond project with Octea’s adjacent kimberlite diamond project, Tonguma, and to bring both assets into production under the same production infrastructure in Sierra Leone.

  • Stellar Diamonds plc, a West Africa diamond development company, has signed binding heads of terms with Dubai's Citigate Commodities Trading over joint ventures in Guinea and Liberia. The deal relates to the Baoulé kimberlite project in Guinea, which has a resource target of approximately three million carats, and over two new exploration licenses in western Liberia, which have recently been awarded to Stellar. The proposed joint ventures remain conditional upon completion of due diligence by Citigate and the parties entering into definitive joint venture agreements for each project.

  • Koin International is organizing a tender from 14 to 20 July in Antwerp featuring a selection of original rough productions from around Africa, including: Angola F2M, Diamcor (Krone-Endora Mine), Klipspringer Mine, Guiter (Guinea), Sierra Leone, DRC. The Angola goods on offer include Koin assortments (30,000 cts+), 6gr down, as well as 10.80 ct+ single stones and large fancy colors (yellow and pink).

  • Koin International will be selling original rough production from five African countries, including diamonds from Mothete in Lesotho, full original run of mine production from the Krone-Endora mine in South Africa, large single stones from the alluvial Namakwa North West mine in South Africa, more than 36,000 carats of original 'First to Market' Angola production sorted by Koin International, original tailings from the Klipspringer mine in South Africa, and original production directly from Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The tender will run from June 20 to 23 in Antwerp.

  • The Diamond Development Initiative (DDI), an organization dedicated to improving the working conditions and lives of artisanal diamond miners, is announcing the launch of the Maendeleo Diamond Standards (MDS), the organization anounced today in a press release. Maendeleo, the Swahili word for development and progress, is a fitting designation for standards that will ensure respect for human rights, for the environment and for community well-being, according to Dorothée Gizenga, Executive Director.

  • The Kimberley Process has sent an announcement warning its members of yet another fake KP certificate from Sierra Leone, the second in two weeks. The Focal Point of the United Arab Emirates reports that the UAE KP Office was contacted by a client prior to the import of a shipment to check the authenticity of a scanned copy of a KP Certificate from Sierra Leone. The UAE KP Office contacted Sierra Leone who confirmed via email that the attached copy is a false certificate.

    A copy of the fake certificate is in annex.

  • Reports from multiple sources are starting to detail the murky structures hiding the tremendous wealth accumulated by certain players in the diamond and gold trade that emerged through last week's release of the Panama Papers.