Archive

  • In a cost-cutting move, mid-tier miner Petra Diamonds has unburdened itself of the Helam mine in South Africa for a total price of $14 (ZAR 200). Petra put the Helam mine on care on maintenance during FY 2015, following previous attempts to source a suitable purchaser and has conducted no mining activities since then.

  • BlueRock Diamonds plc, the AIM listed diamond mining company which owns and operates the Kareevlei Diamond Mine in the Kimberley region of South Africa, has announced that the grade resulting from mining the first level of its latest kimberlite pipe "exceeds expectations". BlueRock is currently mining two of the five pipes at Kareevlei, called the KV1 and KV2. It has now processed the first Level 1 ore (10m to 20m below surface) from KV1, totalling 20,500 tonnes, resulting in grades of between 3.90 carats per hundred tonnes (‘cpht’) and 5.11 cpht at an average grade of 4.51 cpht.

  • UK-listed Botswana Diamonds said it is feeling "confident" that its Thorny River project in South Africa will become its first operating mine following the conclusion of a mining contract covering bulk sampling activities and future full-scale mining. The necessary regulatory approvals have been applied for, and a drilling program is planned in 2019. Managing Director, James AH Campbell the company hopes to get production rolling during the first half of 2019.

  • De Beers’ rough diamond production declined by 5% to 8.7 million carats in the third quarter due to planned reductions in mining volumes in Botswana and South Africa, the miner announced today. In Botswana, production at the Jwaneng mine declined by 6% to 5.7 million carats due to the planned processing of lower grade material. Production at the Orapa mine remained in line with Q3 2017 at 2.6 million carats.

  • Petra Diamonds, with mining operations in South Africa and Tanzania, has released a promising and much-needed set of results from Q1 2019 (July 1 to September 30), reporting a 21% increase in diamond production and a 22% rise in revenue in the last three months.

  • South Africa’s cabinet approved a long-delayed Mining Charter that spells out requirements for black ownership levels and backed the withdrawal of a mining bill after industry opposition, a minister said last week. The Mining Charter - which was introduced to redress the exclusion of black people in the mining sector under apartheid - could, however, still be the subject of legal challenges if mining companies are unhappy with its contents after it is published.

  • Tango Mining Limited, a Canadian diversified junior mining company with several projects in southern Africa, has been busy expanding its portfolio of diamond projects. Tango is the lead company at the Oena diamond mine in South Africa, as well as Txapemba, an 84 sq km concession in Angola that Tango took operational control of last October. It also recently acquired 75% of the Middlepits project - an alluvial diamond property in Botswana, which it will not be responsible for mining - and has now signed new agreements in Angola and Liberia.

  • Despite a slight uptick in revenues (to $3.2 billion from $3.1 billion), higher production costs weighed down De Beers' first half underlying earnings (EBITDA/earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) by 9% percent, falling to $712 million from $786 million. While the company's top representatives emphasized its strong first half both operationally and financially, with continued growth in consumer demand, De Beers CFO Nimesh Patel attributed the decline in EBITA "principally" to "the stronger [South African] rand.

  • Petra Diamonds posted a 21% rise in revenue to $576.4 million for the twelve months to June 30 from $477 million a year earlier, citing higher diamond prices (+2% on like-for-like basis) and production (+15%); but the miner worried investors by saying it expects to produce 4.6 million to 4.8 million carats in 2019, well below the 5.0-5.3 million carats it forecast in July last year.

  • BlueRock Diamonds, a junior miner listed on AIM in London and operating the Kareevlei Diamond mine near Kimberley in South Africa, announced its production increased significantly in 2017, yielding high-quality diamonds with an average value per carat of $362. The miner said that it met its two primary targets in 2017 – operational profitability and monthly processing volume of 25,000 tons, which unearthed 2,438 carats in the first half of the year, compared with 543 carats, a year earlier.

  • Petra Diamonds late last week announced that it had sold its stake in the Kimberley Ekapa Mining joint venture (KEM JV) to its namesake partner, Ekapa Mining, for about 300 million rand ($22 million).

  • 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.

  • In a landmark deal - hailed as a first ever in South Africa - Kimberley’s illicit miners, known as 'zama-zamas', have now been legitimized. Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources Godfrey Oliphant issued the artisanal miners with mining permits in an agreement aimed at curbing the rapid growth of illegal mining which has been spurred on by rising unemployment. The newly-licensed informal miners have been given access to 500 hectares of land owned by Kimberley Ekapa Mining (KEM JV), a joint venture between Petra Diamonds and Ekapa Mining.

  • Junior miner Botswana Diamonds has been awarded the priority 2.5 hectare Mooikloof kimberlite pipe concession close to De Beers’ flagship Venetia Mine, the company today announced. Mooikloof is a known 2.5 hectare diamondiferous kimberlite pipe last prospected in 1986 and fits into Botswana Diamonds’ strategy of undertaking fresh exploration work with modern techniques in areas where they had been found and mined before. The adjacent Oaks mine was previously owned and successfully operated by De Beers, achieving a grade of 53 cpht at a value of $156.

  • John Teeling is the executive chairman of Botswana Diamonds PLC, one of the most prolific diamond exploration and project development companies that holds exploration licences in Botswana and South Africa. With 40 years worth of resources experience, he is often called a ‘serial entrepreneur’, and is involved in a number of other AIM exploration companies. Notably, he was the founder of African Diamonds, which discovered the AK6 mine in Botswana, a venture that eventually became Lucara's famous Karowe Mine. The Lucara Diamond Corp.

  • South African diamond producer Petra Diamonds reported a major revenue increase in its third quarter (Jan 1 - March 31 2018) driven by record production in the first three months of 2018. The miner said revenue for the quarter climbed 44% to $172 million from 1,373,771 carats sold, compared to $119 million from 1,069,886 carats sold a year earlier.

  • Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE)-listed junior diamond miner Trans Hex has agreed to terms for the sale of its Baken and Bloeddrif mines, both of which are situated on the banks of the lower Orange River (LOR) in South Africa, to Lower Orange River Diamonds Proprietary Limited for $6 million (R72m) in cash, and its shareholders appreciated the gesture. Miningmx reports that speculation on the deal drove Trans Hex's share price up 52% ahead of yesterday’s announcement which came after the close of trading on the JSE.

  • Botswana Diamonds has reported pre-tax losses of $251,000 (£178,000) for the six months ended 31 December 2017, compared with $192,000 (£136, 000) a year earlier. The losses were due to administrative costs as the company continues with its exploration for diamonds in Botswana and South Africa. Botswana Diamonds raised $705,000 (£500,000) earlier this year to fund the ongoing exploration activities.

  • South Africa has a new minister of mineral resources, which is likely to be welcome news to the country's mining community. New President Cyril Ramaphosa announced his cabinet on Monday night, appointing former National Union of Mineworkers secretary general and national chairperson of the ruling ANC party Gwede Mantashe to head the Ministry of Mineral Resources. Mantashe was also the first trade unionist to be appointed to the board of a listed mining company (Samancor) in South Africa in 1995.

  • Botswana Diamonds (BOD) has commenced its first half exploration program on the Sunland Minerals joint venture (JV) with Russian diamond miner ALROSA in the Southern Africa country. The program will focus on previously identified geophysical targets in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve with the aim of turning them into drill targets. It will use soil samples and magnetic surveys to supplement the airborne gravity and airborne magnetic data obtained in earlier work.

  • Petra Diamonds Ltd said Monday its earnings as well as revenue fell slightly in its first half as core earnings fell 8 percent, despite a rise in production, as the miner was hit by industrial action in the form of a Q1 strike in South Africa, the inability to sell the blocked Williamson parcel (71,654 carats still being held by the Tanzanian government) and the strengthening ZA Rand against the USD, which the company says had a combined impact of approximately US$18 million. 

  • Petra Diamonds announced in a trading update (unaudited) for the six months ended 31 December 2017 (H1 2018) its production was up 10% to 2,208,056 carats (H1 FY 2017: 2,015,087 carats), in line with H1 guidance of 2.2 - 2.3 Mcts. This represents record production for any six month period for the company. Revenue, however, was down 1% to US$225.2 million (H1 FY 2017: US$228.5 million), mainly due to the Government of Tanzania confiscating a parcel of stones from the Williamson mine (ca. 71,000 carats), claiming Petra had undervalued the goods.

  • Australia's Frontier Diamonds was admitted to the ASX – the Australian Securities Exchange –  on January 3 and commenced trading shares on January 5, 2018. Frontier’s current focus is largely on two operating diamond mines in South Africa – the Star and Sedibeng Diamond Mines. Since acquiring the Sedibeng and Star Diamond Mines from Petra in 2014, Frontier’s strategy has been to restart operations and to make capital development and operational changes to cut costs and deliver strong improvements in operational efficiencies.

  • The African Diamond Conference (ADC), a joint initiative of Belgium's Federal Public Service (FPS) Foreign Affairs and the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), took place yesterday at the Egmont Palace in Brussels. With nearly 400 in attendance, the ADC featured a broad range of speakers from across the entire diamond pipeline - from mine to finger - as well as diamond industry stakeholders.

  • In honor of Antwerp’s celebration of its 570-years of unbroken diamond trading, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) is hosting an African Diamond Conference. The 3-day conference commenced last night with an exclusive gala welcoming African mining ministers and key members of the global diamond industry to Antwerp.

  • Canadian junior miner Diamcor Mining Inc.

  • In a recent interview with Mining Weekly Online, De Beers Consolidated Mines (DBCM) CEO Phillip Barton bemoaned the lengthy delay in processing their 54 prospecting licences in South Africa, citing the new Mining Charter (still on hold) and issues with South Africa’s Department of Minerals Resources (DMR), which are effectively blocking them from diamond exploration in the country.

  • Petra Diamonds Limited announced on Thursday that it has reached agreement with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) with regards to salaries at the Finsch and Koffiefontein operations in South Africa and employees will report for their normal duties on 29 September 2017. A day later, Petra announced the Kimberley Ekapa Mining JV operation has signed the same three year wage agreement as that already signed by the company's other South African operations. The mine will now revert to normal operations following conclusion of the labour disruption.

  • As the company had already warned, Petra Diamonds is currently facing strikes from workers at two of its mines in South Africa prior to the finalisation of its new wage agreement for its operations in South Africa, the company announced in a press release. Petra confirms that since last night it is, "experiencing labor disruption at its Finsch mine and there is also disruption underway at its Kimberley Ekapa Mining JV operations." Reuters adds that members of South Africa’s National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) are on strike over pay, regional secretary Cornelius Manhe said, after mo

  • Petra Diamonds Ltd., the London-based diamond miner with mining operations in South Africa and Tanzania, reported its FY 2017 revenue up 11% to $477.0 million (FY 2016: $430.9 million), though its adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell to $157.2 million from $164.3 million in the year before due to delayed ramp-up of the expansion programs and higher cash costs. The miner's net profit after was down 69% to $20.7 million (FY 2016: $66.8 million).

  • As anticipated, while Petra Diamonds achieved record levels of production and sales in FY 2017, with production up 8% to 4.0 Mcts (FY 2016: 3.7 Mcts) and revenue up 11% to US$477.0 million (FY 2016: US$430.9 million), investors remain worried as the company missed its production and revenue guidance by 8-9% due to the slower than anticipated build-up of its expansion programs across its operations. Furthermore, the company pushed back its production guidance and unveiled higher than expected spending and debt, causing its share price to tumble.

  • Just days after announcing it had identified a group 2 kimberlite pipe at the Ontevreden licence held by Vutomi in an area known for its high-grade diamonds, AIM and BSE listed explorer Botswana Diamonds (BOD) has announced it has been granted a prospecting licence over an additional 1,000 hectares at its Vutomi joint venture in South Africa.

  • South Africa has suspended implementation of a contentious and highly criticized mining ownership law pending a judgement in an urgent interdict application by mining companies, the country’s Chamber of Mines said. South African mineral resources minister, Mosebenzi Zwane, has agreed not to implement the current redraft of the Mining Charter Three pending judgement of an urgent interdict brought by the Chamber of Mines, a temporary victory for the miners.

  • Botswana Diamonds (BOD) the AIM and BSE listed explorer has announced that prospecting work on the Ontevreden licence held by Vutomi has identified a group 2 kimberlite pipe, the company said in a press release. Initial work indicates a size of 1.5 to 2.5 hectares in area containing high interest garnets.

  • For the year ended 31 March 2017, South Africa-based and JSE-listed junior diamond mining company Trans Hex Group reported a loss of $14.1 million (R182.6 million), representing an 81% increase than the year prior, when the group recorded a loss of $7.8 million (R100.8 million). The loss derives from sales revenue decreased by 19.5% to $41.8 million (R540.2 million) compared to the corresponding period a year earlier. Diamond sales by volume fell 17.5% to 40,187 carats, while the average price of rough sold dropped 2.2%, the company reported.

  • De Beers sold $530 million worth of rough diamonds at the fifth sales cycle of 2017 (Global Sightholder Sales and Auction Sales), marking a 1.5% increase over Cycle 4 ($522 million) and a 6% drop from Cycle 5 in 2016.

  • Botswana Diamonds, a junior diamond exploration company focusing on Botswana and South Africa, has recovered 223 microdiamonds from 160kg of kimberlite drill core from the Frischgewaagt Project, located in South Africa. These results were modelled to an estimated grade range of 20 to 270 carats per hundred tons ("cpht") at a bottom cut off of 0.6 mm, with the largest stone being a white transparent crystal diamond falling in the -1.18+0.85 mm sieve.

  • "With world diamond prices currently 'very unexciting' and with stagnant growth forecast for jewellery sales, junior miners should think long and hard before investing in diamond exploration projects, as there is a risk of decreased investment from the market." This is how Megan Van Wyngaardt of Mining Weekly Online summarized the presentation of Cadiz Securities economist Peter Major at the Junior Indaba held this week in Johannesburg, who warned that the diamond mining industry was currently “filled up”.

  • After several years of talks and visits, Venezuela and South Africa finally signed an agreement on the organization of joint ventures in the business of mining, particularly diamonds, in Orinoco Mining Arc, south Venezuela, writes AVN. South African Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources, Godfrey Oliphant, and his Venezuelan counterpart, Víctor Cano, inked the agreement, with a focus on environmentally friendly technology. Earlier, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro informed that the work area covers 10,000 hectares, estimated to hold about 40 million carats of diamonds.