Leading global consolidated miner Rio Tinto today (August 1) announced it would be returning $3.5 billion to its shareholders, including an interim dividend of $2.5 billion and a special dividend of $1.0 billion. The dividends decision followed a half-year performance where Rio earned $20.7 billion in consolidated sales revenue, a 9% increase over H1 2018, and ended with underlying EBITDA of $10.3 billion, a 19% increase over H1 2019.
Rio Tinto's rough diamond production fell by 10% during the first half of the year despite improved output in the second quarter compared to the first three months of 2019. Production at its Argyle mine in Australia actually increased by 18% compared to Q1, but the nearly 3.3 million carats recovered in Q2 was 5% fewer than during the same period in 2018 due to lower recovered grade, partially offset by stronger mining rates. Output at the Argyle mine reached 6.1 million carats in H1 2019, a 13% decline compared to the same period last year.
Australian jewelry chain Michael Hill says it underpaid staff by as much as A$25 million (US$17.45 million) over the past six years, and will pay out a sum in the range of A$10-25 million (US$7-17.5 million) to redress its error. The Brisbane-based chain is the latest in a string of organisations to admit to staff underpayments, and will face questions from the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO), writes the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). The jeweler discovered the discrepancy on its own but did not inform the FWO about it.
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.
Gibb River Diamonds Ltd. (GIB), until recenly known as POZ Diamonds, has received the necessary permitting for its Blina Diamond Project in the Ellendale Diamond Province of Wester Australia's Kimberley Region. The project consists of four granted mining and various exploration leases, and the company is already recovering high quality stones.
Rio Tinto's carat production in Q3 2018 at the Argyle as well as Diavik mines fell on a year-over-year basis, though production for the year thus far has kept pace with the first nine months of 2017. Production during the three months ending September 30 fell by over 17% to 4.9 million carats from 5.9 million carats, driven by a 19% decline at its 100-percent owned Argyle mine in Australia. Total output from the two mines is down by 2% to 14.1 million carats for the year to date.
CEO of Australia’s Lucapa Diamond Company, Stephen Wetherall, paid a visit to Antwerp recently, where The Diamond Loupe caught up with him. We encountered an optimistic CEO that is clearly excited about the future of Lucapa, and justifiably so. The growing miner operates, together with its partners in Angola, the highest-value and most promising alluvial diamond project in the world - the Lulo Diamond Project.
POZ Minerals Ltd., a phosphate producer that holds a 100% interest in the Blina Diamond Project and also explores for phosphate and gold properties, annouced it will place a bid for the Ellendale mine after the state government’s call for investors in the asset last week. The Ellendale Project was mined from 2002 to 2015 and previously produced about half of the world's highly valued fancy yellow diamonds.
Australian-based Lucapa Diamond Company, whose flagship operation is the Lulo diamond project in Angola, reports the recovery 1,100 diamonds from a 178 kg drill sample at the Brooking diamond project in Western Australia’s West Kimberley lamproite province. The miner's "exceptional results" from the Little Spring Creek discovery included 18 macro-diamonds and 1,082 micro-diamonds, recovered from drill hole LSC/DH002. “The latest micro-diamond results from Little Spring Creek are some of the best I have seen in the diamond space," said Lucapa Managing Director Stephen Wetherall.
The Western Australian Government is seeking expressions of interest to reopen and operate the Ellendale diamond mine in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, reports Australian Mining. Ellendale previously provided about half of the world’s highly-valued fancy yellow diamonds, of which US jeweller Tiffany & Co was a major client. Mining operatoins ceased in July 2015 when Kimberley Diamond Company (KDC), which had operated the mine from 2002 to 2015, entered into administration.
Rio Tinto reports rough diamond output at its Argyle Mine in Australia nearly hit 3.5 million carats for the second straight quarter in 2018 (3.48 million carats in Q2, 3.5 million carats in Q1), marking an 8% increase over output in the second quarter of 2017 and continuing the gains recorded in the first quarter. The mining giant has now topped 7 million carats produced at Argyle in the first half of 2018, a 13% increase over the first half of 2017. Rio Tinto attributes the increase over Q2 2017 to an increase in tons processed following improved plant availability.
Rio Tinto's Arglye mine in Australia - the world's main if not only source of pink diamonds - may be heading for closure in 2020, but not before going out with a bang. The miner will headline one of its last ever pink diamond tenders with the Argyle Alpha vivid pink diamond, weighing 3.14 carats, which was actually uncovered in 2015. It the largest stone of its color in the history of the annual sales event.
Rio Tinto‘s Australian Diamonds program has launched its latest campaign in India highlighting a new range of affordable bridal and fashion jewelry from the company’s Argyle diamond mine in Australia, the company announced in a press release. Mithali Raj, captain of the Indian women’s cricket team is the official ambassador for the new campaign, helping promote the popularity of diamonds in fashion and bridal jewelry, particularly for younger Indian consumers.
The Lerala Diamond Mine in central Botswana has been sold via an online auction for $8.1 million, a year after it was placed under provisional liquidation, according to a report from Reuters. The liquidator of the mine - which was held by Australian mining company Kimberley Diamonds and has been on judiciary management for the past year after it shut down due to a lack of funding and "weak market conditions" - put the entire operation up for sale in an online auction after its liquidators failed to secure viable offers.
Rio Tinto reports rough diamond output at its Argyle Mine in Australia topped 3.5 million carats in Q1 2018, representing an 18% increase over output in the first quarter of last year, but a massive 42% decline compared to the 6.1 million carats recovered in Q4 2017. The mining giant attributes the increase over Q1 2017 to relatively fewer weather disruptions and the additional processing of higher grade alluvial tailings.
Featuring genuine examples some of the world’s rarest diamonds - pink gems from Rio Tinto’s Argyle mine in Australia - The Perth Mint has launched a limited edition collection of Pink Diamond Ingots celebrating the Pink Panther. Struck from 91.67% pure pink gold and 99.95% pure platinum, each ingot is handset with two stunning pink diamonds from the Argyle Diamond Mine, each weighing 0.08 carats, of Fancy Intense to Vivid Purplish Pink color.
The Lucapa Diamond Company has announced it has secured major investment backing from a new cornerstone investor and existing shareholders to advance its diamond projects and continue delivering on its growth strategy. The US$12.7 million (A$16.5 million) placement, at no discount to market price, will enable Lucapa to immediately launch an extensive follow-up exploration program, including further drilling, at the Brooking diamond discovery in Western Australia’s West Kimberley region, the company states.
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,
The United Nations General Assembly, welcoming progress made by the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme to break links between the diamond trade and conflict, on March 7 adopted a consensus resolution aimed at intensifying that work and aligning it with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Lucapa Diamond Company (partners Endiama and Rosas & Petalas) completed the second sale for 2018 of diamonds from the Lulo Diamond Project in Angola. The sale of 2,072 carats of Lulo diamonds achieved gross proceeds of US$1.7 million (A$2.1 million), representing an average price per carat of US$804. The largest diamond weighed 44 carats in the sale parcel, which also included a vivid pink of 1.9 carats. The latest sale brought gross proceeds from Lulo diamonds sales to date in 2018 to US$10.8 million (A$13.5 million) at an average price per carat of US$1,731.
Rio Tinto's 2017 annual report includes significant changes in estimates of Ore Reserves and Mineral Resources at Rio Tinto's Argyle Diamond mine in the East Kimberley, Western Australia, the company announced in a press release accompanying their annual report.
Rio Tinto rode the wave of higher commodity prices and saw results from its cost cutting drive to record a 90% increase in net profit to $8.8 billion in 2017, and their diamond operations got in on the party, with profits climbing 96% to $92 million. Revenue jumped 15% to $706 million from $613 million, as demand for rough diamonds heated up following the normalization of the Indian market post-demonitization - the currency shift the government initiated in November 2016. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) grew 20% to $287 million.
Australia's Lucapa Diamond Company has announced their Q4 and final 2017 results, with fewer large diamond recoveries and lower prices achieved leading to a 38% decline in annual sales. The company earned $31.6 million in revenue from diamond recovered at their Lulo Diamond Project in Angola, compared to $51 million a year ago. Last year's figures include the 404 carat "4th February Stone", which sold for US$16m in February 2016. Even without the earnings from that big diamond, however, sales would still have been 10% lower than the $35 million earned in 2016 excluding the big stone.
Brisbane-based retail jeweler Michael Hill has announced, "The complete exit of the loss-making retail operations in the US" as part of a set of strategic actions across its global retail network. The company, which "entered the U.S.
A global miner hoping to revive the Kimberley diamond industry has made a significant discovery, only 50km east of the old Ellendale mine that once produced half the world's rare fancy yellow diamonds, writes ABC Australia. Only a few weeks after Lucapa Diamond Company began drilling for lamproite on its Brooking project, it has uncovered 119 diamonds, including seven macro diamonds. The diamonds were recovered from an 86.8kg core sample in a 7.5cm drill hole at Little Spring Creek in the West Kimberley.
On the back of a fourth-quarter push in diamond production that increased 58% year-on-year and 21% compared to Q3 2017, Rio Tinto ended the year 2017 with a 20% rise in rough diamond production to 21.63 million carats from 17.95 million carats in 2016. In Q4 alone, Rio Tinto unearthed 7.21 million of those 21.63 million carats, a tremendous increase over the 4.57 million carats extracted in the same period a year earlier. Rio Tinto is forecasting 2018 diamond production at 17 to 20 million carats.
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.
Australia's Lucapa Diamond Co. and its Angolan partners, Endiama and Rosas & Petalas, have decided to schedule the next diamond sale for early 2018. The timing of this sale is designed to maximise sale proceeds by selling into a usually stronger demand period at the beginning of the year. The next sale parcel of alluvial diamonds from the Lulo Diamond Project in Angola will total 2,160 carats. This includes the exceptional 129 carat and 78 carat Type IIa D-colour Lulo diamonds recovered from Mining Block 6 in November 2017.
At the close of the KP Plenary session in Brisbane last week, the World Diamond Council (WDC) - the KP industry representatives focused on preventing conflict diamonds from entering the legitimate global supply chain and protecting the value of diamonds - extended praise and gratitude to Participants at the gathering, for embracing the spirit of collaboration and open dialogue around KP reform. “This week we spoke openly and transparently about areas of the KP in need of the most urgent reform, and I am pleased that we have come together and
Merlin Diamonds is getting ready to process its first kimberlite ore through its new Tomra X-Ray Transmission (XRT) machine at its Merlin Diamond Mine in the Northern Territory, designed to enable the recovery of larger diamonds. Merlin announced on December 1 that the Tomra X-Ray Transmission Machine had been delivered to the mine site and would be commissioned in December. In addition to larger diamonds, the machine is also expected to recover more low luminescing diamonds than previously possible.
As the Kimberley Process 2017 Plenary is set to start in Brisbane on Saturday, December 9, The Diamond Loupe sat down with the Acting President of the World Diamond Council (WDC) and President of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre Stéphane Fischler to discuss the industry oganization's recommendations and what they are expecting from this Plenary.
Lucapa Diamond Company and its partners, Endiama and Rosas & Petalas, have completed their eighth sale in 2017 of alluvial diamonds from the Lulo Diamond Project in Angola, earning gross proceeds of US$7.3 million (A$9.6 million), representing an average price per carat of US$1,770 (A$2,332) from 4,126 carats. The latest sale brought gross proceeds from Lulo diamond sales to date in 2017 to US$31.6 million at an average price per carat of US$1,668.
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.
Australian-British multinational mining conglomorate Rio Tinto has released its third quarter production results, reporting a stong performance from its operations in Australia (Argyle) and Canada (Diavik). At the Argyle diamond mine in the remote East Kimberley region of Western Australia, quarterly production of 4.76 million carats was 36 percent higher than the third quarter of 2016, and a full 48 percent higher than Q2 2017 due to the processing of higher grade alluvial tailings.
Australian junior miner POZ Minerals Limited (‘POZ’) has signed a mining agreement with the Bunuba Dawangarri Aboriginal Corporation (‘Bunuba’), the traditional owners of the southern part of the Blina Diamond Project area, which will enable POZ to move forward with its diamond project in the Ellendale Region of Western Australia - known for its fancy yellow diamonds.
Australian junior miner Lucapa Diamond Company today announced it has secured $15 million in debt financing to bring its high-value Mothae kimberlite diamond project in Lesotho into production in 2018. The secured US$15 million three-year debt facility has been arranged with private Singaporean company Equigold. It is repayable in eight quarterly payments commencing December 2018, by when Lucapa expects Mothae to be in steady state production under its Phase 1 development plan.
Australian junior miner Lucapa Diamond Company has completed the seventh sale for 2017. The company earned US$7.4 million from the tender of 3,214 carats of rough alluvial diamonds from the Lulo Diamond Project in Angola. This represents an average price of $2,298 per carat, and brings gross proceeds from Lulo diamond sales in 2017 to US$24.3 million, for an average of US$1,640 per carat. The company notes that diamond recoveries and grades have improved at Lulo since the return to the high-value Mining Block 8 and 6 areas, after the Angolan wet season.
Merlin Diamonds Ltd has shipped a parcel of rough diamonds to Koin International (Koin) following the receipt of the requisite Kimberley Process Certificate for an auction commencing on August 30. The Merlin diamond mine in Australia’s Northern Territories is famous for producing large, high clarity, white, high value diamonds, including the largest diamond ever unearthed in Australia, at 104.73 carats.
Rio Tinto created a signature piece of jewelry featuring champagne and cognac diamonds from its Argyle diamond mine, which they havee showcased in New York in celebration of their unique Australian provenance and the diamond ties that bind Australia and the US. The Origins of Argyle statement necklace features more than 45 carats of cascading champagne and cognac diamonds and a 3.55 carat white diamond from the Argyle diamond mine.
Australian junior miner Lucapa Diamond Company earned US$1.5 million from the sale of 2,070 carats of rough alluvial diamonds from the Lulo Diamond Project in Angola during the sixth sale of 2017. This represents an average price of US$710 per carat, and brings gross proceeds from Lulo diamond sales in 2017 to US$17 million, for an average price of US$1,485 per carat. The company notes that diamond recoveries and grades have improved at Lulo since the return to the high-value Mining Block 8 and 6 areas, after the Angolan wet season.