As Rio Tinto made a special presentation of the 187-carat Diavik Foxfire diamond to members of the trade in New York City, Alan Davies, the miner's chief executive of diamonds and minerals, explains to JCK how the diamond was discovered. The stone, found at the Diavik diamond mine in Canada’s Northwest Territories last year, is on a worldwide tour before it is auctioned off in June. Davies said the stone was the largest ever found in North America and had been shown in London and after New York would be taken to Tel Aviv and Antwerp before the bidding process starts online.
"As April 2016 concludes, the diamond industry has without question improved relative to a year ago, however, current industry data and commentary paints a mixed picture as to whether market fundamentals have in fact stabilized enough to support a new wave of sustainable growth continuing into the near-to-medium-term", writes Paul Zimnisky, author of the Zimnisky Global Rough Diamond Price Index to introduce his in-depth analysis of global diamond trade demand, supply and pricing in 2016.
Rio Tinto’s Argyle Pink Diamonds business has unveiled the largest violet diamond recovered from the Argyle mine in Western Australia. The 2.83 carat polished oval shaped diamond, known as The Argyle Violet, will be the dazzling centrepiece of the 2016 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender, the annual showcase of the rarest diamonds from the Argyle mine. Argyle Pink Diamonds manager Josephine Johnson said “We are very excited to announce this historic diamond ahead of our Tender launch.
Rio Tinto Diamonds reported a 10% rise in production on the year in the first quarter of 2016 to 4.52 million carats from 4.12 million carats. The miner's forecast for diamond output remains unchanged at 21 million carats, it reported. Last year's total production was 17.3 million carats.
India will hold its first auction for a diamond mine next month as part of New Delhi's efforts to boost local output of minerals and cut expensive imports, the country's top mines told Reuters. Madhya Pradesh will soon issue tenders for the sale of the Hatupur block which is likely to be completed in about 40 days, said mines minister Balvinder Kumar. Mining major Rio Tinto aims to mine diamonds in the Bunder area of Madhya Pradesh, but faces environmental hurdles.
Zimbabwe is checking Rio Tinto’s disposal of its stake in two mines in Zimbabwe, claiming that it is doing so because the shares were held offshore so it needs to see if the correct procedure was followed. Rio Tinto sold its 78% stake in the Murowa diamond mine and a 50% stake in the Sengwa coal mine last year. Both stakes were sold to RioZim, a separate, locally-listed entity that held 22% in Murowa and about half of Sengwa. Mining sources in Zimbabwe say Rio Tinto pulled out of Zimbabwe after encountering regulatory and operational hurdles, miningweekly.com reported.
On the one hand, a $3 billion diamond mining project, on the other, one of the world’s most beautiful wild beasts and nearly 1,000 hectares of pristine forest and other exotic flora and fauna face destruction. A decision on whether to allow Rio Tinto to explore for diamonds under the Chhatarpur forests in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh has been boiling for the past decade, but now could be approaching resolution with the government of India to decide its fate.
Rio Tinto’s Argyle Pink Diamonds have partnered with esteemed Japanese bridal house, Hatsuko Endo, to showcase the finest in beauty and romance from Australia and Japan, creating "a spectacular collaboration of craftsmanship and couture", according to a press release. Hatsuko Endo’s exquisite collection of international designer wedding gowns was paired on the runway in Tokyo with bespoke Argyle pink diamond jewelry, created by some of the finest Japanese jewelry master-craftsmen.
The Diamond Producers Association has announced that Jean-Marc Lieberherr, formerly its Chairman, is to become Chief Executive Officer. Jim Pounds, an executive vice-president at Dominion Diamond, is Vice Chairman, and Forevermark CEO Stephen Lussier, as announced last week, will serve as Chairman, all with immediate effect.
Diamond specialist Ehud Arye Laniado takes an informative look at the options for purchasing and selling rough diamonds, explaining the advantages and disadvantages of each. "Manufacturers essentially have two alternatives when it comes to buying rough diamonds. They can either buy directly from mining companies, or they can buy from others companies in the secondary trading market." Mining companies (producers) sell their diamonds either through a "sight" system or through tenders and auctions.
Rio Tinto reported that its Diamonds & Minerals group’s underlying earnings last year dropped 30% on 2014 to $189 million, mostly due to lower prices and a reduction in sales volumes. Weaker exchange rates boosted earnings by $266 million, which offset lower pricing across most products, the firm said in a statement on its overall performance for 2015.
Despite the economic conditions we’re all facing, I remain convinced that the extractives industry in Africa can serve as a powerful catalyst for broad-based economic transformation and long-term growth. But, the current economic reality must be recognized. Commodity prices are at decade lows, global investment in mining projects is slowing, and everyone is becoming more risk adverse.
De Beers Forevermark brand CEO Stephen Lussier has taken over as chairman of the Diamond Producers Association (DPA) from Jean-Marc Lieberherr, a spokesperson for the DPA confirmed to Rapaport News. Lieberherr stepped down from the role after leaving his post as managing director of Rio Tinto's diamond unit. He had been appointed DPA chairman last October several months after the body was established.
Rough diamond analyst Paul Zimnisky takes a comprehensive look at the current and projected output for the entirety of the diamond mining industry, concluding that "2016 global diamond production by-volume is forecast to be 137 million (M) carats, or +1.3% over 2015 estimates," despite efforts by De Beers and Rio Tinto to limit global diamond supply. Stable Russian production, new mines, and production increases by Dominion Diamond Corp and Petra Diamonds in particular, he writes, will serve to offset these efforts.
Rio Tinto has released its fourth quarter production results for 2015, reporting production of 4.27m carats of rough diamonds, or a 50% increase from the 2.84m carats mined in Q4 2014. This brought total production for 2015 to 17.4m carats, a 25% increase over the 13.9m carats recovered in 2014. At its Argyle Mine in Australia, the 2015 ramp-up of production from the underground mine delivered a 47% increase in carats produced compared to 2014. In Q4 2015, Argyle produced 3.37m carats, representing an 86% increase over Q4 2014.
Rio Tinto has announced that its Managing Director of Diamonds Jean-Marc Lieberherr will leave the company, reports IDEXOnline. Simon Trott, managing director of Rio Tinto’s Salt and Uranium group, will be replacing him. Lieberherr managed the Diamonds group for more than two years and was with the mining company for 10 years. Trott has more than 18 years’ experience in the mining industry. “I am delighted to lead Rio Tinto’s high-quality global Diamonds business and thank Jean-Marc for his contribution in setting up the business for future success.
In an e-mail to the company staff, obtained by Bloomberg, Sam Walsh, CEO of Rio Tinto, announced that all salaries from CEO downward will be frozen for 2016, travel expenditure will be limited and consultants and contractor agreements will be evaluated in order to cut costs. According to Bloomberg, in his e-mail Walsh writes; “The pressure this is placing on our industry is significant and it is a tough time across the sector. It is important we recognize that the pressure isn’t going to let up. This situation is not temporary.”
The discovery in of the 187.7 carat rough diamond, the Diavik Foxfire was very unusual. It is the largest gem quality rough diamond on record in Canadian history. Given the relatively limited mine lives of all Canadian mines, there may never be a diamond this size ever coming out of North America again.
- Rio Tinto Diamonds managing director Jean-Marc Lieberherr on the Diavik Foxfire & Canadian diamonds
While diamond miners on the whole have had a rough year, as weak consumer demand coupled with a supply glut and a credit crunch among diamond traders have caused the price of stones ranging from 0 to 4 carats (ct) to fall considerably, it was also a year of exceptional diamond discoveries.
The planned operation which may contain a diamond deposit of 34.2 million carats has run into problems due to 1,000 hectares of dense forests which would mean the chopping down of almost 500,000 trees, according to The Economic Times. The forest area is also a tiger corridor between the Panna Tiger Reserve and the Navardehi Wildlife Sanctuary and home to other species including the monitor lizard, the Indian rumped vulture, sloth bears, leopards and the gazelles.
Press release: "Rio Tinto has unveiled one of the largest diamonds ever discovered in Canada. The 187.7 carat gem-quality rough diamond, known as The Diavik Foxfire, was discovered at the Diavik Diamond Mine in the remote Northwest Territories of Canada, 220km south of the Arctic Circle.
Jean-Marc Lieberherr, managing director of Rio Tinto Group’s diamond unit, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television that the logjam of diamonds held by traders, cutters and polishers will clear by the middle of next year as rough prices decline, writes Thomas Biesheuvel. Lieberherr said that, “There is a need for the rough prices to adjust to the economic value of the polished price and that trend is in motion at the moment,” citing a disconnect between prices for rough diamonds and polished ones.
In a statement, Rio Tinto announces it has finished its first viewings of rough diamonds from Argyle and Diavik at the India Diamond Trading Centre in Mumbai’s Bharat Diamond Bourse. The goods are now sent to Antwerp for auction. Patrick Coppens, general manager of sales for Rio Tinto’s diamonds business said “Our presence at the India Diamond Trading Centre in Mumbai underscores our mine to market approach and commitment to staying close to our customers for all our sales channels. ”
Falling sales and shrinking margins have motivated the Indian diamond trade to consider teaming up with miners like Rio Tinto, ALROSA and De Beers to launch a marketing campaign in strategic markets like China, Latin America and the Middle East. The plan is to get international advertising agencies and celebrities to promote diamonds, which have recently experienced a decline in demand.
Rio Tinto’s 2015 Pink Diamonds Tender collection of 65 rare pink and red diamonds from its Argyle diamond mine "delivered an exceptional result, reflecting global demand and sustained price growth," the firm said in a statement. The tender continued its double-digit price growth trajectory, achieving the highest average price per carat since the tender began in 1984.
Karelian Diamond Resources, an Irish diamond exploration company focused on Finland that has a confidentiality agreement with Rio Tinto (RT), has announced that RT Mining and Exploration Limited has identified high category rating diamondiferous kimberlite indicator minerals in the Rihiivaara area of Finland. Karelian provided the samples to RT, which then conducted tests in their Melbourne Laboratories. The presence of diamondiferous kimberlite indicator minerals together with the discovery nearby of the kimberlite body enhances the diamond potential of the area.
Diamond industry analyst Paul Zimnisky has published a thorough "State of the Diamond Mining Industry" report as we near the end of 2015 - essential reading, in our opinion. "So far in 2015", writes Zimnisky, "the state of the global has been closely aligned with the posture of the global economy, as it so often is, and should be. The developed nations of the world are growing, but at uninspiring rates... Emerging market growth has slowed... The result in the diamond industry has been an overhang of low-to-medium-quality polished diamonds in the market for about a year now. U.S.
Rio Tinto and Pure Gold have announced a partnership, in which Rio Tinto's Nazraana line, a collection of affordable diamond and gold wedding jewelry, will be sold in Pure Gold's stores in the Gulf.
Nearly lost from sight after today's article in Bloomberg about weak Chinese demand exerting a drag across the diamond industry, is that just a day earlier, Rio Tinto told the very same Bloomberg that China diamond sales are likely to grow 8% a year in the next 5 to 10 years, "a pace faster than the global average as gains in household wealth drive a demographic and cultural shift in the most-populous nation." Alan Davies, Rio’s diamonds and minerals CEO, sa
In a press release, Rio Tinto announced that, "diamonds from its Argyle diamond mine in W. Australia are the centrepiece of a unique collaboration to celebrate five years of partnership with China’s premier diamond jewelry company Chow Tai Fook. The Chow Tai Fook Sunshine jewelry collection comprises a range of contemporary rings, earrings and pendants using beautiful white and champagne Argyle diamonds, were showcased at the premiere of The Australian Ballet’s 2015 China Tour in Beijing.
According to Interfax, U.S. jewelry giant Signet Jewelers Ltd., the world's largest retailer of diamond jewelry with over 3,600 stores under various name brands, has closed a long-term contract with Russia's Alrosa, world's top diamond producer by output in carats. Signet Direct Diamond Sourcing Ltd. previously bought uncut diamonds from Alrosa on the spot market, and is already a Rio Tinto Select Diamantaire and a De Beers Sightholder, meaning it sources rough directly from the diamond miners.
Rio Tinto will cut back its production of diamonds this year and focus on bringing more affordable jewellery to the Chinese market as ample supply and waning demand for the precious gemstones weigh on prices, writes Financial Review. The miner announced on Friday it would "pause final product processing in the fourth quarter at Argyle in light of current market conditions" and now expects to produce 18 million carats this year, down from its previous estimate of 20 million.
Rio Tinto Diamonds is to hold its first rough tender at the Bharat Diamond Bourse's new Special Notified Zone (SNZ), featuring rough stones from its Argyle mine in Australia and the Diavik mine in Canada's North West Territories. The sale, at the end of November, will be via a live electronic auction after viewing and inspection of the diamonds.
The Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) will be holding several rough diamond tenders and sales during a so-called 'Rough October Fest' including rough tenders and auctions by Rio Tinto, and De Beers Auction Sales. Rio Tinto will hold a tender from October 11-15 of large (+10.8ct) and fancy colored rough diamonds via a sealed-bid auction system. Meanwhile, De Beers Auction Sales will hold a tender for 5+ carat and 10+ carat goods between October 25 and 27.
Rio Tinto’s diamond division Managing Director Jean-Marc Leiberherr says China's demand for diamonds has diminished recently due to slowing economic growth and a big slump that hit the Shanghai stock market. “We see that people are postponing their nonessential purchases and avoid buying overly conspicuous goods,” he said.
The so-called 'Connoisseur’s Collection' made up of 65 rare pink and red diamonds is currently being showcased in Hong Kong as part of its global tour due to the importance the company said it attaches to the Chinese market and the growing number of ultra-wealthy in China.
Mining giant Rio Tinto will hold a “Specials and Colored Rough Tender” of large and fancy colored rough stones (+10.8 carats) at the Israel Diamond Exchange. The tender will be held October 11-15, 2015. According to Rio Tinto, invited customers will be able to buy high-value large single stones, parcels and natural colored rough diamonds in a diverse range of sizes, shapes and qualities in a variety of colors, including pinks and fancy yellows. The tender will be held via a sealed-bid auction system.
Canadian jeweler Birks will sell the "North Star", the largest Canadian diamond ever extracted, for $3.7 million. The North Star, a round brilliant diamond, weighs 15.10 carat, measures 15.87 by 9.77mm and was cut from a 55.07-carat rough stone extracted from the Diavik mine in the Northwest Territories just seven months ago. The diamond has a D colour grade and S12 clarity with slight inclusion. This diamond beats out a 35 carat rough diamond mined in 2013 near Attawapiskat at the DeBeers Mine which was cut down to about 15 carats, for the title of biggest diamond from Canada.
Avi Krawitz of Rapaport News writes that the diamond industry - like many commodities - is facing a supply surplus in the face of sustained soft demand and macroeconomic pressures. "What’s worse", he writes, is that "amid all the talk of weaker rough sales, global production actually grew in the first half and looks set to continue increasing for the rest of 2015." In the six months that ended June 30, cumulative output of five major mining companies rose 8% YoY, and is planned to advance another 5% in the second half.
Signet, which is ramping up its direct sourcing of rough from miners such as De Beers and Rio Tinto, wants to open a polished diamond selling office in New York City. “Signet has traditionally sold its diamond excesses and goods that do not meet our qualities from our Akron [Ohio] office,” says spokesperson David Bouffard. “Because the heart of the U.S. diamond market is also located in New York, we believe an office in the city should greatly facilitate that process.