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.
Brazil Minerals, a U.S. diversified company with projects in various minerals in Brazil, announced its extensive drilling campaign in one of its several mineral rights yielded alluvial material with a high likelihood for diamonds in over 57% of the drill holes executed. The project is located in the Jequitinhonha River Valley in northern Minas Gerais state in Brazil. Marc Fogassa, CEO of Brazil Minerals, stated, “Our identification of an initial diamond-rich zone within a gold mineralization area is a very good outcome.
Canadian miner Mountain Province Diamonds (MPD) has announced "very encouraging" results from its exploration program currently under way in the immediate vicinity of the Gahcho Kué mine. If the exploration success continues and is confirmed, it could lead to the potential addition to the resource of 1.5 to 2.8 million tons and 2.2 to 4.2 million carats, said Stuart Brown, the Company’s President and CEO.
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.
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.
Vast Resources, the AIM-listed mining company that signed last March a Memorandum of Understanding with Botswana Diamonds (BOD) to develop diamond resources in Zimbabwe, has been awarded exclusive access to a diamond concession area in the Marange Diamond Fields in the Chiadzwa region of Zimbabwe. According to a statement from BOD, the purpose of Vast's agreement is to carry out initial due diligence on the area with a view to concluding a joint venture agreement, the principal terms of which have been agreed, for exploration, mining and marketing.
ALROSA has announced that mining operations on the new diamond deposit Zarya are entering their final stage, having removing 10 million cubic meters of overburden over the last two years, and the company expects diamond mining will start in 2019. The deposit is estimated to contain total diamond resources of 3.5 million carats worth more than USD 1 billion. Its development will allow the miner to replace the declining reserves of Komsomolskaya pipe, where mining operations are nearing their completion.
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 $362. The miner said that it met its two primary targets in 2017 – operational profitability and monthly processing volume of 25,000 tons, which unearthed 2,438 carats in the first half of the year, compared with 543 carats, a year earlier.
Lucara Diamond yesterday published the results of its Mineral Resource Update for its Karowe Mine in Botswana, which showed it would continue to yield a high grade of high quality diamonds for the remainder of its open pit life, and that underground mining was likely to continue until 2036. The remaining Indicated Mineral Resource for Karowe's AK06 kimberlite includes 7.9 million carats hosted in 57.85 million tons of ore at an average grade of 13.7 carats per hundred tons (cpht), with an average modelled diamond value of US$ 673 per carat.
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.
The Zimbabwean government has yielded to Chinese pressure and will restore Anjin Investment’s operating licence after finalisation of the new diamond policy, nearly three years after the entity was stopped from mining in Chiadzwa, writes the Zimbabwe Independent.
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.
ALROSA, jointly with Endiama, is planning to invest about $500-700 million in Luaxe mining project in Angola, accoring to Russian news agency TASS as reported by Rough&Polished. Last year, ALROSA increased its shareholding in Catoca mining to 41%, ensuring a stronger role in the development of the Luaxe pipe in close proximity to Catoca's infrastructure. Luaxe has a reported reserve of some 350-million carats in the Luele Kimberlite pipe. The operation is projected to have a life-of-mine of 29 years, cover a surface area of 100 ha and reach a depth of 400 m.
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.
The government of Zimbabwe has starting working on a new Diamond Policy that will unbundle the state-run Zimbabwe Consolidated Mining Company (ZCDC) to ensure more players are able to exploit the diamond resources, said President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
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.
Dominion Diamond Mines announced last week that it would once again be delaying expansion of its Ekati mine in the Northwest Territories, which had been schduled to commence this year, extending the Ekati mine's life to 2033. They said the work planned for this year has been put on hold while the company studies how the project's profitability can be increased, according to CBC News. Dominion did not say how this delay would affect the overall timeline for the Jay pipe, which was expected to begin production in 2021.
The liquidator of Kimberley Diamonds' Lerala Diamond Mine in Botswana, which has been on judiciary management for the past year after it shut down due to a lack of funding and "weak market conditions", will put the entire operation up for sale in an online auction after its liquidators failed to secure viable offers. It is a complete diamond mine, includuing the entire processing plant with its various crushers, 200tph conventional fines and course DMS plant, as well as it final integrated x-ray recovery house, hand recovery and grading unit.
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.
London-based miner Gem Diamonds has announced that the government of Lesotho, represented by the Prime Minister and Minister of Mining, has confirmed their intention to renew the mining lease of the high-value Letšeng mine until 2034. The mining lease may be further extended if necessary in relation to any underground development of the mine thereafter. The full terms of the renewed mining lease are subject to a statutory negotiation process with the Lesotho Mining Board and, when agreed, will be contained in a new mining lease agreement.
Shareholders of the two Canadian mining companies have given their approval by an overwhelming majority for Mountain Province Diamonds to move forward with the acquisition Kennady Diamonds. The proposed deal, first announced in January 2018, will reunite mining operators that divorced some seven years ago. Mountain Province first announced spinning out its Kennady North project into a newly listed public company late in 2011.
Pangolin Diamonds Corp. has signed an option agreement to earn up to a 75% interest in the diamondiferous AK10 diamond project located in Botswana, situated just 4 km from the now famous AK06/Karowe mine. “I am extremely pleased with this transaction", said Dr. Leon Daniels, President and CEO of Pangolin.
De Beers and Mountain Province Diamonds - which together operate the Gahcho Kué mine in a joint venture - have signed a a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that considers incorporating properties owned by Kennady Diamonds into the Gahcho Kué mine.
Angola's new president João Lourenço, who took power in September and says he wants to shed Angola’s image as an opaque oil economy with rampant corruption, continues to make good on his promise to tackle family monopolies and make Angola more attractive to investors.
Zimbabwe appears ready to consider applications from companies mining platinum or diamonds to be exempt from a requirement that they be at least 51% owned by black citizens of the country, provided they can show they have a plan to achieve compliance, mines minister Winston Chitando said in an interview in Cape Town on Wednesday.
We believe that South Africa is a prime exploration destination. We have had 52 exploration applications outstanding for a long time and now we’ve had 16 of those 52 licences granted and we are working hard to get the others approved. One of the strengths that we’ve got is that we have a database with fairly reliable information from about the mid-1950s onwards. Using that database we then apply the latest thinking and the latest technology. So a lot of our focus is around Kimberley where we used to mine.
The Sociedade Mineira de Catoca (Catoca) mining company in Angola intends to mine 7 million carats of diamonds next year, said Russian CEO Sergei Amelin. In November this year, the company announced it expected to mine 8 million carats of diamonds by the end of the year (2017), so their forecast for coming year represents a 6 percent step back comparted to 2017. The information was released on Tuesday in Saurimo City, eastern Lunda Sul Province, by the company’s general director, Sergei Amelin, who did not add the expected profit for this year.
The Finnish Mining Authority has granted Irish diamond exploration company, Karelian Diamond Resources, an Exploration Claim in the Kaavi region of Finland. The four-year Claim, which is close to Karelian's Lahtojoki mining concession, covers an area of 28.84 Hectares surrounding the location where kimberlite boulders in till have been discovered. The finding of kimberlite is significant as these igneous rocks can sometimes contain diamonds. An exploration permit provides the holder with an exclusive right to apply for a mining permit.
The President of the Republic of Angola João Lourenço signed the Decree permitting the redistribution of 16.4% stake in the share capital of Catoca Ltd Mining Co to Wargan Holdings Limited, which belongs 100% to PJSC ALROSA. At a later stage, a 16.4% stake in Catoca will be equally distributed between ALROSA and ENDIAMA E.P., a national diamond mining company. The additional 8.2% stake will increase ALROSA's total stake in the company to 41%. The Decree of the President of the Republic of Angola will come into force early in January 2018.
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.
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.
“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 reports surfacing just over a week ago that Indian resource conglomerates Vedanta (controlled by London-based Indian Anil Agarwal) and Adani (controlled by Gautam Adani) might bid for a $9 billion diamond project in the country that was abandoned by Rio Tinto this year, Reuters is now reporting India’s state-owned miner NMDC Ltd plans to place a $9 billion bid for the diamond project.
It appears that Indian resources conglomerates Vedanta (controlled by London-based Indian billionaire Anil Agarwal) and Adani (controlled by fellow billionaire Gautam Adani) are considering bidding for a $9 billion diamond project in the country that was abandoned by Rio Tinto this year, reports Reuters. The central state of Madhya Pradesh was likely to invite bids in the first week of November to explore the deposit, which is estimated to have 32-34 million carats of diamond reserves, a senior state government official said. “We’re advertising only for that area in which (Rio Tint
The first ore from the open-pit Zapolyarny mine, one of four pipes at the Verkhne-Munskoe kimberlite field in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), was delivered to the stockpile of the processing plant No. 12 at Udachny Mining and Processing Division. The company plans to remove a total of 75,000 tons of ore from the new deposit - ALROSA’s largest investment project - before the end of the year. All the transported ore will be processed at processing plant No. 12.
Kennady Diamonds, a Canadian diamond exploration company headquartered in Toronto, has reported a maiden Inferred Mineral Resource (IMR) of more than 5.02-million carats for the Faraday kimberlites at the Company’s 100 percent owned Kennady North Project in Canada’s Northwest Territories, the company announced in a press release. The IMR result builds significantly on their Kelvin Indicated Resource of 13.62 million carats and, "represents another significant step in the advancement of our Kennady North Project", said President and CEO of Kennady Diamonds Dr. Rory Moore.
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.
Karelian Diamond Resources, the Ireland-based, AIM-listed diamond exploration company focused on Finland has received a Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) on its Lahtojoki diamondiferous kimberlite pipe in the Kuopio-Kaavi district in south eastern Finland, which recommends an open pit mining operation. It estimates a total of 2.11M carats recoverable with a gross value of US$211M over a nine year life of mine, with payback for the Lahtojoki mine - estimated to cost about $22 million to build, after two years. It would be the first ever European diamond mine outside of Russia.
Arctic Star, a Canadian diamond and mineral exploration company with diamond exploration properties in Nunavut (Stein), the NWT (Diagras and Redemption) and in the Athabasca Basin of Saskatchewan has agreed to acquire a 100% interest in a 243 hectares exploration permit over the Black Wolf (Masta Susi) and the White Wolf (Valkoinen Susi) diamond bearing kimberlites in northern Finland. Named the Timantti Project (timantti is Finnish for diamond'), "Arctic Star views this new project as a unique opportunity to advance a new diamond district", says Buddy Doyle, VP Exploration of Arctic Star.