Archive

  • Debswana, the joint venture between the Botswana government and Anglo American’s De Beers unit, intends to invest US$6 billion to build the world’s largest underground diamond mine at Botswana’s Jwaneng. The mine is already considered the richest mine by value for the precious stones. The underground mine will have more than 360 km of tunnel development and is expected to hit full production by 2034, Debswana’s head of transformation and innovation, Thabo Balopi, said at a briefing in the capital, Gaborone, last Friday.

  • Lucara Diamond Corp, owner of the Karowe mine in Botswana and HB Antwerp, the diamond trading and manufacturing company based in Antwerp have agreed to extend the exclusive deal on all of Lucara's +10.8ct diamonds, which account for approx. 70% of Lucara's total revenue, for 24 months. HB Antwerp will continue to get exclusive access to purchase the miner's specials until the end of 2022, for a price determined on the projected polished outcome, and an additional true up, minus handling fee and manufacturing cost, once the diamond is actually sold.

  • In a press conference earlier today, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, together with the City of Antwerp, announced they would (re)organise a diamond polishing course.

  • In January De Beers’ rough diamond sales reached $650 million, the highest monthly total since 2018. This was in part due to manufacturers replenishing their stock following the holiday season. Despite the company's recent price increase in rough diamonds, revenue is up 18% y-o-y, and 44% above the $452 million it reported in December 2020.

  • Just a few weeks after Lucara announced the discovery of a 341ct unbroken Type IIa rough, the Canadian miner recovered another massive, 378ct clear white rough from the M/PK(S) unit of its Karowe mine in Botswana.  

  • Botswana's Minister of Mineral has approved the renewal and extension of Lucara's mining licence through to 2046, or another 25 years, "another important milestone for the underground expansion of Karowe", Lucara President and CEO Eira Thomas commented. Although the expansion, estimated cost US$514m, has experienced slight delays due to Covid-19 budget restrictions, the five year development period remains on track, with first ore expected to be processed in 2026.

  • According to Mining Weekly, citing Botswana Central Bank data, exports of rough diamonds in Q3 nosedived to -66%. Debswana, the 50/50 joint venture between miner De Beers and the Government of Botswana, representing the bulk of the country's diamond exports, reported exporting a mere US$287m worth of rough in Q3 2020, compared to US$863m in Q3 2019.

  • The oubreak of the coronavirus has led to uncertainty concerning Lucara Diamond's next rough diamond tender, prompting the Government of Botswana to already give Lucara its permission to hold their next scheduled tender in Antwerp, if necessary. The next quarterly tender isscheduled to take place in mid May 2020, according to a statement from the Canadian miner.

  • De Beers has cancelled its third rough diamond sale (sight) of 2020 in response to the logistical difficulties arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. "Due to the public health restrictions on the movement of people and product in Botswana, South Africa and India, which prohibit customers from traveling and prevent the shipment of goods to customers’ international operations, De Beers Group will not hold its third Sight of 2020," the miner wrote in a press release.

  • De Beers third sight (rough diamond sale) of 2020, scheduled for March 30 to April 3 in Gaborone, will go ahead as planned despite Botswana’s announcement of a travel ban on foreigners arriving from “high risk” countries that include Belgium, China and India. Many of the companies that participate in De Beers’ sales are headquartered in these countries.

  • Lucara Diamond Co. pulled off a strong performance in 2019 despite a tough market and achieving a lower average price per carat than in the previous five years, largely due to a solid performance in the final quarter and record production through the plant in 2019. The miner, which owns and operates the Karowe mine in Botswana, earned total revenues of $192.5 million (2018: $176.2 million) from the sale of 411,732 carats, or $468 per carat (2018: $502 per carat) during fiscal year 2019, beating their guidance of $170 million to $180 million. 

  • Botswana reportedly plans to conclude negotiations with De Beers on a diamond sales agreement by the end of April to replace the current 10-year deal that expires in January, write Matthew Hill and Mbongeni Mguni for Bloomberg

  • The Diamonds of Botswana. If you have not watched (and shared) the video yet, it is high time you do. Andrew Morgan is the director of The True Cost, a documentary about the clothes we wear, the people who make them, and the impact the industry is having on our world. The price of clothing has been decreasing for decades, while the human and environmental costs have grown dramatically.

  • Lucara Diamond Corp. has unearthed yet another exceptional diamond at its Karowe Diamond Mine in Botswana - the latest is an unbroken 549 carat white diamond "of exceptional purity". It is the fourth largest diamond ever recovered at the Karowe mine, the third largest gem-quality stone (the Sewelô is of 'near-gem quality) and already Lucara's sixth diamond larger than 100 carats recovered in 2020. According to independent analyst Paul Zimnisky's estimates, it is only the 4th gem-quality stone exceeding 500 carats recovered globally in the last 5 years.

  • Lucara Diamond Corp. has reported that its final diamond tender of 2019, held on December 12, generated sales proceeds of US$52.9 million. Sales of goods from the Karowe Diamond Mine in Botswana were 16% higher than expected, and achieved an average price of US$548 per carat.  They noted improvments to market pricing in all size classes. The December tender bring Lucara's 2019 revenue at $192.5 million, exceeding the 2019 revenue guidance of $170 - $180 million and outpacing their 2018 sales of $176.2 million.

  • Lucara Diamond had what could be considered a steady third quarter despite ending in a net loss due primarily to an increase in operating expenses as well as depletion of reserves and amortization, both non-cash expenses. The miner also completed a positive feasibility study for development of an underground mine at Lucara’s Karowe Diamond Mine in Botswana; the underground expansion at Karowe is expected to double the mine life and generate significant revenue and cashflow out to 2040.

  • De Beers' rough diamond production in the third quarter of 2019 declined by 14 percent to 7.4 million carats, with significant reductions in South Africa and Canada which the miner says was planned. "In addition," they note, "we continue to produce to weaker market demand due to macro-economic uncertainty as well as continued midstream weakness." For the year to date, De Beers ouput is lagging 12% behind the first nine months of 2018, falling to 23 million carats from 26 million carats. Q3 output fell 3% from Q2 output.

  • The eldest daughter of the Duke and Duchess of York - Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson - granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II and latest newsworthy royal millennial, Princess Beatrice of York, became engaged earlier this month to Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi. Mozzi enlisted contemporary British jewelry designer Shaun Leane to create the princess’ diamond and platinum engagement ring.

  • Lucara Diamond Corp. has recovered an "exceptional" blue, 9.74-carat gem-quality diamond and a 4.13-carat pink gem-quality diamond from direct milling of South Lobe ore from its 100% owned Karowe Diamond Mine located in Botswana, the miner announced today. This follows the recent sale of a 2.24-carat blue which sold for US$347,222 per carat and other historic colored diamonds that have been recovered from Karowe in the past, including the 9.46ct "Aven Blue" which sold for US$477,000 per carat in 2012.

  • Lucara Diamond Corp. has recovered a 123-carat gem quality top white Type II diamond from its 100% owned Karowe Diamond Mine located in Botswana. The miner also recently recovered a 375-carat gem quality diamond at Karowe from the processing of historic DMS recovery tailings, generated prior to the incorporation of Lucara's XRT diamond recovery circuits. 

  • Despite higher production and sales volumes, Lucara Diamond recorded a much lower profit in Q2 2019 than the same period a year earlier, as the extended slump in the diamond trade demonstrates it offers no immunity. L Lucara reported net earnings of $700,000 for the quarter on revenue of $42.5 million, figures which compare unfavorably with a profit of $19.7 million on revenue of $64.5 million in the same quarter in 2018.

  • Meaning “rare find” in Setswana, the name Sewelô was selected for the 1,758 carat diamond from over 22,000 submissions in a contest open to all citizens of Botswana. Gofaone Tlhabuswe of Gabane Village won the Lucara diamond naming competition, along with 30,000 Pula ($2,837).

  • Global rough-diamond production fell to 148.2 million carats in 2018, a decline of less than 2% from the 150.9 million carats recovered in 2017; however, a 4% rise in the average price per carat led to a 2.4% increase in the value of the world's rough diamond production, according to Kimberley Process (KP) data. Global diamond production was worth $14.47 billion in 2018 compared to $14.12 billion in 2017, as the average price per carat rose to $97.5 from $93.6. 

  • Gem Diamonds has sold its Ghaghoo mine in Botswana to Pro Civil, a local company, for $5.4m (R77m), bringing to an end Gem's struggles with the underground mine that never lived up to its expectations. Pro Civil, a company registered in Botswana, will acquire Gem Diamonds Botswana Proprietary and the Ghaghoo mine, which has been on care and maintenance since March of 2017.

  • President Mokgweetsi Masisi is said to have opened negotiations with Lucara Diamond Corp. for the government to buy and own shares in the company, reports The Botswana Gazette. Masisi reportedy met with Lucara CEO Eira Thomas at JCK Las Vegas, telling the newspaper, “I have proposed for Lucara to allow government to invest in the company,” adding that he will discuss with his cabinet and relevant authorities to agree on investing in Lucara.

  • Canadian miner Lucara Diamond has reported the best quarter in the history the Karowe mine in Botswana in terms of ore processing performance, lowering the cost of its operations and achieving the best results from its regular diamond sales in over a year. This was before the April recovery of the largest diamond to be mined at Karowe to date, an unbroken 1,758 carat near-gem-quality stone, which became the largest diamond recovered in Botswana and one of the largest diamonds in recorded history, superseding the spot held by the 1,109 carat Lesedi La Rona recovered from Karowe in 2015.

  • Lucara Diamond Corp. has recovered an astonishingly large diamond - 1,758 carats - from its Karowe Diamond Mine in Botswana. One of the largest diamonds in recorded history and the largest diamond ever recovered in Botswana, it may not be an immensely valuable clear white Type IIa beauty the miner is famous for - such as the 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona or the 813-carat Constellation that fetched a record $63 million for a rough diamond - but it indicates the potential Lucara's state of the art XRT recovery circuit to detect and recover huge gems without breaking them.

  • De Beers Group reported a diamond production decline in the first quarter of 2019 driven by a 65 reduction in South Africa as the Venetia mine as it approaches the transition from open pit to underground mining. Venetia yielded only 0.4 million carats due to lower mined volumes, while the Voorspoed mine was placed onto care and maintenance in Q4 2018 in preparation for closure. De Beers' production guidance for 2019 remains unchanged at 31 - 33 million carats, subject to trading conditions.

  • Tiffany & Co has been expanding its workforce in sub-Saharan Africa as part of its drive to increase its transparency and raise ethical jewelry standards across the industry.

  • Botswana's state-run Okavango Diamond Company today (April 17) unveiled the polished result of what is said to be the largest blue diamond ever discovered in the southern African country, one of the world’s top producers. The 20.46-carat, oval-shape fancy colored diamond, fashioned from a 41.11-carat rough stone recovered on May 21 2018 at the Orapa mine, has been named "The Okavango Blue" in honor of the Okavango Delta, the country's wildlife-rich world heritage site. 

  • Botswana’s GDP per person is one of the top three in Africa and it’s off the back of diamond mining. There is no commodity in the world that means as much to a group of people in terms of lifting them out of poverty than diamonds in Botswana. In terms of revenue and the benefits to the people of Botswana, it can’t be understated. From the President to people living on the ground, they understand the importance of diamonds and the contribution to society.

    - Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani, on the social benefit of diamond mining

  • Just about a year ago, the executive chairman of Botswana Diamonds John Teeling told us, "Instead of being an explorer, I would like to be a producer. We would like to get to production." According to yesterday's announcment from Botswana Diamonds, it looks as if he is going to get his wish: the junior miner said is on track to commence bulk sampling and become a diamond producer by mid-2019.

  • The Debswana Diamond Company (Debswana), a 50/50 joint venture between the Government of the Republic of Botswana and De Beers Group, has today (March 18, 2019) announced the commencement of the Cut-9 project to extend the life of Jwaneng Mine, one of the world’s most valuable diamond mines. The project will extend the life of Jwaneng Mine to 2035, and is expected to yield an estimated 53 million carats of rough diamonds from 44 million tonnes of treated material. It is called Cut-9 because it is the ninth cut, or expansion, of the mine.

  • Diamond-rich Botswana expects mineral revenues in the 2019/20 fiscal year to drop by 4 percent to 13.6 billion pula ($1.26 billion) due to a decline in royalties and dividends, a minerals ministry budget document showed last week. Botswana is heavily dependent on its diamond resources which, according to the World Bank, is responsible for 25% of the country's GDP, approximately 85% of exports earnings and about one-third of the government's revenues.

  • Media reports out of Africa are claiming an agreement (MoU) has been reached between the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) and the Diamond Trading Company (DTC) in Gaborone, whereby the latter would commence processing of Zimbabwe's diamonds. The diamond deal is said to be one of the agreements sealed during the high-level Zimbabwe-Botswana Bi-National Commission (BNC) summit held in Harare last week.

  • Despite a record year for the recovery of 'specials' (diamonds larger than 10.8 carats), including 33 diamonds in excess of 100 carats, Lucara Diamond earned its lowest revenue in six years due to the lowest average price per carat achieved in five years. Judging by their share prices, however, investors hardly seemed too concerned, as Lucara's stock price took an 8% dip following the announcement, only to regain half its loss back the next day.

  • Lucara Diamond Corp. has announced a 54% increase in the indicated resources of the South Lobe of its Karowe Mine in Botswana, as it undertakes its feasibility study for a potential underground operation. The significant increaase in the availability of diamonds, as well the increased contribution of the higher grade, higher value EM/PK(S) geological ore unit, where some of Karowe's most valuable diamonds, including the 1,109 carat Lesedi La Rona and the 813 carat Constellation were found, signfies a significant boost to the future of the mine.

  • UK-based and AIM and BSE listed exploration company Botswana Diamonds plans to raise more than $480,000 (£370,000) from investors, the company said Wednesday.

  • The De Beers Group has announced its production results for 2018 and Q4 2018, reporting that annual production increased by nearly 7% to 35.3 million carats, while a 4% decline in carats sold was offset by a higher average price per carat, leading revenues to rise 2% to $5.4 billion. They said the rise is production was due to a planned increase at the Orapa mine, although the group's output was in the lower half of the production guidance range of 35 to 36 million carats.

  • Lucara Diamond Corp. has recovered a 127 carat, top white gem diamond from its 100% owned Karowe Diamond mine located in Botswana. Since mining began at Karowe in 2012, a total of 129 diamonds in excess of 100 carats have been recovered, including an astounding 33 in 2018 alone. By way of comparison, Gem Diamonds, famous for its large diamond recoveries from the Letšeng mine in Lesotho, recovered a record 15 stones larger than 100 carats this year. Lucara's haul since 2012 includes 12 diamonds larger than 300 carats in size, of which 5 were recovered in 2018.