Last week Tanzania assumed the chairmanship of the African Diamond Producers Association (ADPA) from Namibia. The minerals minister Dotto Biteko accepted the chairmanship on behalf of the country, saying that in their term as leader, "Tanzania will make sure that it improves ADPA systems so as it can bring positive benefits to member states just as intended."
The Namibian reports that Namdia's CEO and former Diamond Commissioner, Kennedy Hamutenya is facing a disciplinary hearing after investigations into irregularities at Namdia, which is mandated to sell a portion of Namibia mined diamonds (roughly US$150m) as agreed in the 10-year agreement between De Beers and the Namibian Government. According to one Board member, the investigation into the irregularities let to recommendations, one of which is "charging the CEO for a string of violations".
Namibia's Minister of Mines & Energy, Tom Alweendo, has blocked the extension of controversial middleman Neil Haddock, of Dubai based Global Diamond Tenders, who was appointed in 2016 to sell Namdia's diamonds. For years, Haddock and his company have allegedly been selling Zimbabwean and Namibian rough far below market value to Dubai companies.
Riaan Burger, CEO of the 50-50 joint venture between the Namibian government and Anglo American's De Beers Group, stated Namdeb is negotiating with government to soften the current tax regime of royalties (10%) and corporate tax (55%) to allow the Namibian mining entity to extend its land operations (Orange River) beyond 2023.
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.
Namdeb Holdings Ltd, a joint venture between the Namibian Government and De Beers Group, said on Thursday that it has sold Elizabeth Bay Mine and its associated marine assets as a going concern to Lewcor, a 100% Namibian-owned consortium. Namdeb has explored a variety of options to extend the life of its Elizabeth Bay Mine beyond 2019, according to a De Beers press release, but ceased operations in September 2018, as Namdeb could no longer economically run the operation.
Namibia this week assumed the chairmanship of the Association of African Diamond Producers Association (ADPA), assuming the leadership of the group from Guinea.
Debmarine Namibia, a 50/50 joint venture between the Government of the Republic of Namibia and De Beers Group, have approved the construction of the world’s first ever custom-built diamond recovery vessel. The new vessel is expected to cost US$468 million (N$7 billion) and represents the largest ever single investment in the marine diamond industry. The ship will become the seventh vessel in the Debmarine Namibia fleet and is scheduled to commence operations in 2022.
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.
Namibia’s state-owned diamond trading company, Namib Desert Diamonds (Namdia) has selected 16 companies to buy its stones from 2019 to 2021, and notably, has identified them publically. Namdia expects to sell diamonds worth over $140 million (N$2 billion) a year to 16 companies from six different countries. Belgium and Namibia top the list with four firms each, with two more companies (Pluczenik Diamond Company and Samir Gems) headquartered in Antwerp but listed under other countries.
Mining in Africa is at the core of our business, just as it always has been, and just as it will be in future ... De Beers is and will remain a natural diamond business.
- De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver discusses Africa portfolio, exploration, technology and laboratory-grown diamonds.
Diamond Fields Resources, based in Vancouver, sold 47,298 carats of Namibian marine diamonds for $1,105,530 at a tender in Antwerp, including a 5.71 carat pink diamond which sold for $97,076 or $17,000 per carat. This was the first sale of diamonds from the ML111 licence offshore Namibia since mining resumed in 2018.
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.
International Mining and Dredging Holdings (IMDH) will be holding its first tender since 2016 of Namibian marine-mined rough diamonds at Bonas-Couzyn’s Antwerp offices. Bonas said the first sale from IMDH will bring to market approximately 47,000cts of original marine goods of gem quality, mined by the specialist mining vessel, the Ya Toivo. “This exciting source will be holding regular ROM production tenders with Bonas-Couzyn in Antwerp throughout 2019,” the tender house said.
Canadian-based and TSX-listed company Diamond Fields Resources Inc. (DFR) recently announced the shipment of a 25,152-carat parcel of rough diamonds to Antwerp for independent valuation, deep-boiling and initial sorting in preparation for sale. The diamonds were recovered from the ML111 licence offshore Namibia during the first 25 days of mining, between November 11 and December 5, 2018. The shipment is the first since mining restarted, having been on hold since 2016.
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.
Diamond Fields Resources (DFR) has confirmed, via its subsidiary Nutam Operations (Pty) Ltd, that the mining vessel "Ya Toivo" is scheduled to enter Namibian waters during the first week of November 2018. Once in position, the m/v Ya Toivo will commence mining operations on the ML111 license area, which is held by DFR through its Namibian subsidiary Diamond Fields (Namibia) (Pty) Ltd.
De Beers rough diamond production increased three percent to 9.0 million carats during the second quarter of 2018, "reflecting production increases to meet stronger demand as well as the contribution from the ramp-up at Gahcho Kué", the company today announced.
Namibia's diamond mining industry is estimated to maintain a high growth level during 2018 before contracting in 2019 due to the depletion of onshore diamond deposits, according to the Bank of Namibia's economic outlook for July 2018. The sector's projected growth is 10.9% in 2018, which is reasonably high, despite a slowdown from 12% in 2017. The diamond sector is, however, expected to contract by 5.3% in 2019 due to lower production from onshore mines during that year.
Sky Investments, which is owned by the Hong Kong-based KGK group, has officially opened a new cutting and polishing factory in Windhoek, Namibia.
Namdeb Holdings, a 50/50 joint venture between the Government of the Republic of Namibia and De Beers Group, today (Feb. 9) announced it is to seek a buyer for its Elizabeth Bay mine to secure its long-term future, according to a De Beers Group release. The mine was commissioned in 1991 and is located along the south-western coast of Namibia near the town Lüderitz. It employs around 160 people and produced around 200,000 carats in 2017.
Interest in mining Namibian waters for diamonds is running hot, as yesterday (Nov. 20) Canadian miner Diamond Fields International (DFI) announced it is set to resume its mining activities off the coast of Namibia in 2018, while Norwegian shipbuilder Kleven signed an MoU with De Beers Marine Namibia for building an offshore vessel purpose-designed to support seabed mining operations.
DDA Trading, part of the DDA Group, has announced its third sale of Namibian Marine rough diamonds, which can be viewed in Antwerp from Monday the 6th to Tuesday the 14th of November. The sale will close on Tuesday, 14 November. DDA Trading will be offering approximately 15,000 cts of full ROM, Original Marine Goods of gem quality. The goods are from the underwater concessions of Samicor.
Namdeb, a 50/50 joint venture between the Namibian government and Anglo American’s diamond unit De Beers plans to close four mines by 2022 in the southern African country, reports Reuters following a statement made by a union official in a local newspaper. The Namibian Sun quoted Mineworkers Union of Namibia Oranjemund branch chairperson Mbidhi Shavuka as saying “We understand that it is the nature of the resource; diamonds are finite." The mines affected are Elizabeth Bay Mine, which will be shut down at the end of 2018, Daberas at the end of 20
With De Beers leading the charge by increasing rough production 46% in Q3 and 29% for the first nine months of the year, as ALROSA increased production 6% thus far in 2017, the two diamond mining giants together have churned out 54.8 million carats in the first nine months of 2017, a 15% increase over the 47.5 million carats during the same time frame last year.
The Russian government wants Alrosa to offer more favorable terms to local cutters so they are able to compete in a market that’s dominated by Indian manufacturers.
Alrosa has chosen to focus on mining, where it can get bigger margins, leaving Kristall Production Corp. and other cutters to buy stones at similar terms as overseas competitors. They are struggling to compete with centers like India, the largest polishing center, due to manufacturing being cheaper - it manufactures 90% of the world’s diamonds - and a workforce of 1 million.
Namibian rough diamonds are known for their high quality; mining these quality goods also costs a premium.
The world’s largest and most advanced diamond exploration and sampling vessel, the mv SS Nujoma, is ready to start exploring for diamond deposits in Namibian waters, following its official inauguration today, writes De Beers in a press release.
De Beers has no exclusive right to mine diamonds in Namibia and cut them. Alrosa can also participate. We made the first step and offered development of the joint sales system to the Namibian party. Namibia is gradually parting with De Beers and attempting to sell gems independently.
- Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Trutnev on Russian diamond miner Alrosa cooperating with Namibia on diamond sales
Forevermark diamond, part of the De Beers Group, announced it had inscribed its two millionth diamond, a 3.48 carat round brilliant which now bears the unique inscription of ‘2,000,000’. The diamond was mined, cut and polished in Namibia, then inscribed in the Forevermark Diamond Institute in Surat and will be set in a piece of jewelry at the Forevermark Design innovation Centre in Milan, Italy.
Namibia's Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has dropped an investigation into whether a new government independent sales company called Namib Desert Diamonds (Namdia) deliberately sold Namibian diamonds cheaply to Dubai-based firms, writes The Namibian, which first broke the story back in November 2016. The Namibian previously raised concerns that Namdia, tasked to sell stones worth over US$150 million (N$2.1 billion) per year as stipulated by a
De Beers and Anglo American report that rough diamond production for Q4 2016 increased by 10 percent to 7.8 million carats compared with Q4 2015 (7.1 Mct) when production was reduced in response to trading conditions. The company highlights that the increase reflected the ramp-up of Gahcho Kué Mine in Canada, the joint venture between De Beers (51%), which is also the operator, and Mountain Province Diamonds. Rough production surged 24% from Q3 2016 (6.3 million carats) to Q4 2016 (7.8 Mct).
Controversy is brewing in Namibia about who is selling their diamonds to whom, for how much, and whether the country is obtaining fair value from its precious resources. The Namibian newspaper previously raised concerns that a new government independent sales company called Namib Desert Diamonds (Namdia), which is designated to sell stones worth over an estimated US$150 million (N$2.1 billion) per year as stipulated by a 10-year agreement
In southwestern Namibia lies a vast area - now a national park - that has been off-limits to visitors for more than a century. It stretches along the Namibian coast for a distance of 200 miles starting from the South African border at Oranjemund to around 72 km north of Lüderitz.
The Namibian newspaper has raised concerns that a new government independent sales company called Namib Desert Diamonds (Namdia), which is designated to sell stones worth over an estimated US$150 million (N$2.1 billion) per year as stipulated by a 10-year agreement between De Beers and the Namibian government, is allegedly operating without the desired level of transparency when it comes to selling Namibian resources.
Namibian Underwater Technologies and Mining (NUTAM Operations), a marine mineral exploration, mining and dredging entity within the International Mining and Dredging Holdings (IMDH) group – which controls the company’s Namibian and South African entities – has recently completed the first phase of its underwater diamond operations off the Namibian coastline. The company has commenced trenching operations in the Samicor ML56 and Diamond Fields Namibia ML 111 areas adjacent to where De Beers have been mining for diamonds in the Atlantic Ocean since the 1990s.
In an exhaustive article on the operations of Namdeb, the De Beers’ 50:50 operation with the Namibian government, The Daily Telegraph reports that an estimated 95 percent of Namibia's diamonds will in the future come from the seabed off the country's coast and that marine gems are already the fetching the highest prices from all of its seven mines. Five specially-adapted ships fitted with giant tractors and drills between them mine more than one million carats a year from rich alluvial deposits scattered out to sea by the mighty Orange River at the time that dinosaurs roamed the earth.
The final phase of the building of Debmarine's new diamond exploration and sampling vessel is now under way after its arrival in Cape Town last week. The SS Nujoma arrived in Cape Town on Saturday after a three-week maiden voyage from Norway, where the ship was built by Norwegian shipbuilder Kleven Verft over the last 15 months.
Having taken over as De Beers CEO last month, Bruce Cleaver has spoken about the challenges facing the firm and the wider diamond industry in an upbeat message. "Volatility is the new normal, so the only way we can safeguard our success is to work to ensure effective activities across the pipeline, while continuing to support key areas – continuity of supply, midstream sustainability and downstream demand," he commented in a statement.