Archive | Diamond Mining

Rio Tinto not interested in any part of Dominion Diamond Mines – by Richard Gleeson (CBC News Canada North – July 6, 2020)

The company thought to be the most logical to partner with or purchase Dominion Diamond Mines is not interested in the troubled diamond company.

In a recent affidavit, former Dominion CEO and former N.W.T. cabinet minister Brendan Bell says Dominion’s partner in the Diavik diamond mine — Diavik Diamond Mines Inc., a subsidiary of global mining giant Rio Tinto — is the most obvious candidate to purchase Dominion’s 40 per cent stake in the Diavik diamond mine and also to purchase the Ekati mine, which Dominion owns 90 per cent of.

Dominion is in the process of restructuring or being sold, having been granted creditor protection in April. Continue Reading →

Top 10 Canadian-headquartered diamond companies – by Staff (Northern Miner – June 27, 2020)

Global mining news

The Northern Miner presents the top-ten Canadian-headquartered diamond companies ranked by market capitalization as of mid-June.

1. Lucara Diamond – Market capitalization: US$185.6 million

Lucara Diamond president and CEO Eira Thomas speaking at The Northern Miner’s Canadian Mining Symposium held at Canada House in London, U.K., on May 22, 2019. Photo by Martina Lang for The Northern Miner.

Lucara Diamond’s (TSX: LUC) key asset is the wholly owned Karowe mine in Botswana, which has been in production since 2012 and generated 433,060 carats last year. Since Karowe’s 2012 startup, Lucara has become recognized as a consistent producer of large, gem-quality diamonds. Continue Reading →

Eira Thomas Confident Lucara Can Navigate Crisis – by Avi Krawitz (Rapaport Diamond Podcast – June 22, 2020)

RAPAPORT… The diamond mining sector has been hard hit by the coronavirus crisis. There has been a significant drop in demand — when rough sales could even take place — forcing miners to reconsider their production programs for 2020.

However, Lucara Diamond Corp. appears cautiously confident that it has the balance sheet, the sales platform, and the right product mix at its high-value Karowe mine in Botswana, to manage through the crisis.

In a June 16 interview as part of Rapaport’s ‘Recovery Webinar Series’, CEO Eira Thomas outlined her assessment of the diamond market and the company’s plans. Continue Reading →

The masters of the diamond world are losing control of their tightly held market – by Thomas Biesheuvel and Yuliya Fedorinova (Bloomberg/Financial Post – June 22, 2020)

For decades, shopping for uncut diamonds was a tightly scripted affair: First, persuade De Beers to add you to its list of handpicked customers. Then, 10 times a year, attend a week-long sale to buy exactly the amount De Beers offers you at whatever price it chooses.

The system, which works more or less the same at Russian rival Alrosa PJSC, gave the two miners a tight grip on their market. With the coronavirus wreaking havoc through the industry, that control is now disintegrating.

De Beers struggled to generate much interest from its customers to even look at this month’s diamond sale, despite bending over backward to attract purchases, according to people familiar with the matter. Continue Reading →

Activists cautiously welcome decision as Oxford college’s board supports removing Cecil Rhodes statue – by Paul Waldie (Globe and Mail – June 19, 2020)

Few statues in Britain have been more controversial than the stone figure of Cecil Rhodes that has stood in front of Oxford University’s Oriel College for more than a century.

The 122-centimetre depiction of the British diamond merchant has been sitting atop the Rhodes Building at Oriel since 1911 and has long been seen as a symbol of the country’s dark history of slave trading and empire building.

While Rhodes is best known as the creator of the Rhodes Scholarship and the founder of De Beers Group, he is also notorious for benefiting from slave labour and for his belief that the “Anglo-Saxon race” is “the best, the most human, most honourable race the world possesses.” Continue Reading →

Diamonds Snapshot: Six juniors staying in the game – by Alisha Hiyate(Northern Miner – June 13, 2020)

Global mining news

For companies without the size and heft of the big producers De Beers and Alrosa, the diamond space has always been a challenging one – even before the coronavirus pandemic. But with long-term fundamentals that point to a bright future for diamonds, some juniors are finding ways to advance their projects, despite the tough times.

Here’s a look at several active Canadian-based diamond explorers (and one miner), with a focus on the prospective and friendly jurisdictions of Canada and Botswana.

Adia Resources – Adia Resources is a private company held 54% by royalty company and prospect generator Altius Minerals (TSX: ALS; US-OTC: ATUSF). The company is advancing the 1,640-sq.-km Lynx project, near Oxford House, Man., where it has recovered microdiamonds not from kimberlite, but from Archean age volcaniclastic rocks. Continue Reading →

Dominion Diamond sues partner in Diavik mine for breach of contract, other allegations – by Sara Minogue (CBC News North – June 16, 2020)

Dominion Diamond Mines has filed a lawsuit accusing Diavik Diamond Mines (2012) Inc. — its 60 per cent partner in the Diavik diamond mine in the Northwest Territories — of managing the mine to the benefit of its majority owner, Rio Tinto, and to the detriment of Dominion.

The civil lawsuit, filed Tuesday with the Supreme Court of British Columbia (where Dominion is incorporated), claims Diavik Diamond Mines (DDMI) has continued to make cash calls from Dominion “knowing that Dominion has no ability to pay for such cash calls.”

Cash calls are basically requests from Dominion’s partner in the mine to cover its share of operating costs or other obligations. Continue Reading →

The downfall of Dominion Diamond – by Alex Brockman (CBC News – June 10, 2020)

How the COVID-19 pandemic pushed one of the North’s largest employers to the brink of financial collapse

A light breeze from Great Slave Lake adds a last bite of winter to the warm spring air as Chief Ernest Betsina walks through Ndilo, a Yellowknives Dene community down the road from Yellowknife.

After a few minutes, he stops at a high spot. The entire community stretches before him. He can see the abandoned Giant gold mine site across the bay. It’s a festering wound, the worst-case scenario when a mine company goes under.

Today, another mining company, Dominion Diamond, is fighting off its own financial ruin. Its cash reserves collapsed amid the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving it with $1.2 billion US worth of debt it has no way to pay off unless it restructures itself through the courts. Continue Reading →

The Great Diamond Glut: Miners Stuck With Gems Worth Billions – by Thomas Biesheuvel (Bloomberg News – June 7, 2020)

(Bloomberg) — In one of the world’s biggest diamond vaults, hidden inside a nondescript office compound on the dusty outskirts of Botswana’s capital, the precious stones just keep piling up.

Owner De Beers, which mines and auctions most of its gems in the southern African nation, has barely sold any rough diamonds since February. Neither has Russian rival Alrosa PJSC.

Now, as the coronavirus restrictions that froze the global industry for months begin to lift, the unsold diamonds present a dilemma: how to reduce billions of dollars’ worth of stocks without undermining the nascent recovery. Continue Reading →

Urgent plea to allow struggling alluvial diamond sector to create jobs – by Martin Creamer ( – June 3, 2020)

JOHANNESBURG ( – The discovery of alluvial diamonds in the unique secondary deposits of the Middle Orange River downstream of Hopetown in South Africa in 1867 was the catalyst that initiated the development of the mining industry in Southern Africa.

But compared with its heyday between the 1990s and early 2000s, today’s junior diamond mining sector is but a shadow of its former self, says the South African Diamond Producers Organisation (Sadpo) deputy chairperson Lyndon De Meillon.

Independent studies have shown that the sector has shrunk by 90% over the past 20 years, mainly because of poor legislation and over-regulation. Continue Reading →

How Lab Grown CVD Diamonds Can Be India’s Ace Card In Global Gems & Jewellery Industry (Diamond World – May 26, 2020)

In times when the global diamond industry had been challenged with declining natural diamond prices driven by decreased global consumption, geopolitical tensions, reduced financial aid from banking institutions, demonetisation struggles in India and a collective scale-back of production by the miners worldwide, lab grown diamonds have seem to emerge slowly as a ray of hope and establish a growing footprint in the gems and jewellery industry.

2019, particularly, was the year for lab-grown diamonds. India, alone, witnessed a sharp rise in LGD exports worth $443 million which were up by 102% y/y. Even at the start of 2020, lab-grown diamond exports in India were up by 60% y/y, while natural diamond exports were down by 41% y/y.

Whilst the lab-grown diamond industry had seen a significant price correction in recent years with the technology evolving and the cost of technology coming down, lab-grown diamond prices, particularly CVD diamonds, have now stabilized. In fact, CVD diamonds above 1ct saw a 29% price rise in the last quarter of 2019 driven by significant demand and limited supply. Continue Reading →

De Beers diamond mines win industry awards for safety record – by Walter Strong (CBC News North – May 8, 2020)

Gahcho Kué and Victor mines both multiple year safety award winners

The De Beers Gahcho Kué and Victor diamond mines have received industry awards this year for their safety records.

The Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) has named the N.W.T.’s Gahcho Kué mine as the national 2020 John T. Ryan award winner for the lowest reportable injury frequency in the previous year.

According to a press release from De Beers Thursday, the mine “reduced the number of injuries by 38 per cent compared to 2018 and had zero lost-time injuries during the year.” Continue Reading →

A look inside the finances of Dominion Diamonds, the mine company now under court protection – by Alex Brockman (CBC News North – April 25, 2020)

When the Washington Companies, a U.S.-based conglomerate bought Dominion Diamonds in 2017, a curtain fell over one of the world’s largest diamond companies and significant employers in the Northwest Territories.

After the sale, Dominion became a private business and faced far fewer requirements on what it had to share with the public, and was able to operate with little scrutiny as it ran the Ekati mine and a 40 per cent stake in Diavik, two of the territory’s three diamond mines.

For the past three years, the company hummed along, freed from the obligation to report on its business to shareholders or the public. Continue Reading →

Opinion: Diamonds need some new best friends – by Clara Ferreira Marques (Bloomberg News – April 24, 2020)

It’s looking decidedly somber out there for the world’s favorite sparkly stone. Diamonds were ailing even before the coronavirus came along. Now, weeks into lockdowns in the U.S. and elsewhere, all but the largest diggers, polishers and retailers are struggling for cash.

Unable to sell its stones, Dominion Diamond Mines, the miner that sold luxury brand Harry Winston to Swatch Group AG in 2013, filed for insolvency protection late Wednesday. Anglo American Plc’s De Beers cut 2020 production guidance by a fifth Thursday, in line with demand.

To secure their future, diamond giants may need a rebranding akin to the storytelling feat pulled off by Harry Oppenheimer, the late De Beers chairman who cultivated the engagement ring to overcome a slump after the Great Depression. Continue Reading →

North: Diamond mines exempt from coronavirus travel restrictions due to economic importance – by Richard Gleeson (CBC News North – April 22, 2020)

A glaring exception to travel restrictions placed on those entering the Northwest Territories during the COVID-19 pandemic is the one made for workers at the territory’s three diamond mines.

At the mines, people from the N.W.T. work alongside those from provinces where there have been far more confirmed cases of the highly contagious respiratory disease. None of the workers from outside the N.W.T. are required to self-isolate for two weeks like most others arriving in the territory.

In an email, the territories’ chief public health officer said the mines are allowed to continue operating because of the huge role they play in the N.W.T.’s economy. Continue Reading →