Archive | Diamond Mining

Attawapiskat First Nation Seeks For DeBeers to Clean Up their Mess ( – September 28, 2020)

ATTAWAPISKAT FN – DeBeers Canada (DBC) is seeking Ontario Government approval for a third landfill waste site to be built and filled up at the Victor Mine Site, located in a vulnerable James Bay wetlands area, and in a place of critical importance to Attawapiskat.

The Victor Mine is now in the closure phase, where decommissioning and remediation are supposed to leave the landscape in a clean and safe state.

The mine operated from 2005 to 2019 and with an annual production rate is 2.7 million tonnes a year, or about 600,000 carats a year in diamond grade. Continue Reading →

The hunt for diamonds dazzles Cruz Cobalt – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – September 24, 2020)

Vancouver cobalt hunter dusting off northeastern projects to evaluate gemstone potential

One of northeastern Ontario largest landholders of prospective cobalt properties has been transfixed by the discovery of diamonds.

Vancouver’s Cruz Cobalt has emerged from a period of inactivity to announce that the resurgence in diamond exploration near its five properties near Cobalt has swayed them to start searching for these gemstones.

In a recent release, the company said it’s onboard with the “renewed chase” to find the source of the historic Nipissing Yellow Diamond. Continue Reading →

Africa’s Diamond Capital Invests in a Futuristic Innovation Hub – by Paul Burkhardt (Bloomberg News – September 18, 2020)

The Icon Building, a $60-million anchor for a Silicon Valley-style technology incubator in Botswana, reflects the nation’s mineral wealth — and its need to think beyond it.

Africa has seen the ruin that resource riches can bring. In cities like Luanda in Angola and the South African metropolis of Johannesburg, glimmering corporate headquarters are often surrounded by shantytowns; sometimes the office towers themselves are abandoned once the commodities run out.

The nation of Botswana is trying not to fall deeply into that trap. Its economy relies heavily on diamond mining — it’s the home of the Jwaneng open-pit mine, the world’s richest, which is run jointly with the U.K.-based De Beers Group.

But the government is acutely aware that diamond mining is not forever. Unemployment and income inequality are a growing concern in this country of about 2.3 million people. Continue Reading →

Rare 102-carat Canadian diamond could be among the world’s most expensive – by Pete Evans (CBC News Business – September 15, 2020)

Diamond was unearthed at Victor Mine in Northern Ontario in 2018

A rare 102-carat diamond found in Northern Ontario two years ago could be among the most expensive of its kind in an auction that starts online and is set to culminate in person in Hong Kong in early October.

Mined at DeBeers’ now-closed Victor Mine in 2018, the diamond, about the size of a small egg, was cut from a larger 271-carat rough diamond, and then cut and polished for more than a year.

Those in the industry say the stone has a lot of features going for it. The diamond is known as a Type II diamond, which are among the most chemically pure among naturally occurring diamonds. Continue Reading →

Are Radioactive Diamond Batteries a Cure for Nuclear Waste? – by Daniel Oberhaus (Wired Magazine – August 31, 2020)

Researchers are developing a new battery powered by lab-grown gems made from reformed nuclear waste. If it works, it will last thousands of years.

IN THE SUMMER of 2018, a hobby drone dropped a small package near the lip of Stromboli, a volcano off the coast of Sicily that has been erupting almost constantly for the past century.

As one of the most active volcanoes on the planet, Stromboli is a source of fascination for geologists, but collecting data near the roiling vent is fraught with peril.

So a team of researchers from the University of Bristol built a robot volcanologist and used a drone to ferry it to the top of the volcano, where it could passively monitor its every quake and quiver until it was inevitably destroyed by an eruption. Continue Reading →

Cheaper diamonds fire life into the hidden world of gem trading (Bloomberg News/Mining Weekly – August 31, 2020)

For the past six months, the global diamond hubs in Antwerp, Belgium, and Mumbai have been at a standstill, with cutting and polishing factories closed and trading floors shuttered.

Now, a capitulation on prices by the biggest miners is sparking the industry back to life. After refusing to budge on diamond prices during much of the pandemic, De Beers and Russian rival Alrosa PJSC decided last week they saw enough signs of recovering demand and seized the opportunity, cutting some prices by almost 10%.

The impact was instant, as rough diamond buyers snapped up about half a billion dollars in uncut gems, according to people familiar with the situation who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Continue Reading →

Tiffany will soon reveal everywhere your diamond has traveled – Kim Bhasin (Bloomberg News – August 18, 2020)

Tiffany & Co. wants to ease customers’ concerns about human rights abuses in the diamond industry by providing them with an unprecedented amount of detail about the precious stones it sells.

Beginning in October, the 183-year-old luxury retailer will provide expanded origin details for newly sourced, individually registered diamonds that trace the stone’s path from the ground to the jewelry case.
The project, which the company says is an industry first, took nearly two decades to complete due to the challenges of tracking down sourcing information. Continue Reading →

Star Diamond and Rio Tinto to face off in court – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – August 12, 2020)

A Canadian court has ruled that Star Diamond (TSX: DIAM) has grounds to take its legal fight with Rio Tinto (ASX, LON, NYSE: RIO) to court over their joint Star-Orion South project in north-central Saskatchewan, but said the junior faces an “uphill battle.”

Judge Grant Currie said the Saskatoon-based company may struggle to prove that Rio Tinto Exploration Canada (RTEC) improperly exercised its options to obtain a majority ownership stake in the proposed diamond mine.

The legal row involves a 2017 agreement under which Rio Tinto’s subsidiary would spend $75 million in phases to acquire 60% of the Star-Orion South diamond project. Continue Reading →

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 →