Archive | Diamond Mining

How does blockchain root out blood diamonds from the world’s supply market? – by Peter Sabine (South China Morning Post – October 5, 2019)

From provenance to payment, blockchain has become an attractive option for major diamond companies like De Beers that want to track origin and other information vital to their credibility with buyers

The diamond industry is getting a boost with a distributed ledger treatment, offering crucial advantages for all supply chain parties. For purchasers of diamonds, transactions can be soured by numerous perils such as origin, quality and fakes.

The concept of using blockchain in the industry is nothing new, but has arguably risen to prominence in response to the issue of blood diamonds, also known as conflict diamonds.

These are a major problem for the market due to highly publicised controversies, including a connection to everything from war to child labour. The gems are mined in war zones and sold to fund a range of activities, be it an insurgency or a warlord’s reign. Continue Reading →

Diamond crisis deepens as De Beers reports plunging sales – by Thomas Biesheuvel (Bloomberg News – October 3, 2019)

The latest sales data from De Beers reinforces why this is one of the worst years for the diamond industry in a long time.

The Anglo American Plc subsidiary reported sales on Thursday that showed demand for rough diamonds is continuing to plunge as polishers and traders refuse to buy stones when they can’t make a profit.

The mining company holds 10 sales events each year in Botswana, where its chosen buyers — known in the industry as sightholders — are given a box containing plastic bags filled with diamonds. In the past three sales, De Beers made less than $300 million, which is unprecedented in data going back to 2016. Continue Reading →

Buying gems in Asia: What travelers need to know – by Ronan O’Connell (CNN Travel – August 1, 2018)

(CNN) — Asia might be home to some of the world’s major gem trading hubs, but for tourists looking to buy precious stones when they travel in the region, fears of fakes and scams can be a huge deterrent. However, gemologists say there’s little to worry about if travelers are careful and heed some basic tips on how to discern real stones from the phonies.

Thailand, Hong Kong and Jaipur in India are three of Asia’s key gem trading centers, says Russell Shor, senior analyst for the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), a non-profit organization that specializes in education, research and standards in the gem trade.

Jaipur is India’s hub for the sale of gems, which are sold at kiosks, stores and street markets throughout its Old City area. While Jaipur’s gem trade focuses mostly on lower-end stones, Hong Kong is the region’s No. 1 location for expensive gems, including “million-dollar-plus jade and ruby pieces,” says Shor. Continue Reading →

Gems, Warlords and Mercenaries: Russia’s Playbook in Central African Republic – by Dionne Searcey (New York Times – September 30, 2019)

After meddling in the 2016 American election, Russia is using similar tactics in the Central African Republic. But as it sows political chaos, this time it is also seeking diamonds.

BANGUI, Central African Republic — The dealer pulled back a shiny pink curtain and sprinkled the contents of two white envelopes across his desk: sparkling diamonds, more than 100 of them.

Some gems are sold legally, he explained. But many are trafficked by rebels who fight over the mines, adding fuel to a six-year uprising that has killed thousands and displaced more than a million people here in the Central African Republic. Now, hoping to wrest control over the diamond trade and piece the country back together, the government has turned to a new partner — Russia — in what some lawmakers fear is a dangerous bargain that trades one threat for another.

Russian mercenaries have fanned out across the nation to train local soldiers. A former Russian spy has been installed by the Central African president as his top security adviser. Russians shuttled warlords to peace talks with the government, helping lead to a deal with more than a dozen armed groups to stop fighting. Continue Reading →

Rio Tinto sees rosy future for diamonds despite end of Argyle – by Barbara Lewis (Reuters U.S. – September 26, 2019)

LONDON (Reuters) – Rio Tinto (RIO.AX)(RIO.L) is exploring for diamonds in Canada as part of its plans to stay in the sector despite the looming closure of its Argyle mine in Australia, known for extremely rare pink diamonds, the firm’s head of copper and diamonds said.

Demand and prices for the wider market have fallen as concerns mount about the world economy, and laboratory-grown gems have added to supply. Colored or particularly large diamonds, however, have held value, especially pink diamonds, 90% of which are produced by Argyle. That mine, the world’s biggest in carat terms, is expected to cease production by the end of next year.

Arnaud Soirat, Rio’s chief executive for copper and diamonds, said pink diamonds had risen in price by 500% since 2000. He gave no figures for the overall market, but producers have reported lower overall demand and prices. Continue Reading →

How Cartier’s Parent Is Losing Some of Its Sparkle – by Rupert Steiner (Barron’s – September 27, 2019)

Luxury-goods company Compagnie Financiere Richemont could be overvalued due to political uncertainty in Hong Kong and slowing momentum for its star Cartier brand.

The stock of the Swiss-listed watch and jewelry maker, which also owns high-end Van Cleef & Arpels, Dunhill, and Montblanc, has had a good run in the past three years, up 31.4%. Richemont (ticker: CFR.Switzerland), along with other big players, has shrugged off concerns of a consumer slowdown and trade tensions, with rivals LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (MC.France) gaining 147%, and Tiffany (TIF), 29%, over the same period.

But due to its product mix and exposure to Asia, Richemont is likely to suffer more than most from disruption in Hong Kong, depreciation of the Chinese yuan, and macro issues engulfing the region. Continue Reading →

Petra Diamonds shares hit all-time low as loss widens – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – September 16, 2019)

Shares in African diamond miner Petra Diamonds (LON: PDL) hit an all-time low on Monday after reporting a net loss of $258.1 million for the year ending in June, compared to a $203.1 million-loss in 2018, amid challenging market conditions.

The company, which has mines in South Africa and Tanzania, said the loss reflected an impairment charge of $246.6 million triggered by lower diamond price assumptions.

Richard Duffy, who has been at Petra’s helm since April, said the diamond market was in its worst state since the financial crisis in 2008, but expects it to stabilize in the next 12 to 18 months. Continue Reading →

De Beers Namibia diamond venture sells mine to local consortium (Reuters U.S. – September 12, 2019)

WINDHOEK (Reuters) – Namdeb Holdings Limited, a joint venture between the Namibian Government and Anglo American’s diamond unit 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, which unsuccessfully explored a variety of options to extend the life of its Elizabeth Bay Mine beyond 2019, ceased operations in September 2018 because it could no longer run the operation economically.

The company said it first put the mine up for sale in February last year, seeking to find an operator suited to operate the mine in a sustainable way, ensuring continuation of employment and economic activities in Namibia. Continue Reading →

Osisko Gold buys Stornoway Diamond in deal with creditors – by Colin McClelland (Financial Post – September 9, 2019)

Montreal-based Osisko Gold Royalties Ltd. is buying Stornoway Diamond Corp. in partnership with its creditors as the Longueuil, Que.-based gem miner files for bankruptcy protection.

The agreement stemming from a June letter of intent will see Osisko and other creditors assume all debts and liabilities of Stornoway while continuing to operate its Renard diamond mine in Quebec by supplying $20 million in working capital, according to a company filing to the provincial Superior Court.

“The continued downward pressure on the market price for rough diamonds, as well as a variety of other factors and circumstances, have contributed to the corporation’s inability to generate positive free cash flow in 2019, and to maintain an adequate level of working capital,” the company said in the filing. Continue Reading →

Surat’s diamond industry loses glitter as slowdown deepens – by Mahesh Langa (The Hindu – September 6, 2019)

More than 15,000 people have been laid off in the past few weeks in the labour intensive sector

As the economic slowdown is deepening across sectors, India’s diamond hub in Surat is facing its worst crisis since 2008. The industry has seen more than 15,000 people being laid off in the past few weeks as the labour intensive sector is losing sheen owing to multiple factors, including the escalating trade war between China and the U.S., liquidity crisis at home and issues related to the Goods and Services Tax.

Since December 2018, almost one lakh people, mostly workers working in the sector that includes factories engaged in cutting and polishing rough diamonds, have lost their jobs, making it the worst crisis since the global slowdown in 2008.

It may be noted that India is the world’s largest cutting and polishing centre of rough diamonds, processing as many as 14 out of every 15 rough diamonds in the world. And more than 95 % of diamonds are cut and polished in several thousands factories in Surat and other towns of Gujarat. Continue Reading →

Zimbabwe: The Tragedy of NGOs Singing for Their Supper – by Johnson Gonorenda (All Herald – September 5, 2019)

The world over – the question of balance between equitable and sustainable resource exploitation has become central. The emergence in our time of matters such as greenhouse carbon emissions and competing theories on global warming, its causes, effects and extent and, more importantly, methods put forward for arresting the said pace of global warming have become key topics of global policy and a need for global solutions.

In this regard we have seen global incoherence on the way forward. The United States, in particular, has at one point alongside other global powers such as Germany, Britain, France and Canada proposed stringent policy proposals to arrest global warming.

However, in the age of President Trump, the US has been putting a massive handbrake to so-called environmental initiatives and this has frustrated her allies. Continue Reading →

Silicon Valley wants to put diamond mines out of business – by growing gems in a lab using solar power – by Margi Murphy (The Telegraph – September 5, 2019)

If you have ever found yourself on one knee clutching a ring, or on the receiving end of such a gesture, you might not wish to read any further.

The value of diamonds as an investment is set to diminish and within a decade the gem will be as commonly found in computer chips, satellites and even medical implants. At least, that’s what Silicon Valley’s avant-garde lab-grown diamond purveyors are banking on.

“We want to drive prices down because we think there are going to be many more applications for diamonds right now,” says Martin Roscheisen, founder of Diamond Foundry. “Right now, diamonds are way too expensive”. Continue Reading →

Tiffany beat profit expectations—and it conflicts with the idea that millennials aren’t buying diamonds – by Anna Hecht ( – August 29, 2019)

Despite a drop in tourist spending in the U.S. and protests in Hong Kong slowing sales, American luxury jewelry retailer Tiffany & Co still beat estimates on its quarterly profits, although the company’s revenue fell short, it announced in its earnings report on Wednesday.

Tiffany’s relatively successful performance contrasts with the widespread idea that young people aren’t buying as many diamonds as they used to. While Tiffany & Co doesn’t represent the entire jewelry industry, it still provides an interesting look into how the diamond industry is responding to changing tastes.

Currently, the jewelry industry as a whole is struggling. It shrunk 4% between 2017 and 2018, and last year alone, 852 U.S. jewelry retailers shut down, according to a report from the Jewelers Board of Trade (JBT). Continue Reading →

NEW CAMPAIGN FOR NATURAL DIAMONDS AIMS TO FIGHT MISCONCEPTIONS – by Arabella Roden (Jeweller Magazine – August 23, 2019)

The Diamond Producers Association (DPA) has released new promotional materials to combat misinformation about diamond mining. Called ‘Essential Diamond Truths’, the campaign from the US-based industry group involves a video that is shareable via social media, as well as an infographic series.

A DPA spokesperson told Rapaport News, “The goal is to convey some of the key facts and truths about natural diamonds in a compelling, cinematic way that will engage viewers. Continue Reading →

Tiffany & Co. launches men’s line, hoping diamonds are a dude’s best friend – by Rachel Siegel (Washington Post – August 15, 2019)

Tiffany & Co. hasn’t had any trouble getting men to come shop for the ladies in their lives. Now the jeweler behind those iconic blue boxes wants them to stay and peruse … for themselves.

Tiffany is rolling out its first comprehensive jewelry line for men, the company announced Thursday, in a bid to attract younger shoppers and reverse declining sales. Come October, the collection will include nearly 100 designs, some of which will fetch prices as high as $15,000. Tiffany also plans to add home furnishings and accessories, such as ice tongs and beer mugs, with male customers in mind.

But retail experts say it could be a tough sell. The glitz and glamour of Tiffany has long been tied to feminine jewelry (along with Audrey Hepburn’s soft smile and bejeweled neck). Continue Reading →