Archive | Diamond Mining

New discovery at Gahcho Kué mine could be good news for N.W.T., company bottom line – by Walter Strong (CBC News North – June 12, 2019)

The discovery of a new kimberlite pipe at the Gahcho Kué diamond mine could be good news for Mountain Province Diamonds and De Beers Canada, the co-owners of the mine, and for the Northwest Territories.

The diamond bearing, underground rock — named the Wilson kimberlite after Alice Evelyn Wilson, Canada’s first female geologist — is the first kimberlite discovery at Gahcho Kué in 20 years.

It is too soon to say if the new discovery will prove to be economically viable, but Mountain Province CEO Stuart Brown says drill sample results are promising. Continue Reading →

Ontario’s first and only diamond mine reaches end of production (Timmins Daily Press – May 31, 2019)

Mining activities in the pit ended on March 5, when the mine switched to processing the remaining surface stockpiles of ore.

ATTAWAPISKAT — Ten years and 10 months after the official opening in July 2008, production at De Beers Group Victor Mine in Northern Ontario has come to an end.

On May 26, the last of the economic ore was processed through the plant, followed by several days of low-grade ore and limestone to help purge the plant of any remaining diamonds. Mining activities in the pit ended on March 5, when the mine switched to processing the remaining surface stockpiles of ore. The plant will now undergo a comprehensive shutdown process through the end of June.

De Beers Group Exploration discovered Victor in 1987, becoming Canada’s first economically viable diamond deposit discovery, nearly five years ahead of the diamond discoveries in the Northwest Territories. Continue Reading →

Lab-grown diamonds to get sustainability standard certification – by Valentina Ruiz Leotaud ( – May 26, 2019)

Organizations behind lab-grown diamonds continue to push to conquer the market.

As miners of the precious stones are struggling across the board, particularly those unearthing cheaper and smaller gems where there is too much supply, companies producing synthetic diamonds are expanding their reach by incorporating consumer feedback into their manufacturing and commercialization processes.

According to Chris Casey, president of the New York-based Lab Grown Diamond Council or LGDC, compliance with labour and environmental standards are consumers’ top concerns when purchasing any kind of gemstones and other products. Continue Reading →

The Global Diamond Glut Worsens – by Thomas Biesheuvel (Bloomberg/Yahoo Finance – May 21, 2019)

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De Beers’s diamond sales plunged to the lowest since 2017 in the company’s latest offering, underlining a slump in the industry worldwide.

Sales by the Anglo American Plc unit dropped 25% from a year ago to $415 million, and were down 29% from an offering last month. It’s often a quieter time of the year because the industry has already restocked after the key holiday period, but total sales so far in 2019 are still much weaker than in previous years. Continue Reading →

The US head of the world’s largest diamond miner says its sustainability plan isn’t just good for the planet, it’s the future of its business – by Richard Feloni (Business Insider – May 2019)

Despite its position as the world’s largest diamond miner by volume, Alrosa is not a well-known name in the United States, the world’s largest diamond market. Rebecca Foerster, head of the company’s North American division, is on a mission to change that — and she says Alrosa’s sustainability initatives are key.

“Alrosa, as a pure-play mined diamond company, is one of the few companies that can, without question, guarantee the chain of custody and the provenance of the diamonds that they mine,” Foerster told Business Insider.

Alrosa is a publicly traded company whose majority shareholders are Russia’s federal and regional governments, but Foerster said that she’s not concerned with politics when it comes to the brand, given that the company’s mines in Siberia are among the world’s most sustainable. Continue Reading →

A New Diamond-Mining Boat Will Hoover Up Gems Off Namibia’s Coast – by Thomas Biesheuvel (Bloomberg News – May 16, 2019)

Anglo American Plc will build a new diamond-mining boat to operate off the coast of Namibia, where it finds some of its most expensive stones, in the latest sign the company is willing to spend on growth.

Anglo’s De Beers unit already has a fleet of boats that hoover up the precious stones on the Atlantic Ocean, through a 50:50 partnership with Namibia. The southern African nation’s diamonds, which have been washed down the Orange River from South Africa over millions of years and deposited in the ocean, are key to De Beers because of their high quality.

The investment is the latest in a series of growth moves by the century-old miner. So far, Anglo has shied away from delivering the sort of blockbuster shareholder returns seen from larger rivals Rio Tinto Group and BHP Group. Continue Reading →

‘Cash crunch’ leaves Stornoway Diamond Corp. racing to stave off insolvency – by Nicolas Van Praet (Globe and Mail – May 15, 2019)

Stornoway Diamond Corp. is racing to stave off insolvency as it deals with a decline in gem prices that has prevented the Canadian miner from generating positive free cash flow this year.

Longueuil, Que.-based Stornoway said Tuesday it is in talks with backers to secure its long-term financial viability. At the same time, the company launched a major cost-cutting effort and strategic review, which could mean putting itself up for sale.

“We have a cash crunch so that’s why we need to look at our options,” Stornoway chief executive Patrick Godin said in an interview with The Globe and Mail, adding that although diamond pricing is soft at the moment, he remains confident it will recover as global supply decreases over the next several years. “Given the quality of the asset that we have, we just need to resist during the tough times to be able to take the wave.” Continue Reading →

On the gemstone trail: A tour of Antwerp’s diamond district – by John Malathronas (CNN Travel – June 12, 2018)

(CNN) — With its flat-fronted 1960s buildings and plain color scheme, Hoveniersstraat might be dismissed as one of the most drab streets in the pretty baroque Belgian city of Antwerp. In fact, it’s one of the most fascinating, and there are several high security clues that give the game away.

The street is protected by a police station, dozens of CCTV cameras and several armed soldiers. The reason: Hoveniersstraat is the center of Antwerp’s — and the world’s — diamond industry.

About 84% of all rough diamonds and 50% of all cut diamonds on the planet are traded in this destination today. Located less than an hour from Brussels by train, the Belgian city, has been a major diamond center since medieval times. Continue Reading →

FOCUS: Mining wrote South Africa’s history. Does it have a future? – by Ryan Lenora Brown (Christian Science Monitor – May 7, 2019)

KIMBERLEY, SOUTH AFRICA: On a glassy blue March day, on a cratered field flanked by tin shacks, a man named Shimi sinks his hands deep into the dirt that once made his country rich beyond reason.

One hundred and fifty years ago, a few miles from this spot, another man, whose name was recorded for history only as Swartbooi (“black boy”), found a diamond so big that it warped the entire history of South Africa. Now Shimi is trying to do the same. Actually, Shimi doesn’t really need the history-warping kind of diamond. The rent-paying kind would do. The new-shoe buying type. The type of diamond that means he has enough cornmeal for a few more months.

“If you’re lucky, with this work, you find enough to live,” says Shimi, who asked that his last name not be used because of the illegal nature of his work, as he carries another bucket of dirt to the homemade sifter he uses to search for diamonds in this old mine dump. Continue Reading →

Sierra Leone’s diamond industry must be reformed – by Julian Lahai Samboma (African Business – May 3, 2019)

African Business

If Sierra Leone’s diamond industry is to make a positive contribution to the socio-economic development of the nation, as envisaged in the government’s new five-year National Development Plan, there has to be a radical overhaul of the way the industry is managed.

At the centre of any such strategy should be a concerted campaign to curb the rampant smuggling of diamonds, which leads to tens of millions of dollars of potential tax revenue being lost each year.

Less remarked upon is the fact that official corruption still plagues the industry. Diamonds were discovered in Sierra Leone in 1930. The 1960s are seen as the post-independence benchmark for probity and proper management of the industry. Continue Reading →

As Canada’s Lucara Diamond seeks new mines, tech fuels growth – by Nichola Saminather (Reuters Canada – May 1, 2019)

TORONTO (Reuters) – Lucara Diamond Corp, which has recovered two of the largest diamonds in recent history, is turning to technology to ensure growth in an industry where new mine acquisitions remain elusive.

For the Vancouver-based junior miner, that means using advanced technology like sorting based on atomic density to boost value from its Karowe mine in Botswana, and also diversifying away from mining into an online diamond sales platform.

“Diamond mines are extremely rare… we haven’t been able find the perfect asset, but we continue to look,” Lucara Chief Executive Eira Thomas said in an interview. “In the meantime, we thought it was important to establish a growth agenda.” Continue Reading →

Canadian miner with knack for finding monster diamonds takes on industry giants with online trading – by Hanna Hoikkala and Niclas Rolander (Bloomberg News – April 30, 2019)

The opaque diamond trade may be ripe for disruption. Lucara Diamond, which recently found the second-largest diamond in history in Botswana, is taking on industry giants such as De Beers and Alrosa PJSC with an online platform to replace the current physical auctions.

The service allows Lucara to match buyers’ requirements, not only saving jewellers the trouble of traveling to Botswana but also ending the practice of buying stones by the bucket. They typically can only use some, and then have to sell the rest on the secondary market.

“For the first time ever, manufacturers buy only what they want, they don’t have to carry all this extra inventory,” Eira Thomas, Lucara’s chief executive officer, said in an interview in Stockholm. Continue Reading →

South African mines drag down De Beers’ first-quarter output – by Marleny Arnoldi ( – April 25, 2019)

iamond miner De Beers’ rough diamond production for the quarter ended March 31 decreased by 8% year-on-year to 7.9-million carats, driven by lower output at its South African operations.

De Beers Consolidated Mines, in South Africa, attributed its 65% year-on-year decrease in output to 400 000 ct to lower mined volumes at the Venetia mine, as it approached a transition from openpit to underground operations.

Additionally, the Voorspoed mine had been placed onto care and maintenance in the last quarter of 2018, in preparation for closure, driving production figures down further. Continue Reading →

Canadian miner finds the second-biggest diamond in history — but it’s actually not that great – by Thomas Biesheuvel (Financial Post/Bloomberg News – April 25, 2019)

A giant 1,758-carat diamond, the second-biggest ever discovered, has been found in Botswana. But unlike its rivals, it won’t fetch a record-breaking price.

Lucara Diamond Corp. said it unearthed the stone — roughly the size of a tennis ball — at its Karowe project in Botswana, a mine renowned for its huge gems including the previous holder of the No. 2 position. Still, the company said the diamond is a near gem of variable quality, meaning it won’t yield incredibly valuable polished diamonds on par with earlier finds.

Lucara’s Karowe mine is becoming famous for giant stones. In 2015, Lucara found the 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona, which at the time was the second-largest ever and eventually sold for US$53 million. Continue Reading →

CLIMATE CHANGE THREATENS ICE ROADS. SATELLITES COULD HELP – by Nick Stockton (Wired Magazine – April 18, 2019)

FOR A FEW months each winter, Canada’s Tibbitt to Contwoyto Winter Road is the world’s longest ice highway, a 300-plus-mile network of frozen lakes that connects lucrative diamond mines in Canada’s Northwest Territories to supplies from the nation’s not-quite-so-far north.

But warmer winters and earlier springs have shortened the road’s open season by up to two weeks over the past decade. The loss of the road for even such a short time is very expensive, because the only other way to reach these mines is by air.

Salvation may come from space. A Canadian researcher has demonstrated that radar emitted from satellites can peer through the ice, determining not just its thickness but also its quality. (Does it have a lot of bubbles? Continue Reading →