Archive | Diamond Mining

Stornoway shares recede on curbed production, sales forecasts – by Nicolas Van Praet (Globe and Mail – May 17, 2018)

Canadian diamond miner Stornoway Diamond Corp. has cut its production and sales guidance for the year, putting pressure on its balance sheet at a critical time as it shifts operations at its Renard mine from open pit to below ground.

The shares fell 5 per cent to $0.54 in Toronto trading on Wednesday afternoon. Longueuil, Que.-based Stornoway said in a release it now expects to produce between 1.35 million and 1.4 million carats of diamonds this year, down from an initial forecast of 1.6 million carats.

The company also revised its expectation for carats sold, to between 1.2 million carats and 1.25 million carats from 1.6 million previously. Continue Reading →

Billionaire Beny Steinmetz Is Digging for Diamonds Again – by Thomas Biesheuvel (Bloomberg News – May 14, 2018)

Billionaire Beny Steinmetz is back to mining diamonds. The Koidu mine in Sierra Leone, controlled by the billionaire’s family trust, has started mining again after halting production for almost a year.

It’s the latest step in a recovery for a business that’s spent much of the last few years in deep trouble.

While the mine produces some of most valuable stones in the world, it has faced a series of crises running from too much debt to the Ebola epidemic. In 2015, the mine became part of a fight between Steinmetz’s BSG Resources Ltd. and the government that involved BSGR’s CEO betraying its owners in secretly taped conversations. Continue Reading →

Millennial attitudes are forcing a massive change in the diamond industry – by Mary Hanbury (Business Insider – May 10, 2018)

Millennials are coming around to a big loophole in engagement ring shopping. The idea of spending thousands of dollars on a diamond is becoming less appealing as lab-grown alternatives of the stone are gaining traction. These lab-grown versions can look very similar to mined diamonds and can cost around 30-40% less.

This diamond-making process dates back to 1954 but has grown in popularity in the last decade. It’s still small-scale, however, as manufacturers of these diamonds, such as Pure Grown Diamonds and MiaDonna, make up a very small part of the overall market share — around 1% of the $80 billion global business for rough diamonds.

But this could be changing. According to a Morgan Stanley report cited by Forbes, lab-grown diamonds could take 7.5% of the total market share by 2020. Continue Reading →

You Don’t Have to Dig a Mine to Run One, Female Leaders Say – by Danielle Bochove and David Stringer (Bloomberg News – May 3, 2018)

Eira Thomas has discovered diamonds in the far north, co-founded mining companies and sat on a dozen boards — including Canada’s most valuable energy company.

So the 49-year-old was a little taken aback when an investor recently suggested she needed to hire an engineer as chief operating officer to back her up in the executive suite. She was, after all, only a geologist.

“I’m 30 years in this business,” said Thomas, who took over as chief executive officer of Vancouver-based Lucara Diamond Corp. in February. “I’ve been involved in multiple projects that have gone on to become mines. I sit on the board of Suncor. And I just wonder if a male, newly appointed CEO with the same credentials, would have faced the same commentary?’’ Continue Reading →

Northwest Territories economic future ‘grim,’ says report – by Emily Blake (CBC News North – May 1, 2018)

Mining output expected to drop and unemployment to rise by 2040

The economic future for the Northwest Territories is “grim,” according to the Conference Board of Canada’s newest forecast for all three territories.

According to the independent research group’s report, peak diamond production came last year for the N.W.T and will begin to fall in the coming years. All three operating diamond mines in the territory — Ekati, Diavik and Gahcho Kué — will close by 2034.

“When Ekati closes in 2034, it will be the end of 43 years of diamond mining in the Northwest Territories unless a new mining diamond project sees the light of day,” the report stated. Continue Reading →

Zimbabwe: Questions As Chinese Resurface On Anjin’s Marange Diamond Claims – by Mukasiri Sibanda (All Africa – April 23, 2018)

On 20 April 2018, the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) accompanied ambassadors from European Union countries during their field visit to the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) mining operations in Marange in the east of the country. One interesting observation was the fresh fence erected on Anjin’s concession, an air strip clearance and the presence of some Chinese on the ground.

The personnel are clearly not ZCDC staff and indications were that they were not maintenance staff either. This raises several questions: is Anjin back? If so, in what disguise? Did they get a new license?

Anjin is a diamond mining partnership between Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Company Ltd of China (AFECC) and Matt Bronze, an investment vehicle controlled by Zimbabwe’s military. Continue Reading →

Flanders to Holland and back: Resource Clips visits the diamond industry in Belgium and the Netherlands – by Greg Klein (Resource Clips – March 13, 2018)

As if providing an outer defence, a solid line of retail jewellers blocks two broad avenues from Antwerp’s famed diamond district. Access comes mainly through a side street with a police-controlled traffic barrier. More cops and soldiers (the latter attesting to Belgium’s ongoing terror alert) patrol the narrow streets inside.

The only vehicles seem to be armoured vans customized for the diamond trade or the occasional bicycle carrying an Orthodox Jew with long coat and side curls flowing in the wind but magnificent hat solidly perched.

Except for the Portuguese synagogue, the buildings look un-Antwerpishly drab, catering to four bourses, several major companies and many more smaller operations that buy and sell stones and/or cut and polish them, as well as businesses selling tools of the trade or offering services like laser inscription removal. Continue Reading →

Zimbabwe’s parliament orders Mugabe to answer questions over diamonds – by by MacDonald Dzirutwe (Reuters U.S. – April 20, 2018)

HARARE (Reuters) – Zimbabwe’s parliament has ordered former leader Robert Mugabe to answer questions next month about whether the state was deprived of $15 billion in diamond revenue, a legislator said on Friday.

It will be Mugabe’s first public appearance since last November when the army deposed him in a de facto coup after nearly four decades in power and he was replaced by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The 94-year-old gave his first television interview last month since he lost power and said Mnangagwa had betrayed him and assumed the presidency illegally. Continue Reading →

Alrosa plans rough diamond trading in India, seeks reduction in 40% tax – by Dilip Kumar Jha (Business Standard – April 19, 2018)

Alrosa sells around 16 per cent of its annual rough diamond output directly to India through its 15 long-term and 140 spot and auctions clients

Russian diamond-mining major Alrosa will start rough diamond trading in India once the government brings the tax on it down to 0.56 per cent from 40 per cent now — to match the rates in other major trading hubs of the world.

The 40 per cent rate is applicable in special notified zones (SNZ), including the Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB), where Alrosa opened its first office in India on Thursday.

Alrosa is planning to service its Indian customers by contacting them daily. Apart from that, the India representative will help in market research and data analytics in various markets by giving information on trends in the demand for precious stones here. Continue Reading →

De Beers Has a Clean-Up Plan for Blood Diamonds – by Thomas Biesheuvel (Bloomberg News – April 19, 2018)

Diamond mining giant De Beers plans to fix one of the industry’s oldest problems: the reputational stain of artisanal mining.

The world’s top diamond miner is set to start a pilot program in Sierra Leone that will help trace the route from mine to consumer for what it calls ethically-sourced artisanal gems.

The Anglo American Plc unit will train miners and provide them with equipment to digitally track their finds, and aims to buy the first such stones from them this year. Continue Reading →

Diamonds that fell to Earth came from long-lost planet, researchers say – by Joseph Brean (National Post – April 18, 2018)

The surprisingly large size of these extraterrestrial gemstones is the first direct evidence for the mysterious planet that has since disappeared from our solar system

Specks of diamond inside a meteor that fell from space into the Nubian Desert of northern Sudan were formed inside a long-lost planet in the early years of the solar system, according to a new scientific report.

The surprisingly large size of these extraterrestrial gemstones is the first compelling and direct evidence for the mysterious planet that has since disappeared from the solar system, either by colliding and being absorbed into another planet, or being incinerated in the sun, or cast off into outer space.

At least some of it stuck around, however, in the form of a small asteroid, perhaps four metres across, that spent millions of years in some kind of local orbit until one special night in 2008, when astronomer Richard Kowalski noticed a blip on a screen at the Mount Lemmon telescope in Arizona. Continue Reading →

Lucara Unearths Another Massive Diamond From Botswana Mine – by Danielle Bochove (Bloomberg News – April 12, 2018)

Lucara Diamond Corp. has recovered yet another massive diamond in Botswana, at a site previously owned by giant De Beers.

The 472-carat light brown stone is the third largest found by Vancouver-based Lucara at the Karowe mine. The site has proven a windfall for the Canadian miner which now produces some of the biggest and best diamonds in the world.

“The early sampling work that was done on Karowe was done with equipment that really was not optimal and they ended up breaking a lot of diamonds,” Chief Executive Officer Eira Thomas said in a telephone interview Thursday. “When we went into commercial production we expected to do better but we had no idea that the diamonds that were being broken were so much larger. ” Continue Reading →

Where Did Zimbabwe’s Diamond Money Go? – by Sebastian Mhofu (Voice of America (April 11, 2018)

HARARE — Lawmakers in Zimbabwe are preparing to summon ex-president Robert Mugabe to answer for his management of the diamond sector, which he nationalized in 2016.

Mugabe announced the state seizure two years ago on Zimbabwe state TV, saying, “There has been a lot of secrecy … and we have been blinded. We have not received much from the diamond industry at all.”

Foreign mining companies operating in the country were quick to challenge the stop-work orders in court, and some cases are still pending. Continue Reading →

World’s Most Valuable Diamond Mine Set to Get Even Bigger – by Mbongeni Mguni (Bloomberg News – April 5, 2018)

The world’s most valuable diamond mine is set to get even bigger. Debswana, the joint venture between Anglo American Plc’s De Beers unit and Botswana’s government, is seeking permission to deepen the Jwaneng mine to 830 meters (2,700 feet), according to a notice published in local newspapers Thursday.

The Cut 9 project will extend the mine’s life by 11 years, to 2035, and allow the extraction of a further 50 million carats.

Jwaneng, which started full operations in 1982, is the world’s largest diamond producer by value and currently 650 meters deep. Cut 9 will involve stripping away waste at the bottom of the mine, both widening and deepening the pit. Continue Reading →

Antwerp’s humble diamantaires – by Estelle Hakner (Geographical – March 22, 2018)

Diamonds are perhaps the least modest of all jewels. But, in Antwerp, they have attracted a community known for its humility

On the outskirts of Antwerp, in the Wilrijk neighbourhood, a piece of India stands tall and serene: a magnificent and intricately ornate temple made from 3,500 tons of white, hand-carved Makrana marble, the same as that used in the Taj Mahal.

At its entrance, an Indian man in a white robe, no shoes and a square piece of cloth over his mouth sweeps the path before him as he walks, brushing away any insects so as not to tread on them. The cloth square on his mouth is a muhapatti and stops him accidentally inhaling and killing organisms in the air.

This regal and elaborate temple belongs to the Jains – a community that, since the early 1970s, has had an ever-growing presence in Belgium’s Flemish city. Guided by principles of non-possession and non-violence, they traditionally live in a way that does not harm other living beings. Continue Reading →