Archive | Diamond Mining

Zimbabwe: Account for the Missing $15 Billion – Mnangagwa Told (All – February 14, 2018)

Presidential candidate in the forthcoming elections, Dr Noah Manyika, who leads the Build Zimbabwe Alliance party, says President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his Vice Presidents must be held accountable for the $15 billion worth of diamonds revenue, as they were in critical positions when the loot reportedly happened.

Former President Robert Mugabe broke the news of the missing $15 billion diamond revenue in an interview to mark his 92nd birthday in March in 2016, saying Treasury had received $2 billion since diamond mining operations started in 2008.

There has not been any arrests made since, although a “witch hunt ” was launched in November of 2016. Dr Manyika, who is one of the several presidential aspirants, said Mnangagwa should be held accountable for the loot together with Vice Presidents Kembo Mohadi and Constantino Chiwenga. Continue Reading →

[DeBeers Greenhouse] Writer raising funds to build greenhouse in Attawapiskat – by Emma Meldrum (Timmins Daily Press – February 14, 2018)

TIMMINS – It’s far from a done deal, but if David Franks has his way, a greenhouse will be built in Attawapiskat First Nation thanks to the proceeds of his book.

Published late last year, 30 Days in Attawapiskat details “the observations and impressions of a once-proud, yet blissfully ignorant Canadian writer who spent a month on the fly-in First Nation reserve,” according to the description on Amazon. Half of net profits from that book will be used to design and build a community greenhouse on the reserve.

Franks was recently back in the community to talk to Chief Ignace Gull. The meeting left the writer “kind of stymied at the moment for where we can build this.” Gull told The Daily Press there simply isn’t space. “We don’t have space in the community for other buildings or structures. Everything has been designated for our housing project,” said the chief. Nearby Potato Island is an option. Continue Reading →

2017 US Holiday Jewelry Sales Rise, Reports Indicate Continued Economic Growth – by Russell Shor (gemological institute of America – January 19, 2018)

Holiday jewelry sales in the U.S. increased 5.9% in 2017, according to a Mastercard-SpendingPulse survey, and outpaced spending in general, which increased 4.9%. The survey found that jewelry buying was running behind other retail categories until the week before Christmas when sales surged. Mastercard’s survey results are typically a bit higher than others.

A Centurion survey of primarily upscale jewelry retailers found that nearly 60% reported sales increases (one-third of those over 10%), but many noted that the gains came despite decreased customer traffic – fewer buyers were spending more money.

Signet Plc, the largest jewelry chain, turned in a disappointing season, however. Declining traffic at shopping malls and problems with its credit program resulted in a sub-par season: a 5.3% decline in its same store U.S. sales and an 8% decline overall. Continue Reading →

Top jewellery brands failing to ensure gold, diamonds mined ethically, Human Rights Watch says – by Henry Sanderson (Financial Times – February 8, 2018)

Some of the world’s leading jewellery companies are failing to ensure that their gold and diamonds are mined ethically, according to Human Rights Watch, despite two decades of efforts to clean up the industry.

While the world has made progress limiting the flow of diamonds linked to conflict, so-called blood diamonds, leading brands such as Boodles, Rolex, Cartier and Bulgari are failing to do enough to show that all their gems are not linked to broader human rights abuses, the New York-based group said.

“An increasing number of customers want to be sure the jewellery they buy has not fuelled human rights abuses,” Juliane Kippenberg, associate child rights director at Human Rights Watch, said. Continue Reading →

War on blood diamond trade loses its lustre in age of digital smuggling – by Jon Yeomans (The Telegraph – January 28, 2018)

The diamond industry stands at a crossroads. The Kimberley Process, a scheme designed to certify that diamonds are “conflict-free”, is under pressure to reform.

Once regarded as a landmark agreement between industry, governments and NGOs, it has been attacked for widespread shortcomings. Can it restore confidence in the industry and can consumers be sure of what they are buying?

For years, the diamond business was dominated by mining house De Beers, which controlled global prices by buying and selling rough, unpolished diamonds from its rivals. Continue Reading →

Gahcho Kué adds vim to Anglo 2017 output numbers despite cuts – by David McKay (MiningMX – January 25, 2018)

ANGLO American turned in a robust fourth quarter production performance which took full year production on a copper equivalent basis some 5% higher compared to 2016, largely owing to good numbers at Kumba Iron Ore and De Beers, its 85% subsidiary.

Mark Cutifani, CEO of Anglo American, said the year-on-year improvement was despite cutting platinum and metallurgical coal output. “The ramp up of Gahcho Kué and Grosvenor mines made positive contributions to our production profile in 2017, and a strong performance from Sishen resulted in an 8% increase in production from Kumba Iron Ore,” he said in a statement.

Gahcho Kué is the De Beers’ newly commissioned diamond mine in Canada’s Northwest Territories. It reached nameplate production in the second quarter of the financial year. Continue Reading →

Zimbabwe mulls scrapping majority black ownership on diamond, platinum sectors – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – January 23, 2018)

Zimbabwe’s new government may soon scrap a 51% requirement of local ownership for foreign investors in the diamond and platinum sectors, in an effort to re-engage international lenders, curb spending and attract investors to revive the country’s battered economy.

The so-called indigenization laws intended to increase black Zimbabweans’ share of the economy, but were opaque and open to abuse.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who took the post in November after Robert Mugabe quit under pressure from the military, had already said he would revoke such rule on all other minerals, except from diamonds and platinum. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Global Trends in Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM): A review of key numbers and issues (International Institute for Environmental and Development – January 22, 2018)

For the entire report:

Global Trends in Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM): A review of key numbers and issues was prepared by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) for the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals and Sustainable Development (IGF).

ASM has experienced explosive growth in recent years due to the rising value of mineral prices and the increasing difficulty of earning a living from agriculture and other rural activities. An estimated 40.5 million people were directly engaged in ASM in 2017, up from 30 million in 2014, 13 million in 1999 and 6 million in 1993. That compares with only 7 million people working in industrial mining in 2014.

ASM is generally pursued as a route out of poverty or as an activity to complement insufficient income, especially in communities where alternative employment is hard to come by. ASM is also a very diverse sector. Its main challenges vary from region to region—and often from site to site. Continue Reading →

Zimbabwe May End Local Ownership Rule on Platinum, Diamonds – by Antony Sguazzin and Godfrey Marawanyika (Bloomberg News – January 23, 2018)

Zimbabwe, which has the world’s second-biggest platinum reserves, may lift a requirement that companies mining the metal or diamonds must be at least 51 percent owned by black citizens of the country, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said.

Mnangagwa, who became president in November after Robert Mugabe resigned under pressure from the military, has announced that the ownership requirement on all other minerals will be abolished. The government needs to assess its platinum and diamond industries more carefully, he said.

“I only excluded diamonds and platinum for now. We do not have a real or deep-rooted or well-interrogated policy on diamonds or platinum,” the 75-year-old president said in an interview in his office in the capital, Harare, last week. “Down the line when we are satisfied that this can also go into the open basket we will do so.” Continue Reading →

‘Blood diamond’ agreement fails consumers, says NGO – by Henry Sanderson (Financial Times – January 22, 2018)

The global agreement to prevent trade in “blood diamonds” from Africa has failed to assure consumers their gems are not tainted by human rights abuses and conflict, according to one of its founding members.

IMPACT, a Canadian non-government organisation, has left the Kimberley Process because it says it has given buyers “false confidence” about where their stones come from and needs to reform.

The departure of IMPACT, nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for its work on conflict diamonds, leaves only one international NGO left in the Kimberley Process, established in 2003 to prevent diamonds being used to fund rebel groups in Africa. Continue Reading →

Millennials Are Snubbing Diamonds – by Bei Hu (Bloomberg News – January 18, 2018)

Diamonds are set to slump further, according to a hedge fund whose bet on marijuana made it the world’s best performer in 2016.

Prices of the precious gem may slump as much as 10 percent this year as it loses appeal with younger consumers and faces challenges from synthetic alternatives, said Singapore-based Ben Cleary, who co-manages the $500 million Tribeca Global Natural Resources Fund.

“Diamonds are marketed on the idea that they will forever represent a pinnacle of luxury and materialist desire,” Cleary wrote in an email. “Our concern is whether a younger generation of millennials will have the same allegiance to the same products as their parents and grandparents.” Continue Reading →

One of the Biggest Diamonds in History Has Just Been Dug Up – by Thomas Biesheuvel (Bloomberg News – January 15, 2018)

One of the biggest diamonds in history has been discovered in the mountainous kingdom of Lesotho in southern Africa.

Gem Diamonds Ltd. found the 910-carat stone, about the size of two golf balls, at its Letseng mine in the country. It’s a D color Type IIa diamond, which means it has very few or no nitrogen atoms and is one of the most expensive stones. The diamond is the fifth-biggest ever found.

The Letseng mine is famous for the size and quality of the diamonds it produces and has the highest average selling price in the world. Gem sold a 357-carat stone for $19.3 million in 2015 and in 2006 found the 603-carat Lesotho Promise. Continue Reading →

Robert A. Gannicott (1947 – 2016) – 2018 Canadian Mining Hall of Fame Inductee

Robert A. Gannicott

The Canadian Mining Hall of Fame was conceived by the late Maurice R. Brown, former editor and publisher of The Northern Miner, as a way to recognize and honour the legendary mine finders and builders of a great Canadian industry. The Hall was established in 1988. For more information about the extraordinary individuals who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame, please go to their home website:

Robert (Bob) Gannicott was a pioneer of Arctic mineral exploration and a visionary entrepreneur who helped unlock the downstream value of Canada’s fledgling diamond industry. He played a pivotal role in the discovery and development of the Diavik mine in the Northwest Territories (NWT) for Aber Diamond Corporation in the 1990s, and led Aber’s later acquisition of luxury jeweller Harry Winston to help promote the exceptional quality of Canadian gem diamonds.

With Gannicott as Chairman and CEO, Aber evolved into Harry Winston Diamond Corporation in 2007, and became Dominion Diamond Corporation in 2013. In a bold move in 2013, Gannicott sold the retail division of Harry Winston to acquire an 80% interest in the Ekati mine, which combined with 40% of Diavik transformed Dominion into Canada’s largest independent diamond producer.


It was the first time a Canadian company owned a majority share of a Canadian diamond mine, along with value-added sorting and marketing operations in Canada, Belgium and India. Born and raised in England, Gannicott immigrated to Canada in 1967, and found his first job at a gold mine in Yellowknife. His career compass continued to point north after he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in geology from the University of Ottawa in 1975. Continue Reading →

What’s A Diamond Really Worth?: The physical, psychological and financial factors that make up the value of the North’s key stone – by Herb Mathisen (Up Here Magazine – November 17, 2017)

Diamonds might be forever. Diamonds may also be a girl’s best friend. But one thing’s for sure—figuring out the value of a diamond isn’t easy. The stones that come out of the ground bear little resemblance to the diamonds that sparkle on rings or pendants.

A diamond will travel across the globe for cutting and polishing—to places as far flung as Belgium and Botswana then India and back—and before it winds up on your finger, it will be sold multiple times, at prices that vary according to market demand at each stage.

Since the private sector economy of the Northwest Territories hinges on the export of rough diamonds, we figured we’d try to bring some clarity to this complex and opaque industry. Continue Reading →

The EU starts to lead the Kimberley Process – by Valentina Ruiz Leotaud ( – January 2, 2017)

The European Union has taken over the chairmanship of the Kimberley Process for 2018, a decade after it last directed the initiative. Federica Mogherini, who is an Italian politician and the High Representative of the bloc for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, will be heading the operation.

Kimberley is a process started in 2003 following the United Nations General Assembly’s Resolution 55/56.

It is aimed at removing conflict diamonds from the global supply chain, which means that participants have to go through a certification scheme that ensures that their diamond purchases are not financing violence by rebel movements aiming at undermining legitimate governments. Continue Reading →