Archive | Diamond Mining

552-Carat Yellow Diamond Discovered In Canada, Largest In North America – by Anthony DeMarco (Forbes Magazine – December 14, 2018)

https://www.forbes.com/

It gets quite chilly in the northwest region of Canada but the diamond industry in the area is starting to burn red hot as a 552-carat yellow diamond was discovered in October.

The rough diamond was unearthed at the Diavik Diamond Mine, approximately 135 miles south of the Arctic Circle in Canada’s Northwest Territories, jointly owned by mining companies Rio Tinto and Dominion Diamond Mines, which made the announcement Friday. It is the largest diamond discovery in North America, far surpassing the previous record held by the 187.7-carat “Diavik Foxfire,” which was recovered at the same mine in 2015.

The gemstone, which measures 33.74mm x 54.56mm, was discovered while passing through the initial screening process at Diavik’s recovery plant. “Abrasion markings on the stone’s surface attest to the difficult journey it underwent during recovery, and the fact that it remains intact is remarkable,” the company said in a statement. “A diamond of this size is completely unexpected for this part of the world and marks a true milestone for diamond mining in North America.” Continue Reading →

Low Prices Trigger A Four-Way Merger Proposal For African Diamond Miners – by Tim Treadgold (Forbes Magazine – December 12, 2018)

https://www.forbes.com/

Tim Treadgold has been writing about the mining and oil industries for more than 40 years.

Tough times in some parts of the diamond-mining industry has prompted an innovative solution, a four-way merger to create a new southern African diamond specialist.

The proposal, from the London office of the German bank, Berenberg, could see Gem Diamonds, Petra Diamonds, Lucara Diamond Corporation and Firestone Diamonds emerge as a single business with enhanced financial metrics courtesy of cost savings and a focus on big, high-quality gems.

If the deal happens, and at this stage it is just a proposal from Berenberg and not something the diamond-miners have embraced, the new business would have mines in South Africa, Botswana, Tanzania and Lesotho. Continue Reading →

Diamonds are forever – whether made in a lab or mined from the earth – by Joshua Wilhide and William LaCourse (The Conservation – December 12, 2018)

https://theconversation.com/

It’s diamond season. Almost 40 percent of American engagements happen between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day, with Christmas the most popular day to pop the question – and hand over a sparkly piece of ice. Jewelry stores do at least double their usual monthly sales in December.

Since at least the late 1800s, with the discovery of huge diamond mines in South Africa, people have treasured these dazzling gems. The beauty and splendor of diamonds goes well beyond the surface. Like a diamond hunter digging in an underground mine, one must look deeper to their atomic characteristics to understand what sets these stones apart – and what makes them valuable not just for romantics but also for scientists.

When mined from the earth, diamonds look like cloudy rocks before they’re cut and polished. Their chemical nature and structure were unknown for centuries. It was Isaac Newton’s experiments in the 1600s that first suggested diamonds are made up of the fourth-most abundant element, carbon. Continue Reading →

N.W.T. gov’t loosening rules in hopes of wooing Northern diamond manufacturers (CBC News Canada North – December 6, 2018)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/

2 companies are approved N.W.T. diamond manufacturers; neither of them take advantage of this distinction

In an effort to breathe life into the N.W.T.’s dormant diamond manufacturing industry, the territorial government will allow diamond polishers that set up shop in the territory to export a share of their diamonds south for manufacturing.

This offer comes in exchange with other investments in the Northwest Territories. The Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment made the announcement Thursday afternoon. As it stands right now, the Northwest Territories has been trying to cultivate a diamond polishing industry in the Northwest Territories for 19 years, with little to no success.

The previous rules required approved Northwest Territories diamond manufacturers to cut and polish 100 per cent of their N.W.T. diamonds in the territory. These companies had first dibs on 10 per cent of the diamonds produced in the territory — a value of $150 million US annually. Continue Reading →

DE BEERS “FIRE IN THE HOLE” – by Chaim Even-Zohar and Pranay Narvekar (Jeweller Magazine – December 6, 2018)

https://www.jewellermagazine.com/

What is really behind the jewellery industry’s greatest U-turn? CHAIM EVEN-ZOHAR with PRANAY NARVEKAR analyse De Beers’ real motives.

In the mining business, shouts of “fire in the hole” are warnings that an explosive detonation in a confined space is imminent. They warn of a dynamite charge that has been set. Depending on where you are positioned, ignoring it can be hazardous or even lethal.

The Lightbox Jewelry announcement of De Beers, signaling its policy U-turn of moving into the gem-quality synthetic diamond business, is a comparable ‘fire’ warning to the industry. This explosion may be foreshadowing the eventual end of natural diamond mining.

This U-turn by De Beers has always been a question of ‘when’ and not ‘whether’. The introduction of the Lightbox lab-grown diamond jewellery lines, coming on top of several other lab-grown diamond collections, symbolises another light pole on the edge of the road towards a rapidly growing global diamond jewellery market in which, eventually, any dissimilarity (differentiation) between lab-grown and naturally mined diamonds will evaporate. Continue Reading →

Zimbabwe May Let Foreigners Own Majority Stakes in Diamond Mines – by Godfrey Marawanyika (Bloomberg News – December 5, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Zimbabwe’s government may allow foreign investors to hold controlling stakes in diamond mines on condition that part of their output is reserved for domestic downstream industries.

Removing a limit on foreign ownership would signal to investors that President Emmerson Mnangagwa is serious about his pledge to revive mining, which suffered years of decline under his predecessor Robert Mugabe. The government is targeting diamond production of 12 million carats by 2023, compared with a forecast of 3.5 million carats this year.

The state is considering waiving a requirement that diamond mines be 51 percent owned by domestic investors, Information Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu told reporters Tuesday in the capital, Harare. The southern Africa nation scrapped the rule for most mines last year, but kept the regulations in place for diamond and platinum producers. Continue Reading →

[Saskatchewan Mining] Diamond mine is ‘awesome’ employment opportunity: Métis director – by Glenn Hicks (Prince Albert Now – December 3, 2018)

https://www.panow.com/

This region’s director for the Métis Nation says the prospect of jobs at the planned Star Orion South Diamond Project is an “awesome opportunity” for her people.

She added the environmental and compensation concerns the local First Nation had with the project was not a priority for her organization whereas securing employment was. If it becomes operational, the mine in the Forte à la Corne area, about 60 kilometres east of Prince Albert, could run for over 30 years and recover millions of diamonds, injecting billions of dollars into the provincial coffers.

“Any time we can get our Métis people employed and especially with the jobs of this essence … it’s an awesome opportunity I think, and hopefully we can all benefit from it,” Sherry McLennan, the regional director for the Métis Nation Western Region 2 told paNOW. Continue Reading →

De Beers looks to push the innovation bar at Chidliak – by Alisha Hiyate (Northern Miner/Diamonds in Canada – November 20, 2018)

Northern Miner/Diamonds in Canada

In 2013, De Beers Canada turned down a chance to own a majority stake in Peregrine Diamonds’ Chidliak project in Nunavut. Five years later, it now owns the project outright. What changed in that time period? De Beers Canada CEO Kim Truter says that the timing just wasn’t quite right the first time around.

“I always say to people that to develop a mining business, you need a few stars to line up and of course the number one star is what’s happening with the global economy and what’s happening with the diamond business in general, then you get down to the local environment and the quality of the asset. At that time, those various stars just didn’t line up,” Truter told Diamonds in Canada magazine in an October interview.

Now, the situation on all those fronts is different. “First of all, the project had actually advanced, so credit to the Peregrine team that have done a tremendous job advancing the understanding of the orebodies and the kimberlite pipes up there,” Truter explains. “That, coupled with our portfolio needs and where the economy was sitting meant the stars did line up. So it’s fantastic to have made that acquisition.” Continue Reading →

Zimbabwe sees no radical change for platinum, diamond ownership (Reuters Africa – November 26, 2018)

https://af.reuters.com/

LONDON, Nov 26 (Reuters) – Zimbabwe does not plan to change its ownership rules for diamonds and platinum, its mining minister said on Monday, denting hopes among some miners the country will open up ownership as it announces mineral frameworks in coming weeks.

Zimbabwe in March changed its empowerment law limiting the rules that mandate majority state ownership to diamond and platinum mines, rather than to the mining sector as a whole.

Speaking on the sidelines of an investment conference in London, Minister of Mines and Mining Development Winston Chitando told Reuters there would be “no change” for diamonds and platinum when asked about industry speculation the indigenisation rules could be relaxed further. Continue Reading →

De Beers Is Offering Big Discounts on Low-Quality Diamonds – by Thomas Biesheuval (Bloomberg News – November 12, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

(Bloomberg) — De Beers made steep cuts in the prices of low-quality stones at its sale this week, according to people familiar with the situation.

The world’s biggest producer reduced prices as much as 10 percent for low-quality stones, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the sales are private. It’s the latest sign that the bottom end of the market is in turmoil.

De Beers sells rough diamonds to trade buyers who cut, polish and manufacture them into the polished stones sold in jewelry stores. While there is some correlation between rough and polished prices, lower prices at a De Beers sale is unlikely to make a difference at the consumer level. Continue Reading →

Diamonds are not necessarily forever – by Peter Fabricius (Daily Maverick – November 13, 2018)

Daily Maverick

First published by ISS Today

African governments’ continued resistance to expanding the definition of conflict diamonds could jeopardise the market for mined gems.

The participants in the Kimberley Process, including 19 African governments, are meeting this week in Brussels to review the successes and failures of its first 15 years of operation and, many hope, adapt it to the demands of a changing environment.

The process was launched in 2003 by diamond-producing countries, much of the diamond industry and several civil society watchdogs. They were responding to growing global concerns about “blood diamonds” – gems mined by armed rebel groups in African conflict zones like Sierra Leone, Liberia and Angola to finance their rebellions.

It created a scheme in which rough diamonds had to be certified as not having been mined by armed groups fighting legitimate governments – before they could be legitimately exported into the diamond market. Continue Reading →

Russia’s Putin hails Alrosa as begins output at new diamond field (Reuters U.S. – October 31, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

MOSCOW, Oct 31 (Reuters) – Russia’s Alrosa said on Wednesday it had begun production at its new Verkhne-Munskoye diamond field in eastern Siberia, which President Vladimir Putin said would reinforce the state-controlled firm’s position as a world leader.

Alrosa, which is already the largest producer of rough diamonds in carat terms, competes with Anglo American’s De Beers, the biggest seller of rough diamonds by value. Together, they produce a half of the world’s rough diamonds.

“The launch of this field will certainly reinforce the positions of Alrosa… as an international leader. It currently accounts for 27 percent of global diamond production,” President Vladimir Putin, who took part in the start-up ceremony via video link, was quoted as saying in the Kremlin statement. Continue Reading →

World’s Largest Diamond Producer Alrosa Joins De Beers’ Blockchain Pilot – by Marie Huillet (Coin Telegraph.com – October 29, 2018)

https://cointelegraph.com/

The world’s largest diamond mining firm, Russia’s Alrosa, has joined the pilot of fellow industry giant De Beers’ diamond supply chain blockchain platform “Tracr,” mining industry news outlet Mining Weekly reports Oct. 29.

Alrosa is reported to be the world’s largest producer of raw diamonds in carat terms; together with De Beers, the two firms produce around half of the world’s supply. In Q3 2018, the firm’s rough diamond sales rose 12 percent year-on-year to $949 million in value, even as sales in carats declined.

Tracr, whose pilot was first announced in January, aims to improve transparency and consumer trust across the diamond value chain from mine to retail. Continue Reading →

Government grants environmental approval for Prince Albert-area diamond mine – by Alex MacPherson (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – October 25, 2018)

https://thestarphoenix.com/

The provincial government has signed off on a Saskatoon mining company’s plan to build a diamond mine east of Prince Albert, ending what is believed to be the longest environmental approval process in Saskatchewan history.

The announcement is sure to please Star Diamond Corp. and its investors, many of whom have sunk their savings into the project only to grow increasingly frustrated by delays, a lack of information, and languishing share prices.

It is not, however, likely to please members of nearby James Smith Cree Nation. A consultant hired to speak for the First Nation told the Saskatoon StarPhoenix earlier this month that Star Diamond’s environmental plan was “hopelessly flawed.” Continue Reading →

INSIGHT-Three days of violence that emptied an Angolan town of Congolese – by Stephen Eisenhammer and Giulia Paravicini (Thomson Reuters Foundation – October 25, 2018)

http://news.trust.org/

LUCAPA, Angola, Oct 25 (Reuters) – Residents of Kapende, a Congolese neighbourhood in the Angolan town of Lucapa, scrawled messages on their homes to keep the looters away, but it did not work.

“Occupied”, “do not enter”, “home of an Angolan”: The writing remains visible on the wrecked houses belonging to Congolese who have gone home as Angola has clamped down on illegal diamond mines and the migrants who worked them.

The destruction in Kapende, where no house remains occupied or intact, marked the culmination of three days of violence in Lucapa, a sprawling mining town in the northeast surrounded by some of the world’s richest diamond fields. About 300,000 Congolese have fled Angola in the last few weeks, many of them in response to the violence in Lucapa at the beginning of October. Continue Reading →