Archive | Diamond Mining

Alrosa to mine first diamonds from Angola in mid-2020 as market “improving” – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – December 11, 2019)

The world’s top diamond producer by output, Alrosa (MCX:ALRS) said on Wednesday it planned to start trial mining at a new section of its Luaxe deposit in Angola by mid-2020.

The Russian miner and its partner Catoca Mining — the country’s state-owned diamond company — found Luaxe’s Luele pipe in 2013. They have since been analyzing the deposit’s potential, which they believe may turn out to be the largest diamond discovery in the last 60 years.

Luaxe is located 25 km from the giant Catoca operation — Angola’s largest diamond mine — and is estimated to have the potential to yield up to 350 million carats of diamonds during its productive life. Next year alone, the mine is expected to produce 1 million carats of diamonds worth $90 million, Alrosa said in a workshop hosted by the company. Continue Reading →

I’m a Jewelry Nerd, So I Went to Africa to Learn Firsthand About Diamond Mines – by Lauren Eggertsen (Who What – December 5, 2019)

Unless you work in the jewelry industry, chances are everything you know about diamond mines is based on hearsay, stereotypes, or, if you’re really out of the loop, the movie Blood Diamond. The misconceptions surrounding this industry are monstrous, and up until recently, I knew little to nothing about what really goes into mining diamonds.

Am I a jewelry nerd? Yes. But no article found on the internet could have educated me as well as my recent trip to Africa where I got to see a diamond mine firsthand and ask all the questions I had been dying for someone to explain to me.

Forevermark, a subsidiary diamond company within De Beers Group, took me to its Orapa Mine in Botswana, and all I can say is, everything I thought I knew about diamond mines was completely wrong. Continue Reading →

First Nations near proposed Sask. diamond mine cautiously optimistic about future (CBC News Saskatoon – November 18, 2019)

Mining giant Rio Tinto announced plans to exercise options in Star-Orion South Project, buy majority stake

Three First Nations in central Saskatchewan say they’ve begun informal talks with a large multinational mining company planning a large diamond mine project in the area.

On Friday, Rio Tinto Exploration Canada (RTEC) gave notice it would be exercising its options to enter into a joint venture agreement with the project’s current owner on the Star Orion South diamond project. If successful, the move would eventually leave Rio Tinto with a majority stake.

The potential change in ownership would be welcome, according to the James Smith Cree Nation. For years, the First Nation has been battling with the mine’s current owner, Star Diamond Corporation (formerly Shore Gold). Continue Reading →

Sunday Strategist: Diamond Merchants’ Headaches Are Forever – by Peter Coy (Bloomberg News – November 17, 2019)

(Bloomberg Businessweek) — You know you have a marketing problem when you find yourself arguing that the competitor’s product is “simply too perfect looking.” Or when you fall back on warning people that if they buy the competitor’s product they may not be able to resell it—when reselling it was never their intention anyway.

That’s the diamond business for you. It gets harder every year for diamond merchants to fetch a good price for their product because the competition is insane. First there’s mounting production of natural diamonds. And now synthetic diamonds have gotten so good that for average customers they’re indistinguishable from the kind that come out of the ground.

On top of all that, some customers are turned off by the violence endemic in parts of diamond mining, featured in Leonardo DiCaprio’s film Blood Diamond. What’s a strategist to do? For De Beers, the diamond-mining unit of Anglo American Plc, conflict diamonds may be the smallest of its problem. Continue Reading →

In Kimberley, the world’s diamond capital, illicit mining fight flounders – by Tanisha Heiberg and Helen Reid (Reuters U.S. – November 11, 2019)

KIMBERLEY, South Africa (Reuters) – The first South African project to bring illegal miners into the formal fold has been plagued by violence in diamond capital Kimberley, dealing a major blow to national efforts to stem a booming illicit trade.

The project was launched 18 months ago in Kimberley, the site of a 19th-century diamond rush that lured fortune-seekers from the world over. Mine owners granted more than 800 unlicensed, or informal, small-scale miners the right to legally mine around 1,500 acres of diamond-rich waste fields.

The aim of the government-backed scheme was to curb illegal mining and black-market trade of diamonds, and serve as a blueprint for future attempts elsewhere in the country, not only in the diamond sector, but also potentially manganese, gold and chrome. Continue Reading →

What the new diamond industry will look like (Mining Review Africa – November 5, 2019)

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Speaking at the Diamond Conference in Gaborone, Botswana, De Beers Group CEO, Bruce Cleaver, answered a range of questions that are vital to the fast-changing diamond industry.

Here is what he had to say: How has the diamond industry has managed to sustain its success over the years? Why has Botswana managed to generate so much diamond success when many other countries have struggled to maximise the benefits of their diamonds? What will be important in future if we are to maintain success?

The answer, as is so often the case with simple-looking questions, is in fact complex. Success requires a combination of many different things, all of which depend on the efforts of a great many people and organisations. Continue Reading →

The end of the ‘rarest diamonds in the world’ is at hand and jewellers are already feeling nostalgic – by Claire Ballentine (Bloomberg/Financial Post – October 24, 2019)

For 30 years, jeweller John Calleija has been purchasing rare gems from Rio Tinto Group’s Argyle mine in remote Western Australia, home to 90 per cent of the world’s prized pink diamonds.

On a recent rainy afternoon in New York’s Peninsula Hotel, the Australia-based Calleija studied some of the rarest pink and red stones through a magnifying glass as part of Rio Tinto’s annual pink diamonds tender, which held a total of 64 diamonds making up 56.28 carats. The intense quiet in the room was broken only by Calleija’s occasional murmurs of approval at the gems’ cut and clarity.

The stones themselves are always breathtaking, but this year’s tender also had a heightened sense of nostalgia. The Argyle mine is set to close at the end of next year, now that its supply of economically viable jewels has been exhausted. Continue Reading →

Diamonds hold promise for a better future for Africa – WDC president – by Tasneem Bulbulia ( – October 25, 2019)

Diamond-producing countries on the African continent received about $8.1-billion in 2018, or 9.5% of the $85.9-billion worth of revenues generated from the sale of diamond jewellery, and some still may consider that an insufficient share, World Diamond Council (WDC) president Stephane Fischler told delegates attending the Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi, Russia, earlier this week.

He stressed that the economic potential of the diamond resource, whose value increased by about a factor of five as it travelled from the mine to the countertop of the retail jeweller, was indisputable.

“Diamond deposits hold the promise of a better future for all African producing countries, and more specifically for the communities living in the areas where they are located. Continue Reading →

Industrial-scale bloodshed: from diamonds to oil – by Igor Kuchma (Asia Times – October 18, 2019)

For a very long time the diamond business was considered one of the bloodiest industries in the world. It caused various civil wars in Africa, murdered thousands if not millions of people, and left the Central African Republic in ruins.

In order to stop the massacre or at least try to reduce it, the United Nations started the Kimberley Process (KP) that imposes extensive requirements on its members to enable them to certify shipments of rough diamonds as “conflict-free” and prevent conflict diamonds from entering the legitimate trade.

According to its official website, the KP has 54 participants, representing 81 countries, with the European Union and its member states counting as a single participant. Continue Reading →


The lab-grown and mining industries may even be pushing one another to become more transparent and ethical.

Long before streetwear brands like Supreme popularized a business model built on limited-edition drops, the diamond industry used scarcity to drive up the desirability and perceived value of diamonds. There have always been a finite number of these sparkling chunks of carbon in the earth, making them feel all the more special.

However, in the past few years, technology has evolved to the point that those same sparkling hunks of carbon can be grown in labs, where scientists have managed to recreate the environment in which diamonds were formed in the earth.

And the increasing availability of lab-grown diamonds is fueling widespread change across the industry, with a big influx of jewelry brands using them (and often branding them as a more ethical and sustainable alternative) and at-times-aggressive opposition from proponents of mined jewels. Those on both sides of the lab grown vs. mined debate are often impassioned in their points of view. Continue Reading →

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 →