Archive | Diamond Mining

Elite Diamond-Buying Club Shrinks as De Beers Culls Old Clients – by Thomas Biesheuvel (Bloomberg News – January 14, 2021)

(Bloomberg) — De Beers has cut off some of its long-term diamond buyers, marking one of the biggest shakeups in the way the miner sells gems since the end of its monopoly 20 years ago.

De Beers staff spent Wednesday calling its 80-odd handpicked customers, with some told they will be losing their seat at the industry’s top table, according to people familiar with the situation.

The world’s biggest diamond supplier has spent more than a year mulling the changes, which are designed to funnel more stones into fewer hands, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the talks were private. Continue Reading →

Decision over future of Oxford’s Cecil Rhodes statue delayed – by Michael Race (BBC News – January 6, 2021)

A decision over the future of a statue of British imperialist Cecil Rhodes has been delayed until the spring.

Calls to remove the Oriel College statue in Oxford were reignited in June last year after a statue of 17th Century slave trader Edward Colston was torn down in Bristol. A commission was set up to examine the statue’s future and said a report would be released this month.

But the date has been delayed due to a “considerable volume of submissions”. A spokesperson for the commission, set up by Oriel College, said a report would “likely be published in early spring 2021 in order to ensure that all input is given careful and due consideration”. Continue Reading →

157.4 carat diamond unearthed at Arctic diamond mine in Canada – by Levon Sevunts (Radio Canada International – December 17, 2020)

A Canadian mining company says it has unearthed a “157.4 carat gem of exceptional quality” at a diamond mine in the Northwest Territories.

It is the largest “gem quality” diamond recovered to date from the Gahcho Kué mine and will be offered for sale during the first quarter of 2021, Mountain Province Diamonds Inc. announced Wednesday in a press release reporting its fourth quarter diamond sales.

The company said it sold 956,348 carats in the fourth quarter raising $80.2 million ($61.7 million US). Continue Reading →

Lab-grown diamonds – a girl’s new best friend: The truth behind the ethical, affordable, identical(!) alternative to traditional diamonds – by Charlie Teather and Sheilla Mamona (Glamour Magazine – December 8, 2020)

They’re one of the few jewellery details that appeals to almost everyone. You can have a preference for daintier pieces or super chunky ones, lots of layers or simple singles, yellow gold, white, or even rose, but even the least traditional amongst us – whether we like to admit it or not – go a little weak at the knees for a truly mega diamond.

Asscher cuts, brilliant rounds, ovals… carat weights, GIA grades, clarity, colour – you’re likely aware that there are seemingly a million different decisions to make when buying a diamond, but did you know that there’s actually a whole other decision that needs to be made before you even get to this level of specificity?

A decision that’s usually made for you without you even knowing it, all thanks to ‘tradition’. Because there’s more than one kind of ‘diamond’. We’re not talking about all the aforementioned aesthetic details, but rather the way in which the diamond is formed. Continue Reading →

Murder and New York’s Diamond District – by Victoria Gomelsky (New York Times – December 3, 2020)

Rob Bates did not set out to write a cozy mystery, a subgenre of crime fiction in which an amateur detective, typically a woman, solves a murder in a small town. But in “A Murder Is Forever,” a novel published in October by Camel Press, he wrote just that — except the small town is New York City’s diamond district.

The heroine, Mimi Rosen, is an unemployed journalist who makes ends meet by answering phones at her father’s diamond business on West 47th Street. When a dealer in the district’s tightknit community of Orthodox Jews is murdered, she is determined to bring the killer to justice.

As news director of JCK, a 151-year-old jewelry trade publication based in New York — where he works with me, the editor in chief — Mr. Bates is familiar with the district and its people. Continue Reading →

Concerned about gem authenticity? You can now trace your jewels back to the mine – by Charmian Leong (CMA Lifestyle – November 29, 2020)

People have probably never been more conscious about the source of their diamonds than the year Blood Diamond hit theatres in 2006.

And while this increased awareness has since made ethics a consideration for many when buying a jewel, we still have a long way to go before every gemstone that ends up under a spotlight and in a glass case is guaranteed to be conflict-free.

The good news is that we’re speeding down the right track.

American jeweller Tiffany & Co announced last year that it would become the first global player to be fully transparent about the journey of its individually registered diamonds by 2020, and the brand really went and did it. Continue Reading →

New diamond and gold deposit found in Nunavut shows similarities to world’s richest gold mine, researchers say – by Brooklyn Neustaeter (CTV News – November 29, 2020)

TORONTO — A group of Canadian researchers, who discovered diamonds in a small rock sample found in an unrealized gold deposit in Nunavut, say their findings hint at the possibility of new deposits in the area that are similar to the world’s richest gold mine.

According to a press release issued in October, the new research “fills in blanks” about the thermal conditions of Earth’s crust three billion years ago.

The findings are set to be released in two studies at the virtual fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union between Dec. 1-17. Continue Reading →

Put a forever wish of ethical, environmental hope on her finger – by Amy Oberlin (KPC News – November 25, 2020)

For those who may be thinking about popping the question around the holidays, there is an ethical dilemma to consider. Where did that diamond come from?

Blood diamonds — also called conflict diamonds, brown diamonds, hot diamonds or red diamonds — are diamonds mined in a war zone and sold to finance an insurgency, an invading army’s war efforts or a warlord’s activity. This is a pronounced problem in African states.

Alex G. Stewart, a public health physician and researcher at the University of Exeter in South West England, wrote an essay describing how all kinds of mining are dangerous to human health. Continue Reading →

‘The Russian Pink’ offers jewels, thrills, and sneaky characters – by Rochelle O’Gorman (Christain Science Monitor – November 17, 2020)

Studded with facts about black market diamond trading, this fictional thriller has adrenaline rushes, villainous plotters, and glamorous gems galore.

People, much like crows, are attracted to bright and shiny objects. The difference between the two is that the crow won’t hurt you to get at a pretty bauble. People?

Well, the characters in Matthew Hart’s new thriller “The Russian Pink” will lie, cheat, and kill to get their hands on precious gems, proving, as Hart warns, that “All diamonds are blood diamonds.”

The story begins in Angola, when a large, grapefruit-sized, pink diamond – the eponymous gem – is pulled from the ocean floor. Murder quickly ensues, then a little fleecing by a diamond merchant before the real trouble hits: The diamond descends on the world market. Continue Reading →

Lab-Grown Diamonds Are Forever. Aren’t They? – by Murray Clark (Esquire U.K. – November 13, 2020)

It can take millions of years to grow a diamond, and technology can now do it much quicker in a traceable, ethical way. But not everyone is convinced

“I like the idea of a process – of nature – creating this crystal; how it’s survived this journey from deep within the Earth under geological circumstances; how it makes it to the surface and have man realise the beauty of it.

This whole process has a certain amount of romance to it,” says Jim Vernon, founder and CEO of US jewellers RockHer. Indeed, the very business of romance is diamond-encrusted, and one prone to gushing: a beaming bride-to-be on the wall of every high street jewellers, rock-heavy hand dainty and willowy upon the shoulder of a strapping groom. Happiness, like a diamond, is forever!

And yet, for all the usual Splenda, Vernon isn’t at all saccharine. He speaks steadily and calmly over the phone, a hard-to-place deep American timbre hinting at real appreciation as opposed to pre-made talking points. Continue Reading →

[Diamonds/Kimberly Process] In conversation with Ian Smillie – by Marc Choyt (Jewellery Business – November 12, 2020)

Completely cleansing the global diamond industry of blood, corruption, and conflict is no easy feat, and few are more familiar with this challenge than Ian Smillie.

A founding participant in the creation of the Kimberley Process (KP), Smillie currently chairs the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI), a conflict-prevention initiative that brings together non-government organizations (NGOs), governments, and the private sector to help formalize and improve social and economic conditions in the artisanal diamond mining sector.

Jewellery Business contributor, Marc Choyt, recently spoke to Smillie as research for the upcoming article, ‘Where Black lives don’t matter to jewellers.’ Co-authored by Kyle Abram, the piece explores the complexity of race within the jewellery industry, as well as the history of the ethical jewellery movement and the ongoing mission to create a ‘fair trade’ diamond. Continue Reading →

‘Ultra-rare’ purple-pink diamond sells for a record $26.6M – by Oscar Holland (CNN Style – November 11, 2020)

An “ultra-rare” purple-pink diamond sold for a record 24.4 million Swiss francs ($26.6 million) at an auction in Geneva on Wednesday evening. The 14.83-carat stone, dubbed “The Spirit of the Rose,” is now the most expensive purple-pink diamond ever to sell at auction, according to Sotheby’s.

The sale comes more than three years after the gem was uncovered from a mine in northeast Russia. Taking its name from the 1911 Russian ballet “Le Spectre de la rose,” it was cut from an even larger rough diamond unearthed by the mining company Alrosa in 2017.

Then weighing 27.85 carats, the initial find was believed to be the largest pink crystal ever discovered in the country. It took a year to cut and polish the oval-shaped stone, which went on display in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taipei ahead of Wednesday’s sale. Continue Reading →

End of an era: Argyle Mine officially closed – by Arabella Roden (Jeweller Magazine – November 11, 2020)

The source of more than 90 per cent of the world’s pink diamonds, the Argyle Mine in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, has been permanently closed by owner Rio Tinto after more than 30 years of operation.

The mine’s last day of operation was 3 November, with employees and traditional owners of the land attending an event to mark the start of the closure process.

Rio Tinto estimates it will take five years to dismantle and decommission the Argyle site, which will be rehabilitated, monitored, and returned to traditional owners. Continue Reading →

Ecotricity founder to grow diamonds ‘made entirely from the sky’ – by Jillian Ambrose (The Guardian – October 30, 2020)

A British multi-millionaire and environmentalist has set out plans to create thousands of carats of carbon-negative, laboratory-grown diamonds every year “made entirely from the sky”.

Dale Vince, the founder of green energy supplier Ecotricity, claims to have developed the world’s only diamonds to be made from carbon, water and energy sourced directly from the elements at a “sky mining facility” in Stroud.

The “green technology first” uses carbon dioxide captured directly from the atmosphere to form the diamonds – which are chemically identical to diamonds mined from the earth – using wind and solar electricity, with water collected from rainfall. Continue Reading →

Diamonds Snapshot: Seven small diamond producers and explorers to watch – by Alisha Hiyate (Northern Miner – October 15, 2020)

Global mining news

The Covid-19 pandemic has choked off revenue for diamond producers and funding for diamond juniors for much of the year. But with the diamond trade slowly starting to reopen and buyers and sellers adjusting to life under the pandemic, some companies outside of the big two – De Beers and Alrosa – have proven to be resilient. Here’s a look at seven small diamond producers and explorers that are soldiering on.

Gem Diamonds

Gem Diamonds‘ (LSE: GEMD) Letseng mine in Lesotho, known to host large, high-quality Type II diamonds, has continued to deliver exceptional diamonds this year, with 12 diamonds larger than 100 carats recovered to date. The latest stones included a 442-carat diamond Type II stone in August, and 233-carat and 166-carat Type II white diamonds in September.

Production at the Letseng open-pit mine was suspended for 30 days early in the pandemic, but resumed in late April. On the sales side, Gem has been successful in adopting flexible tender processes to continue diamond sales during travel restrictions associated with the pandemic. Its average sales price for the first half of 2020 was US$1,707 per carat on 43,384 carats sold. Continue Reading →