Archive | Diamond Mining

Lab-grown gems are giving mined diamonds a run for their money – by Gayle MacDonald (Globe and Mail – April 6, 2019)

In January, when Dame Helen Mirren sat down to chat with the hosts of Good Morning Britain, she was wearing a diamond necklace and earrings that were the essence of the actress herself – classy with just the right touch of pizzazz.

Her stylist Rachel Fanconi had chosen the diamond set carefully. The look she wanted for her Academy Award-winning client was elegant, not flashy, and for the jewels she turned to a tiny company called Lark & Berry, which has an interesting sales pitch. It only sells diamonds made in state-of-the-art laboratories – anything pulled from a mine in say, Botswana, is strictly taboo.

“I love the point of difference that the brand offers,” says Fanconi, whose clients also include Rachel Weisz, Naomi Watts and David Beckham. “Lab grown feels different and fun, and answers a lot of ethical questions.” Continue Reading →

World Diamond Council advocates for Africa’s artisanal diamond miners at international forum – by Staff ( – April 5, 2019)

During her opening address at the 6th Forum of the Africa-Belgium Business Week, Marie-Chantal Kaninda, Executive Director of the World Diamond Council, told global leaders that expanding the scope of the Kimberley Process to include issues related to human rights and labor relations will help create conditions in which Sub-Saharan Africa’s artisanal diamond miners can meet their economic potential and support the development of their countries’ economies.

With Faustin-Archange Touadéra, President of the Central African Republic, and Charles Michel, Belgium’s Prime Minister sitting in the audience, Kaninda made reference to the peace agreement signed in February by the Touadéra government and 14 rebel groups, aimed at ending the country’s seven-year-long civil war.

In her view, through the implementation of the peace process, the Central African Republic will be able to resume the unrestricted export of rough diamonds, supported by the Kimberley Process Certification System. Continue Reading →

De Beers dreams of building the diamond mine of the future in Nunavut – by John Thompson (Nunatsiaq News – April 4, 2019)

De Beers Group envisions building a diamond mine on Baffin Island that’s relatively small, moveable and powered by clean energy. It may not even have a road running to it.

Tom Ormsby, De Beers Canada’s head of external and corporate affairs, offered the Nunavut Mining Symposium a glimpse of the company’s brainstorming during a talk on Wednesday, April 3.

In September 2018, De Beers acquired the Chidliak diamond property as part of its purchase of Peregrine Diamonds. The site is about 120 kilometres northeast of Iqaluit and about 200 kilometres south of Pangnirtung. Continue Reading →

Why Canada’s diamond miners are on their knees – by Thomas Biesheuvel and Danielle Bochove (Bloomberg News – April 3, 2019)

The story of how two prospectors, down to their last nickels, discovered diamonds in Canada’s frozen north is the stuff of legend. Back in 1982, Chuck Fipke and Stewart Blusson laid low in a pup tent by day while their competitor De Beers hauled 45-gallon drums of rock samples to a nearby outpost for transport to South Africa.

Using the long hours of summer sunlight north of the 65th parallel, the two searched for indicator minerals — bits of garnet, chromite or zircon often found with diamonds — while their opponent slept. Nine years later their treasure hunt culminated with the discovery of a carrot-shaped funnel of blue-grey kimberlite rock that would become Ekati — the first great diamond mine outside Southern Africa or Russia.

For all the drama associated with the discovery in Canada’s Northwest Territories — hacking through snow and ice taller than the average person, battling Arctic winds and temperatures of -50 degrees Celsius — what came next is proof that diamond mining in Canada is not for the faint of heart. Continue Reading →

Jewelers must say whether diamonds are mined or synthetic: U.S. FTC – by Diane Bartz and Barbara Lewis (Reuters U.K. – April 3, 2019)

WASHINGTON/LONDON (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which investigates allegations of deceptive advertising, has sent warning letters to eight companies to insist they distinguish in advertisements between diamonds from mines and those made in laboratories, it said on Tuesday.

The FTC said it had found instances where the eight companies advertised diamond jewelry “without clearly and conspicuously disclosing that the diamonds are laboratory-created,” according to the letter.

The agency declined to identify the recipients of the letters. An unredacted version of one of the letters seen by Reuters identified that recipient as Diamond Foundry, a California company that makes laboratory diamonds. Continue Reading →

Thanks, Daddy! Father buys his daughter a £10.6MILLION, 88.22-carat diamond in Hong Kong – by Connor Boyd (Daily Mail – April 2, 2019)

A father has spent £10.6million on an 88-carat ‘flawless’ diamond for his daughter and named it after her. The Japanese parent purchased the precious stone at the Hong Kong Sale of Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite, held on Tuesday.

He named it the ‘Manami Star,’ after his eldest daughter. The diamond – considered flawless because it has no imperfections – is one of only three oval diamonds over 50 carats to appear at auction.

The stone is part of a rare subgroup known as Type IIa – considered the most valuable and pure in the world as they contain little or no nitrogen atoms in the crystal structure. Continue Reading →

Just How Eco-Friendly Are Lab-Created Diamonds? – by Rob Bates (JCK – March 29, 2019)


I’ve looked at tons of company pages about the eco-impact of lab-grown diamonds, and I’ve noticed one thing: Very few talk about the eco-impact of lab-grown diamonds. Instead, most of them talk about the eco-impact of mined diamonds and why lab-grown diamonds compare favorably.

Man-made diamond companies regularly call their product “eco-friendly” and “sustainable.” It’s now become a basic part of the lab-grown pitch, a way of letting consumers know they are not just getting a cheaper product but a meaningful one (though price remains the driver, most say). Reporters often print these claims, uncritically. And with concern about climate change clearly on the rise, that could prove a potent positioning.

Yet, these claims are rarely examined—and terminology is often extremely fuzzy. Charlotte Vallaeys of Consumer Reports notes that a term like “environmentally friendly” has no real definition and “could mean whatever the company wants it to mean.” Continue Reading →

Lab-Grown Diamonds Shake Up The Diamond Industry – by Cardiff Garcia and Sally Herships ( – March 28, 2019)

A lot of money is pouring into the global diamond industry, but demand for diamonds has been less than lustrous of late. A new player might be changing up the industry – diamonds grown in labs.

AILSA CHANG, HOST: The global market for diamond jewelry is worth $80 billion a year. Money is flooding into this industry, but why when demand for diamonds isn’t as lustrous as it once was? Cardiff Garcia and Sally Herships have more from the Planet Money podcast The Indicator.

CARDIFF GARCIA, BYLINE: So marriage rates are on the decline. At the same time, the cost of producing diamonds is still obviously very high. You have to mine diamonds, which is labor-intensive. It’s dangerous. It’s expensive. And of course diamonds are a dwindling natural resource. There’s only so many of them in the ground. That leads us to our mystery. Why is all this money pouring into the diamond space? Continue Reading →

Op-Ed: What can we expect from the future of Angola’s mining sector? – by Zandre Campos (CNBC Africa – March 20, 2019)

Zandre Campos is the Chairman and CEO of ABO Capital.

Angola is currently the world’s fifth-largest producer of diamonds with 60 percent of the country’s diamond resources not yet utilized. Representing nine percent of the diamond value throughout the world, the country is mining high quality diamonds. Meanwhile, diamond mines around world are getting too old to explore.

Angola is primed to elevate its status as a diamond producer in Africa with the guidance of Angolan president João Lourenço who believes the country should flourish with the untouched natural resources in its mines. The vision by President Lourenço for mining production in the country will increase revenue and attract more investment opportunities in the nation.

The country’s plan to double diamond mining initiatives raises its expectations for growth worldwide in the industry as it affiliates with global trading center, Antwerp World Diamond Centre. The nation identified the importance of diversifying its exports to no longer be heavily reliant on oil, its leading export. Continue Reading →

Global Witness says more needs to be done to halt human rights abuses in diamond mining – by Marleny Arnoldi ( – March 20, 2019)

International nonprofit organisation Global Witness (GW) has welcomed the World Diamond Council’s (WDC’s) response to the government-led Kimberley Process (KP) certification scheme, but says more needs to be done.

The organisation pointed out in a release that the WDC had, in recent weeks, issued statements that acknowledge serious human rights concerns in the diamond mining sector, while it indicated a shift towards greater transparency in what has been a “notoriously opaque” industry.

GW said the KP had failed to break the links between diamonds and human rights abuses and agreed with the WDC in its highlighting of the critical need for industry to take steps towards responsible diamond sourcing. Continue Reading →

[Canada Diamond Mining] GUEST COMMENT: I beg to differ with MLA O’Reilly – by Tom Hoefer (Yellowknifer – March 20, 2019)

Tom Hoefer is the executive director of the NWT & Nunavut Chamber of Mines.

Editor’s note: The NWT & Nunavut Chamber of mines was the recent recipient of the NAPEG Professional Award of Merit in Geoscience, from the Northwest Territories and Nunavut Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists (NAPEG). NAPEG recognized the chamber for its, “dedication to, and support of, the North’s mineral resources industry.” This non-profit association is an advocate for responsible and sustainable mineral exploration and development for the North.

In regard to Frame Lake MLA Kevin O’Reilly’s attempted rebuke (Hansard, March 14) of Premier Bob McLeod’s speech at the recent Arctic Oil and Gas Symposium in Calgary, let me provide a different perspective.

While it may sound strange that a minerals guy would attend, I also attended the conference. Organizers invited me to share experiences and successes in Northern mineral resource development, something oil and gas developers might find helpful. Continue Reading →

Alrosa’s resources estimated in over 1 billion carats – by Valentina Ruiz Leotaud ( – March 17, 2019)

The world’s top diamond producer by output, Alrosa (MCX:ALRS), published this week an updated estimate of its Joint Ore Reserves Committee or JORC reserves and resources.

“The JORC Code-compliant report from Micon’s independent experts estimated Alrosa’s diamond resources and reserves as of 1 July 2018 at 1,064 million carats and 628 million carats, respectively,” the miner said in a press release.

With offices both in the United Kingdom and in Canada, Micon is an independent firm of geologists, mining engineers, metallurgists, and environmental consultants. Continue Reading →

[Diamonds] The end of emotion – the beginning of reason – by Ya’akov Almor (Index – March 14, 2019)

The March issue of IDEX Magazine is out. The cover story invites readers to consider the future of the diamond industry, specifically the bulk of diamond mining production, those rough diamonds that are cut and polished to become melee.

Is there a chance that we can soon stop talking about synthetic or lab-grown diamonds (LGDs)? I really hope so. We need to focus on marketing and selling diamonds. And melee is the bread and butter of the entire supply pipeline.

But first, the diamond industry and trade needs to stop screaming foul. During the past decades, the industry has been discussing, arguing and sometimes even kicking and screaming against the tendency to call synthetic diamonds…indeed, diamonds. Continue Reading →

After the Diamond Rush: Shoddy Housing, Few Jobs in Eastern Zimbabwe – by Gamuchirai Masiyiwa and Linda Mujuru (Global Press Journal – March 10, 2019)

Global Press Journal

CHIADZWA DIAMOND FIELDS, ZIMBABWE — Police and military officers man a boom gate, which marks the boundary of this diamond mining area. An officer stops each vehicle and asks for identity documents from each passenger. No vehicles get through the gate without a permit and the officer’s approval.

Behind the gate, residents of three dozen villages struggle to forge ordinary lives as authorities strictly monitor their movements. The permit to get into this diamond mining area is free and valid for one month, but it’s not issued nearby. Even those who live here must go to Mutare, a town about 40 miles away, to get it.

In shopping areas, locals gather to listen to the radio and socialize. They’re cautious: They never know when the military will show up and look for evidence that people are illegally mining diamonds. Continue Reading →

Famed Cullinan mine banks on big diamonds to drive down debt – by Emma Rumney and Barbara Lewis (Reuters Canada – February 14, 2019)

CULLINAN, South Africa (Reuters) – The owner of one of the world’s most famous diamond mines could be about a decade away from clearing its multi-million-dollar debts, in a sign of the struggles facing an industry assailed by synthetic rivals and uncertain demand.

Petra Diamonds bought Cullinan in 2008, aiming to breathe new life into the South African mine renowned for yielding the largest rough gem diamond ever found – 3,106 carats – and being the world’s main source of rare blue diamonds.

The London-listed miner, which acquired Cullinan from industry leader De Beers, borrowed heavily to revamp the facility and began mining a new section of ore last July. Petra told Reuters its debts from the mine stood at around 65 percent of its overall $650 million in borrowing, which would represent about $420 million. Continue Reading →