Archive | Diamond Mining

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

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)

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)

(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)

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 – October 29, 2018)

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)

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)

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 →

Lab-Grown Diamonds: They’re Real, and They’re Spectacular – by Stephanie Talmadge (GQ Magazine – October 16, 2018)

Getting engaged just got 30% cheaper.

It’s rare that an imitation, Frankensteined into existence, is anything more than a watered-down, flimsy version of the original. Real Rolexes and Folexes. Charcuterie and “ham”-and-“cheese” Lunchables. Coke and Diet Coke. (Fight me, Diet Coke fans.) But when it comes to diamonds—items we’ve historically been conditioned to think of as exceptionally precious—that might not be the case.

Lab-grown diamonds are exactly what they sound like: diamonds that were manufactured in a lab, rather than mined from the earth. These aren’t knockoffs; they’re not cubic zirconia; they’re not Swarovski crystals.

They’re bona fide diamonds—chemically identical to their earthen counterparts, so declared by the FTC this summer, except they cost about 30% less than mined diamonds. Excellent news if you’re shopping for a diamond…and less excellent if you’re selling them. Continue Reading →

Investors frustrated as diamond mine talks between province, First Nation stall – by Alex MacPherson (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – October 15, 2018)

Investors in a proposed diamond mine east of Prince Albert are growing increasingly frustrated as environmental consultations between the provincial government and the nearby James Smith Cree Nation appear to have stalled.

The federal government approved Star Diamond Corp.’s plan to build the mine in the Fort à la Corne forest in 2014. More than four years after receiving the company’s final environmental impact statement, the province has yet to give its blessing.

That is likely because a fresh round of talks with James Smith Cree Nation, launched last winter and originally expected to last six months, appear to have reached an impasse over various concerns, including access to land and natural resource royalties. Continue Reading →

Leadership is really about recognizing talent, Lucara Diamond CEO says – by Brenda Bouw (Globe and Mail – October 15, 2018)

Eira Thomas is the chief executive officer of Vancouver-based Lucara Diamond Corp., which she co-founded in 2007. Ms. Thomas has more than 25 years of experience in the mining industry, including 14 years in various roles with Aber Diamond Corp. (now Dominion Diamond Mines) and as co-founder of Stornoway Diamond Corp., serving first as CEO and then as executive chairman.

Ms. Thomas was also CEO of Kaminak Gold Corp., which was acquired by Goldcorp in 2016 for $520-million. I was born in Calgary in 1968 the daughter of a mining engineer who then got the exploration bug and later started his own exploration company, Aber Diamond. I have three siblings, a brother and two sisters.

I’m the oldest. My brother is also in the mining business. One of my sisters is a winemaker in the Okanagan and the other is currently a stay-at-home mom. My mother was involved in banking and finance, but she left her job to become the primary caregiver of four children. Continue Reading →

Questioning the real value of lab-grown diamonds – by Panna Munyal (The National – October 7, 2018)

Jean-Marc Lieberherr, CEO of the Diamond Producers Association, tells us why he doesn’t trust man-made diamonds

There’s something fascinating about diamonds, even those grown in the laboratory. Over the years, I have kept a close eye on the evolution of the man-made diamond industry and welcomed the Federal Trade Commission’s recently revised jewellery guidelines, which state that: “The Commission no longer defines a ‘diamond’ by using the term ‘natural’ because it is no longer accurate … when it is now possible to create products that have essentially the same optical, physical and chemical properties as mined diamonds.”

The commission went on to caution marketers that it would be deceptive to use the terms “real”, “genuine”, “natural”, or “synthetic” to imply that a lab-grown diamond is not, in fact, “an actual diamond”. This is a major boost to the man-made diamond industry, which has been plagued by authenticity issues.

Sure, these stones are not as rare or worth as much money as their mined counterparts, which take millions of years to form in the belly of our planet – a factor that’s a big part of the appeal to scores of diamond lovers. Continue Reading →

Diamond trade must reform in face of threat from synthetic stones: U.S. – by Joe Bavier (Reuters U.S. – October 2, 2018)

PRETORIA (Reuters) – The diamond trade must confront its tarnished image and revamp its certification scheme or risk seeing increasingly demanding consumers spurn natural stones in favor of cheaper synthetic diamonds, a senior U.S. official said.

Bloody African civil wars in the 1990s prompted diamond companies, governments and rights groups to come together to set up the Kimberley Process to prevent the sale of so-called “blood diamonds” from funding conflicts.

But the body only considers conflict stones to be those whose sales fund armed groups seeking to overthrow legitimate governments, a definition that does not cover a wide range of human rights and labor abuses. Continue Reading →

Diamonds Face A Laboratory-Grown Future But De Beers Will Retain Control – by Tim Treadgold (Fobes Magazine – September 28, 2018)

Bookstores, cab drivers and newspaper publishers have all felt the lash of new technologies so it really isn’t a surprise that diamond mining, an industry which has long reveled in a claim to be selling something which lasts”forever” is being confronted by a technical equal but cheaper rival; man-made gems.

It also shouldn’t come as a surprise, just as it has in other industries, that the slow burn associated with a new product suddenly reaches a point of mass acceptance which is precisely what’s happening with diamonds grown in a laboratory which an eating into the market for diamonds mined in a way which hasn’t changed for hundreds of years.

Early attempts to produce diamonds of gem quality invariably produced poor imitations but three significant events have combined to deliver the same sort of revolution which has changed other industries. Continue Reading →