Archive | Diamond Mining

Pandora ditching mined diamonds for lab-grown ones – by Hannah Denham (Washington Post – May 4, 2021)

The world’s biggest jeweler announced Tuesday it will drop mined diamonds from its glass cases and sell only lab-generated ones, a pointed move for an industry that relies on scarcity for value and a reflection of consumer demand for sustainability and ethical sourcing.

Copenhagen-based Pandora’s foray into man-made diamonds, which can be produced at a fraction of the cost and time, reflects a reorientation of the jewelry market brought on by the pandemic and the sentiments of younger buyers, who are more likely to factor in environmental and human rights concerns when choosing products.

“It’s the right thing to do,” chief executive Alexander Lacik told the BBC. “We want to become a low-carbon business. I have four children, I’m leaving this earth one day, I hope I can leave it in a better shape than maybe what we’ve kind of created in the last 50 years or so.” Continue Reading →

Pandora says laboratory-made diamonds are forever – by Jonathan Josephs ( – May 4, 2021)

The world’s biggest jeweller, Pandora, says it will no longer sell mined diamonds and will switch to exclusively laboratory-made diamonds.

Concerns about the environment and working practices in the mining industry have led to growing demand for alternatives to mined diamonds. Pandora’s chief executive, Alexander Lacik, told the BBC the change was part of a broader sustainability drive.

He said the firm was pursuing it because “it’s the right thing to do”. They are also cheaper: “We can essentially create the same outcome as nature has created, but at a very, very different price.” Continue Reading →

Debswana to Plow $6 Billion for Biggest Underground Diamond Mine – by Mbongeni Mguni (Bloomberg News – April 23, 2021)

(Bloomberg) — Debswana Diamond Co. will spend 65 billion pula ($6 billion) to build the world’s largest underground diamond mine at Botswana’s Jwaneng, which is already the richest mine by value for the previous stones.

The underground mine will have more than 360 kilometers (224 miles) of tunnel development and will hit full production by 2034, Debswana’s head of transformation and innovation, Thabo Balopi, said at a briefing in the capital, Gaborone, on Friday.

The underground mine will have a capacity of as much as 9 million carats per year, extending Jwaneng’s lifespan by 20 years, according to Balopi. An early access decline will be in place by 2023, he said. Continue Reading →

Stanford Historian Traces Colonial Origins of Conflict Diamonds in Namibia – by Sandra Feder (The Namibian – April 14, 2021)

WHEN STANFORD historian Steven Press was trying to unearth hidden narratives about Germany’s colonial activities in South West Africa’s highly secretive diamond industry, he pursued that age-old maxim to “follow the money”.

Steven Press is an assistant professor of history in the School of Humanities and Sciences. His new book, Blood and Diamonds, traces the devastating cost of diamond mining and German colonial domination in Namibia during the late 18th and 19th centuries.

Chasing that trail led to some disturbing discoveries about the full extent of Germany’s ruthlessness as it pursued its economic aspirations in the African country now known as Namibia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Continue Reading →

Attawapiskat kicks dirt on De Beers’ Victor Mine landfill plans – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – April 7, 2021)

Attawapiskat First Nation accuses former Ontario diamond miner De Beers Group of disposing demolition waste from its decommissioned Victor Mine in a “vulnerable” wetland environment of cultural significance.

The leadership of the James Bay coastal community calls the company’s provincial application to build a landfill “suspect” at the remote location 500 kilometres north of Timmins.

The First Nation said De Beers has applied for 97,000 cubic metres of landfill volume, just below a 100,000-cubic-metre threshold, which would trigger a comprehensive environmental assessment under Ontario law. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Attawapiskat First Nation Says to DeBeers’ Owners Anglo American and Botswana to Stop Mine Landfill: No Juukan Gorge in Our Traditional Territory! (Attawapiskat First Nation – April 6, 2021)

ATTAWAPISKAT FIRST NATION, ON, April 6, 2021 /CNW/ – De Beers Group (De Beers), a global diamond miner which is 85% owned by mining giant Anglo American and 15% owned by the Republic of Botswana, is seeking Ontario Government approval for a new mining landfill to be built and filled up with mine demolition waste at the Victor Diamond Mine Site, located in Attawapiskat First Nation’s Traditional Territory.

De Beers plans put this new landfill in the vulnerable James Bay wetlands area, and in a place that has been of critical cultural, spiritual and subsistence importance to the Kattawapiskak Cree People for thousands of years. Attawapiskat First Nation fears another ‘Juukan Gorge’ disaster is going to occur if DeBeers gets its way, and the Indigenous community wants to alert De Beers’ shareholders to be aware, before bad decisions are made.

Juukan Gorge was an Indigenous sacred site, thousands of years old, blasted by miner Rio Tinto in Australia. The violation of this Indigenous site resulted in widespread international media coverage and public outcry. Continue Reading →

The only city in Northwest Territories – by A.J. Roan (North of 60 Mining News – March 26, 2021)

Far to the north lies the second largest of Canada’s three territories, simply named the Northwest Territories, and within this vast region of more than 400,000 square miles lies its only city, the capital called Yellowknife.

Yellowknife, and most of the region of the Northwest Territories, lies within what is known as the Canadian Shield, a large area of Precambrian igneous and metamorphic rock, meaning it dates to the earliest part of Earth’s history.

Scoured down to stone during the last ice age, glaciation has receded over time, revealing a joined bedrock region in eastern and central Canada, stretching from north of the Great Lakes to the Arctic Ocean, this shield covers more than half of Canada and most of Greenland, and extends south into the northern parts of the United States. Continue Reading →

Illegal Gold Rush in the Amazon Raises Risk to Indigenous People – by Luana Vicentina (Yahoo Finance/Bloomberg – March 25, 2021)

(Bloomberg) — Illegal gold and diamond mining is proliferating in Brazil’s Amazon rain forest and threatening South America’s largest group of native people who still live in relative isolation, the Yanomami.

Criminal mining groups are encroaching on the indigenous territory that straddles Brazil and Venezuela, polluting rivers, bringing diseases like Covid-19 and malaria, and stirring fears of a repeat of the brutal slaughter of 16 Yanomami by illegal prospectors in the 1990s, according to a report published Thursday by Brazilian conservation group Instituto Socioambiental and the Hutukara Yanomami and Wanasseduume Ye’kwana associations.

“They are coming in like starved beasts, looking for the wealth of our land,” Davi Kopenawa, chairman of the Hutukara Yanomami Association, said in a statement. Continue Reading →

We need raw material diplomacy, not conflict – by Günther Maihold (IPS Journal – February 18, 2021)

Trade in valuable minerals often fuels violent conflicts. The EU’s new approach to raw material diplomacy could change that

While blood diamonds are certainly the most well-known ‘conflict raw material’, they are by no means the only one. The proceeds from their sale have, for example, been used to finance and prolong violent conflicts in Africa.

But if the European Commission should get its way, the banning of such raw materials would be expanded to strategic ones – through a new EU regulation on conflict minerals.

Raw materials are an indispensable part of modern economies and geopolitical competition. Naturally, that leaves them in high demand. However, mining and exploiting them is often linked to high social and environmental costs in many countries of the Global South. Continue Reading →

For Valentine’s Day, Traceable, Transparent Jewelry Supply Chains (Eurasia Review – February 14, 2021)

Jewelry and watch companies should improve efforts to ensure that human rights are respected in their global supply chains, Human Rights Watch said ahead of Valentine’s Day on February 14, 2021.

Human Rights Watch issued “20 Questions Company Officials Should Ask to Guide Action,” which jewelers and other industry experts can use as a starting point to understand a jewelry company’s sourcing practices and respect for human rights.

The questions deal with a company’s transparency, traceability, and steps to identify and respond to human rights risks in their global supply chain, including at mines of origin. Continue Reading →

Five important trends in the diamond industry right now – by Paul Zimnisky (Mining Review Africa – February 15, 2021)

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Paul Zimnisky, independent diamond industry analyst and consultant.

Despite relatively stable consumer demand for diamonds in established markets like the U.S. and notable growth from newer markets like China, for the most of last decade the diamond industry has felt apathetic.

This can in part be explained by an arguably oversupplied supply-chain, insufficient marketing efforts and a general pessimism towards the diamond business as a changing consumer economy challenges traditional industries.

That said, as of late, the diamond industry has been acknowledging these challenges, in some areas more proactively than others, with various macro as well as more micro initiatives. Continue Reading →

Diamond Prices Regain Their Sparkle – by Will Horner (Wall Street Journal – February 9, 2021)

Diamond prices have rebounded from a coronavirus-driven slump thanks to the reopening of some economies in Asia and strong jewelry sales around the world over the holiday period.

Polished diamond prices are up 5.1% from their lowest point in March, putting them at their highest level in nearly a year and a half, according to a gauge compiled by the International Diamond Exchange.

The pandemic dealt a big blow to the diamond industry last year, with every link in the supply chain—from Russian miners to India’s diamond cutters to luxury boutiques in New York—being closed or seeing activity curtailed. Continue Reading →

Sale of Ekati mine to Arctic Canadian Diamond closes (Canadian Mining Journal – February 4, 2021)

Dominion Diamond‘s sale of Canada’s first diamond mine, Ekati, to Arctic Canadian Diamond Company has been completed.

Full operations at the site, which had been placed on care and maintenance at the beginning of the pandemic last March, resumed on Jan. 20 after a 10-week restart that began in November. A “full recall” of employees is expected to be complete by Feb. 25.

Arctic Canadian is owned by DDJ Capital Management, Brigade Capital Management, LP and Western Asset Management Company, LLC. In a sale that was approved in December, the company acquired the asset in return for assuming US$70 million of Dominion’s outstanding indebtedness under its existing revolving credit agreement, as well as the reclamation obligations for Ekati. Continue Reading →

Panna: The dark underbelly of India’s diamond hub – by Manish Chandra Mishra (Mongabay India – February 5, 2021)

On a sunny winter afternoon in January, Kusum Bai (name changed), a 40-year-old diamond mine labourer from Kalyanpur village of the Panna district of Madhya Pradesh, had just returned from the mine very early.

Despite losing the day’s wage, she was still praising her luck sitting on a cot in her small house made of mud and stones. The day could have ended up in jail had the forest officers caught her.

Kusum faces this situation once or twice every week as she works in an illegal diamond mine. Continue Reading →

Diamond Trade Is Roaring Back Thanks to Stuck-at-Home Shoppers (Bloomberg News – January 24, 2021)

(Bloomberg) — The global diamond trade spent years in the doldrums, only to be crippled by the pandemic just as things started looking up. Now, at last, business is booming again.

Factories in the industry’s “engine room” — the Indian city of Surat — are so desperate to boost production that the most-skilled cutters and polishers are being headhunted with offers of 50% pay hikes and perks like free food and housing.

Miner De Beers is poised for its biggest rough-diamond sale in three years, even after raising prices, and rival Alrosa PJSC said this week it expects the recovery will keep going for some time. Continue Reading →