Archive | Diamond Mining

‘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 →

Mountain Province’s diamond output up despite virus disruptions – by Cecillia Jamasmie ( – October 16, 2020)

Canada’s Mountain Province Diamonds (TSX: MPVD), which holds a 49% stake in the remote Gahcho Kué mine, saw production at the operation jump by 30% during the third quarter from the previous three months as crews adjust to covid-19 protocols.

The company churned out a total of 9.88 million tonnes of ore and waste material in the three months to Sep. 30, compared to the 6.84 million tonnes mined during the second quarter of the year.

The figure, however, is about 16% lower than the 11.7 million tonnes the Northwest Territories diamond mine produced in the same period last year. Continue Reading →

How a city lives with HUGE hole in the ground (PHOTOS) – by Yekaterina Sinelschikova (Russia Beyond The Headlines – October 15, 2020)

The city of Mirny has just one attraction – an incredible hole in the ground, which can be seen from space. Possibly the most famous hole in Russia, this moderately sized pit freaked some Reddit users out, leading to thousands of bewildered comments, such as: “Love the airport that just ends at the mine. Overshoot your runway a bit? Yeah, that’s the end of your vacation.”

On the edge of the mind-boggling quarry there indeed sits a city – Mirny. It’s situated in the biggest and most barren region of the country – Yakutia (or Sakha Republic, as you may also know it), a huge landmass that occupies a fifth of the country’s territory, but is inhabited by less than a million people.

The city of Mirny itself has 35,000 inhabitants and they’re there mainly for one reason: diamonds. In fact, they’re why the city was built in the first place. Continue Reading →

Brazil Cracking Down on Rising Illegal Diamond Mining – by Isaac Norris(InSight Crime – October 13, 2020)


A recent operation in northern Brazil has put a spotlight on the country’s often overlooked illegal diamond trade, but authorities are only scratching the surface of the fast-growing criminal economy.

In late September, Brazilian authorities launched a massive operation to curb illegal diamond mining in the Roosevelt Indigenous reserve between the northern states of Rondônia and Mato Grosso, Globo reported.

The operation consisted of raids across eight states that targeted illegal miners, intermediaries who valued the diamonds, companies selling them and even Indigenous residents who collaborated with the miners. Continue Reading →

Dominion Diamonds says the proposed sale of Ekati is off (CBC News North – October 9, 2020)

The owner of the Ekati diamond mine in the Northwest Territories says the proposed $166 million dollar sale of the mine to affiliates of the Washington Companies is off.

In a press release Friday Dominion Diamonds said it had stopped negotiations around the proposed sale of certain Dominion assets, including the Ekati mine.

In the press release Dominion said it has been advised that surety bond users and the purchaser reached an “impasse in negotiations” with no reasonable chance of reaching an agreement that is satisfactory to all parties before the deal was set to go before the courts for approval on Oct. 14. Continue Reading →

Diamonds found with gold in Canada’s Far North offer clues to Earth’s early history – by Michael Brown ( – October 6, 2020)

The presence of diamonds in an outcrop atop an unrealized gold deposit in Canada’s Far North mirrors the association found above the world’s richest gold mine, according to University of Alberta research that fills in blanks about the thermal conditions of Earth’s crust three billion years ago.

“The diamonds we have found so far are small and not economic, but they occur in ancient sediments that are an exact analog of the world’s biggest gold deposit—the Witwatersrand Goldfields of South Africa, which has produced more than 40 per cent of the gold ever mined on Earth,” said Graham Pearson, researcher in the Faculty of Science and Canada Excellence Research Chair Laureate in Arctic Resources.

“Diamonds and gold are very strange bedfellows. They hardly ever appear in the same rock, so this new find may help to sweeten the attractiveness of the original gold discovery if we can find more diamonds.” Continue Reading →

Canadian “flawless” diamond sets online record of $15.7m at auction – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – October 5, 2020)

A rare, flawless 102-carat white diamond found at the now closed Victor mine in Canada, has sold for $15.7 million (HK$122m), a record price in an online auction.

The small egg-size diamond was cut from a larger 271-carat rough, found in 2018, and then cut and polished for more than a year.

The bidding on the stone began in an online auction in September, culminating with an in-person auction at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong on Monday evening. Continue Reading →

Can lab-grown diamonds replace the real thing? – by Laura McCreddie-Doak (The Union Journal – October 4, 2020)

This story was produced as part of CNN Style’s The September Issues, a hub for facts, features and opinions about fashion, the climate crisis, and you.

Billy Porter is a man who knows how to rise to a fashion occasion. For the 2019 Met Gala, the “Pose” star dressed as the Pharaoh god Ra and was carried onto the red carpet by six shirtless men, while his 2020 Grammys ensemble included a hat with a crystal-curtain fringe that opened and closed.

Then at this year’s Academy Awards, he donned a 500-strong diamond necklace from British jeweler Lark & Berry, while he performed a medley with Janelle Monae. The diamonds, as flawless as any other worn at that event, weren’t dug out of the ground, they were grown in a laboratory. Continue Reading →

Attawapiskat First Nation challenges DeBeers’ proposal for third landfill site (CBC News Sudbury – October 1, 2020)

DeBeers Canada is decommissioning the Victor Diamond Mine

Attawapiskat First Nation says it’s challenging the construction of another proposed landfill site near the community.

The site would be located about 90 kilometers west of the community and would process demolition waste from the Victor Diamond Mine, which is being decommissioned. It would be the third landfill managed by DeBeers Canada, the company that owns and operates the mine.

Attawapiskat has hired environmental consultant Don Richardson who says the 100,000 cubic metre landfill would be quite large. “The total amount of concrete of the CN Tower is probably about 45,000 cubic metres,” said Richardson. “So you could stick two CN Towers in this facility. It’s not a small landfill.” Continue Reading →