Archive | Diamond Mining

Future of diamond mining in the sea – by Magreth Nunuhe (The Southern Times – June 26, 2017)

The Southern Times – Top News For Southern Africa

WALVIS BAY – Having the richest marine diamond deposits in the world, Namibia has set its sights on the ocean as the output of marine diamond production continue to enormously outstrip production of the precious stones on land.

Last year, marine diamond production yielded 1.17 million carats, while land operations generated 403,000 carats, contributing over billions of dollars in revenue. Namibian diamond mining takes place at around 120 to 140 metres below sea level.

In the next 15 years, it is estimated that diamond production on land in Namibia will run out and that 95 percent of diamond production will come from the sea. With approximations that the 3,700 miles squared concession area at sea on the south-west coast of Southern Africa will provide plenty of gemstones for the next 50 years, De Beers Group and Debmarine Namibia inaugurated the world’s most advanced exploration vessel, dubbed the mv SS Nujoma at the coastal town of Walvis Bay on 15 June 2017. Continue Reading →

De Beers Launches World’s Largest And Most Advanced Diamonds Exploration Ship – by Anthony DeMarco (Forbes Magazine – June 16, 2017)

De Beers has officially launched the mv SS Nujoma, what the diamond mining giant calls the “world’s largest and most advanced diamond exploration and sampling vessel” to explore diamond deposits in the waters off the coast of Namibia.

The $157 million vessel is under the ownership of Debmarine Namibia, a 50/50 joint venture between the Government of the Republic of Namibia and De Beers Group. It is the only company in the world to mine diamonds offshore, having started in 2002. It produced around 1.2 million carats in 2016.

An inauguration ceremony was held Thursday in Walvis Bay, Namibia, attended by Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila and Founding President Dr Sam Shafiishuna Nujoma, who the vessel was named after, as well as Obeth Kandjoze, Namibia’s Minister of Mines and Energy. Continue Reading →

Analysis: A diamond of an opportunity for northern Manitoba – by Joseph Quesnel (Winnipeg Free Press – June 15, 2017)

Joseph Quesnel is a research associate with the Frontier Centre for Public Policy.

In early March, the Manitoba Geological Survey and its industry partner, Lynx Consortium, made an important diamond discovery southeast of Thompson. While there is no guarantee the find will lead to a significant mining project, the province should move quickly to enhance the potential by involving industry partners, First Nations and municipalities in the region.

If this development works out, Manitoba would join Ontario, Quebec and the Northwest Territories in profiting from diamond mining. Royalties, employment opportunities and tax revenue may lie ahead from, and in, places where they are sorely needed. Mining is a long-term venture relying on good economic policies, political stability and the prospect of decent returns on investment. The provincial government should be careful, but also reasonably venturesome.

To move forward, the province will have to involve northern First Nations. Indigenous communities would best become true partners in the venture to avoid problems that have plagued some other ventures and communities, such as Attawapiskat First Nation in northern Ontario. Continue Reading →

Diamond in the bluff: Koh-i-noor stories lose their shine – by Michael Safi (The Guardian – June 14, 2017)

Delhi – It is the best known and most controversial jewel in the Tower of London, but virtually everything known about the Koh-i-noor diamond’s history may be wrong, according to a new book.

Said to be 5,000 years old, and to bear a curse that afflicts any man – but not woman – who wears it, the jewel was surrendered to the East India Company by Duleep Singh, a boy maharajah, in 1849.

India has felt the sting of its removal ever since, with a collection of Bollywood stars and businessmen pressing the UK government in 2015 to return the “stolen” jewel, on the same legal basis as art seized by the Nazis during the second world war. Continue Reading →

Zimbabwe: The Sad Case of Leaving Minerals in the Ground – by Farai Maguwu (All – June 9, 2017)

Zimbabwe is now a fully fledged resource cursed country where abundance of natural resources is not contributing to economic growth but rather to recession, depressed liquidity, human rights abuses and unmitigated land and water pollution.

Fresh from the farm invasions of the early 2000s, Zimbabwe shifted to extractivism not by design, but rather in response to China’s construction boom which heavily relied on raw materials from Africa, of which Zimbabwe became a major source.

The discovery of Marange diamonds in 2006 and the subsequent entry of obnoxious companies with strong links to the military in 2009 sealed the fate of Zimbabwe as a resource cursed company. Once the military tasted the quick returns of diamonds, they spread their tentacles to every extractable mineral and began negotiating several mineral deals with Asian syndicates who bring the much-needed capital to open new mines and further develop existing ones. Continue Reading →

A changing landscape: Diamonds in Canada Editorial – by Alisha Hiyate (Northern Miner – June 8, 2017)

Global mining news

Outside of the two new mines opening up in Canada — Stornoway Diamond’s Renard and De Beers and Mountain Province Diamonds’ Gahcho Kué — there hasn’t been a lot to celebrate in the diamond world of late.

In Canada, De Beers flooded its Snap Lake mine in the Northwest Territories in January. The underground mine, which has never been profitable, had been put up for sale after being put on care and maintenance last April, but failed to find a buyer. The mine was the diamond giant’s first mine outside of Africa when it opened in 2008.

In Ontario, De Beers has put an expansion of its Victor mine on hold after failing to get the support of the nearby Attawapiskat First Nation to conduct a bulk sample at the Tango kimberlite. Production from the mine is slated to end in 2018, but De Beers is studying ways to delay closing Victor by processing lower-grade stockpiles or mining deeper into the pit. It’s also considering a sale of the asset. Continue Reading →

Anglo American’s New Chairman Has a History of Leading Takeovers – by Thomas Biesheuvel (Bloomberg News – June 7, 2017)

The century-old mining giant Anglo American Plc named Stuart Chambers as its new chairman less than a year after he steered U.K. chipmaker ARM Holdings Plc through a $32 billion takeover.

Chambers, a former chairman at ARM and Rexam Plc, will join Anglo’s board in September and take over the post in November, the company said in a statement Wednesday. The 61-year-old is replacing John Parker, who said he was standing down earlier this year.

The new chairman will join as Anglo seeks to build on a recovery following a raw-materials downturn that hurt most of the mining industry. The company’s shares slumped to a record low in London in early 2016 on concerns about its debt position. Chief Executive Officer Mark Cutifani announced a plan to radically shrink the company through asset sales, but reversed the strategy this year after recovering commodity prices revived profits. Continue Reading →

In US, diamonds are a millennial’s best friend – by AFP (Daily Mail – June 7, 2017)

Diamonds are making a comeback in America as more millennials fall for crystals long associated with “eternal” love.

US diamond demand hit $40 billion in 2016, up 4.4 percent from the prior year and comprising half of global diamond revenues for the first time since the 1990s, according to global diamond mining and retail giant De Beers.

The surge has come despite sluggish economic growth and overproduction of the jewels that has depressed prices, said Stephen Lussier, vice president of marketing at De Beers.

The industry has gotten more bullish in America with the success of a marketing pivot targeted at millennials, those born between 1981 and 2000 who have shown concern for social issues, including the ethics of harvesting of diamonds from war-torn countries. Continue Reading →

Billionaire Leviev Adds Zambia Emeralds to Diamond Portfolio – by Matthew Hill, Thomas Biesheuvel, Denver Kisting and Taonga Clifford Mitimingi (Bloomberg News – June 1, 2017)

Billionaire Lev Leviev, who made his fortune undercutting De Beers’ former diamond monopoly, has bought half of one of Africa’s biggest emerald mines.

Leviev bought into the Grizzly emerald mine in Zambia’s Copperbelt province, which borders the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kombadayedu Kapwanga, managing director Leviev’s Namibian unit, said by phone. The operation has been renamed Gemcanton Investments Holdings.

A spokesperson for Africa Israel Investments Ltd., a listed company controlled in which Leviev is the biggest shareholder, didn’t return phone calls and emails seeking comment. A spokesperson at LLD Diamonds, Leviev’s jewelry business, didn’t return calls either. Leviev used his Israel-based diamond unit to purchase half of Grizzly, Kapwanga said, without providing further details. Continue Reading →

Botswana Clash With Billionaires Could Tarnish Its Reputation As Resource Investor’s Paradise – by Kenneth Rapoza (Forbes Magazine – May 2, 2017)

At first glance, there is simply no country like it in Africa. Within the continent, Botswana is considered to be the crème de la crème. It’s corruption perception score is better than every BRICS nation plus Mexico, according to Transparency International. It’s resource rich, known mainly for its diamond wealth, and has rolled out the red carpet for foreign firms with what seems like reliable, steady rule of law. This is the place to be.

Some say not so fast. Deloitte Botswana senior manager, Brian Watts, argues that appearance belies a true scale of graft. It is done by multiple actors all throughout the value chain. Watts estimates at least 5% loss due to fraud even in the private sector, in telcos.

Most cases are not disclosed to the public, Watts said during an event for whistleblowers back in March. In mainly state-controlled natural resources sector the stakes are much higher. Continue Reading →

Diamond mining industry tries to woo millennials – by Henry Sanderson (Financial Times – May 19, 2017)

Groups led by De Beers grapple with challenge of young adults eschewing marriage

Erin Lowry told her partner in 2015 that she did not want an expensive diamond engagement ring.  “I said I’d rather you get me a $1,000 solid band and we take the remaining money and put it to the honeymoon,” said the New York-based writer. “I’d much rather have a great trip than the ring I’m wearing.”

The statement by Ms Lowry, 27, who has not yet married, highlights the issue for the diamond industry posed by millennials. De Beers, the world’s largest diamond mining company, launched one of the world’s most successful advertising campaigns in 1948 when it coined the slogan A Diamond is Forever. It served to put diamond engagement rings at the heart of marriage for the rest of the 20th century.

But many millennials have an ambivalent or negative view of marriage. Increasing numbers of people who have entered adulthood in the 21st century are choosing to marry much later in life compared to previous generations, or not at all. Continue Reading →

Violence in Central African Republic diamond mining hub, UN sends troops to tackle (African Review – May 18, 2017)

The United Nations plans to send additional peacekeeping forces to Bangassou, a diamond-mining town in Central Africa with 35,000 inhabitants, to tackle raising violence in the city that causes human right violations

Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, replied in email that the law and order condition in Bangassou needs immediate assistance following a recent flare of attacks on civilians that has cost hundreds of lives in the past two months.

The violence in Bangassou started in 2013 when a coalition of Muslim Seleka rebels ousted the President Francois Bozize. The recent violence in the diamond-mining town is a fresh escalation of the four-year old conflict. Continue Reading →

Dominion Diamond shares rise on report of possible CPPIB bid – by Susan Taylor and Nicole Mordant (Globe and Mail/Reuters – May 11, 2017)

TORONTO and VANCOUVER — The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), the country’s biggest public pension fund, is considering a bid for Dominion Diamond Corp and is studying the miner’s books, people familiar with the process told Reuters.

The move comes after Dominion, the world’s third largest diamond producer by market value, put itself up for sale in late March, following an unsolicited $1.1-billion approach from U.S. billionaire Dennis Washington.

Shares of Dominion Diamond rose as much as 6.1 per cent in Toronto trading and as much as 8.1 per cent in New York. CPPIB, with assets of $298-billion under management, and Dominion both declined to comment. The sources, whom Reuters spoke to over a period of several days, declined to be named as the talks are confidential. Continue Reading →

These were the top producing diamond mines in 2016 – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – May 9, 2017)

While diamond industry experts warn that demand is expected to outstrip supply as early as 2019, the largest mines keep producing the coveted rocks at full steam. Here are last year’s top 10 diamond mines in terms of output and value, based on data compiled by expert Paul Zimnisky.

1. Jwaneng, Botswana: Produced 11,975,000 carats, worth $2,347 million

Jwaneng, the richest diamond mine in the world, is located in south-central Botswana in the Naledi river valley of the Kalahari. It’s 2 kilometres across at its widest point and patrolled by colossal 300-tonne trucks that labour up the terraced slopes.

Nicknamed “the Prince of Mines”, Jwaneng was opened in 1982, as the diamond trade helped Botswana go from being one of the world’s poorest countries to one of Africa’s wealthiest. Continue Reading →

2017 Global Natural Diamond Production Forecasted at 142M Carats Worth $15.6B – by By Paul Zimnisky (Paul – May 3, 2017)

Mined diamond production in 2017 is estimated to be 142.3 million carats worth $15.6B (see appendix below), which would be an 11.5% increase in carat volume produced over 2016 and an 9.9% increase in total value produced.

The top 10 largest mines in the world by value produced are estimated to represent 58% of global production. De Beers’ Jwaneng mine in Botswana is ranked number one, and is estimated to independently produce 15% of the world’s diamonds in value. Russia is estimated to be the largest producing nation by value at 35%, followed by Botswana at 22%, Canada at 14%, Angola at 8%, South Africa at 7%, Namibia at 5%, and Australia at 3%.

Russian diamond production is dominated by ALROSA (RTS: ALRS) which is 58% owned by Russian national and regional governments. The company’s prized Jubilee mine is estimated to produce 9.2M carats worth $1.4B in 2017, which by itself represents 9% of global diamond output by value. Company-wide, ALROSA’s portfolio includes 11 mines and 5 alluvial operations, producing 27% of global diamond production by volume and 33% by value (see Figure 1 for complete company-wide production figures of major producers). Continue Reading →