Archive | Diamond Mining

New polishing facility a boost to Dubai’s status as a diamond trading centre – by Dylan Slater ( – December 8, 2017)

JOHANNESBURG ( – The global diamond industry is either growing in affluent regions or remaining steady in less affluent ones, thereby reflecting a degree of positivity, as well as signs of growth.

This also points to untapped potential that is ready to be unlocked through increased investment upstream and downstream, says diamond industry integrity organisation World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) president Ernie Blom.

Driven by demand from the international market for luxurious large-stone diamond jewellery, a significant degree of this untapped market potential to beneficiate (cut and polish) diamonds has been unlocked by a rapidly expanding and thriving trading environment in Dubai with the launch of a high-tech, diamond- polishing factory. Continue Reading →

New estimates could double diamond potential for Nunavut mining project (CBC News North – November 30, 2017)

Kimberlite pipe at site now estimated to be 540 metres deep, was previously estimated at 260 metres

A diamond mining project in Nunavut may have just gotten a whole lot bigger, as Peregrine Diamonds Ltd. says a kimberlite deposit at its Chidliak site is twice as deep as it previously estimated.

Peregrine has been exploring the Chidliak site, which sits 120 kilometres northeast of Iqaluit, since 2005. In a release issued Tuesday, the junior mining company announced that one of their most promising kimberlite pipes — named CH 6 — extends a total of 540 metres below the ground, 280 metres deeper than initially announced.

“We’ve got the potential to double the number of diamonds contained,” said Tom Peregoodoff, the president of Peregrine Diamonds. “If they can be extracted economically, we potentially have added significantly to both the mine life and eventual economic outcome of the project.” Continue Reading →

AN INTERVIEW WITH RAPAPORT, THE DIAMOND MAVERICK – by Coleby Nicholson (Jeweller Magazine – December 01, 2017)

Martin Rapaport is never short of words when it comes to diamonds. Coleby Nicholson met with the industry nonconformist to discuss the current state of the international diamond market.
Martin Rapaport: most people in the industry will know the name, or at least recognise the face and signature bow tie.

The founder and chairman of Rapaport Group, which publishes Rapaport magazine and operates online trading platform RapNet among other products and services, began his career in the diamond industry in 1975 as an apprentice diamond cleaver in Antwerp.

His Wikipedia page notes that he has been called a ‘maverick’ within the diamond industry and probably rightly so. I met with Rapaport in July to discuss the state of the industry and his often counter-intuitive and controversial stances on various industry issues. Continue Reading →

Gem Smuggling Thwarts Revival of Central African Republic – by Pauline Bax (Bloomberg News – November 29, 2017)

In the lounge of a luxury hotel in Bangui, the capital of war-torn Central African Republic, soft-spoken diamond dealers cautiously sidle up to guests.

Their whispered offers of gems for sale are a visitor’s first hint of the thriving illegal market for the precious stones in a country that five years ago was ranked as the world’s 10th-biggest diamond producer and is now mostly controlled by armed militias.

The illicit sales are bad news for the Central African Republic as it lobbies for the removal of an international ban on exports of its diamonds. The embargo, which was partially lifted last year, was imposed because of concerns over gem sales funding conflict. Yet while diamond exports offer a potential source of desperately needed government revenue, authorities so far have been powerless to curb the underground trade. Continue Reading →

Special Report: ‘Treacherous shenanigans’ – The inside story of Mugabe’s downfall – by MacDonald Dzirutwe, Joe Brock and Ed Cropley (Reuters U.S. – November 26, 2017)

HARARE (Reuters) – Inside State House in Harare, Robert Mugabe was in the tightest spot of his 37-year rule. Tanks were on the streets and troops had occupied the state broadcaster, from where the army had announced it had taken control of Zimbabwe.

Mugabe, 93 years old but still alert, remained defiant. The only leader the country had known since independence was refusing to quit.At a tense meeting with his military top brass on Nov. 16, the world’s oldest head of state put his foot down: “Bring me the constitution and tell me what it says,” he ordered military chief Constantino Chiwenga, according to two sources present.

An aide brought a copy of the constitution, which lays out that the president is commander-in-chief of the armed forces.Chiwenga, dressed in camouflage fatigues, hesitated before replying that Zimbabwe was facing a national crisis that demanded military intervention. Continue Reading →

How consumers can leverage change, even in the face of tragedy – by Gerry Chidiac (Troy Media – November 23, 2017)

The extraction and black-market sale of gold, tantalum, tin and tungsten (used in our cellphones and other electronics) fuel the war in the DRC

As the Christmas season approaches, it’s important to be aware of the power we hold in how we spend our money.

As consumers, we invest in products we believe will serve us best. Companies may try to hide information about their products but eventually the truth comes out. Consumer advocacy is powerful in a free-market economy and we’ve all benefited.

American lawyer Ralph Nader, for example, took on the auto industry in the 1960s over the safety of their vehicles. Most buyers were unaware of the often deadly flaws in the products they were buying. This changed as Nader’s movement reached public consciousness. Since then, carmakers have competed to produce the best and safest vehicles possible, because that’s what consumers demand. Continue Reading →

Diamonds aren’t forever at Victor Mine – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – November 15, 2017)

Despite 2019 mine closure, De Beers still believes James Bay lowlands hold promise

De Beers Canada is razing and remediating the Victor Mine site beginning in 2019, but it’s not completely abandoning the James Bay region. If there more rich diamond deposits to be unearthed, a company spokesman said they’ll come at it with a different approach.

Tom Ormsby, the company’s head of corporate affairs, said the diamond-bearing ground, 90 kilometres east of Attawapiskat, still remains very prospective but it doesn’t support keeping the current infrastructure intact.

“It all has to go. The minute the process plant has the last ore pushed through then the decommissioning and demolition will begin.” The company announced Nov. 1 that production at the remote fly-in/fly-out mine would finish during the first quarter of 2019, at which time the deposit will be depleted. Continue Reading →

Dream of Ontario diamond industry ‘never really took off’ says NDP MPP – by Erik White (CBC News Sudbury – November 06, 2017)

Polishing operation had 45 employees at point, most brought in from Vietnam.

It’s still unclear how the closure of the DeBeers mine near Attawapiskat will affect a diamond polishing operation in downtown Sudbury. There are also questions about whether requiring the company to process 10 per cent of its diamonds in the province had much of an impact.

“DeBeers and Crossworks and the Ontario government working together have created a real success story here,” Premier Kathleen Wynne said in 2013, when touring Crossworks Manufacturing in Sudbury.

The secret location was a popular stop for politicians, showing off the new value-added industry and talking about big plans for college programs to train polishers. There were also hopes that the first few dozen workers brought in from Vietnam would give way to locals. Continue Reading →

Victor’s closing sad, but inevitable: Mayor Black – by Len Gillis(Timmins Daily Press – November 3, 2017)

ATTAWAPISKAT – Feeling disappointed but not completely surprised is the reaction from Timmins Mayor Steve Black on the announcement that De Beers Canada is shutting down its Victor diamond mine near Attawapiskat.

De Beers chief executive officer Kim Truter made the announcement at a news conference in Timmins Wednesday afternoon. He said the economics of the mine would soon be no longer sustainable and the plan is to cease operations in the first quarter of 2019.

“The Victor shutdown news didn’t necessarily catch us off guard,” said Black. “It’s something we have been discussing with the mine for the last couple of years with their timelines and whatnot.” Continue Reading →

Rio Tinto says it paid $38M in royalties to N.W.T., but gov’t can’t confirm – by Walter Strong (CBC News North – November 2, 2017)

Rio Tinto is disputing a claim in a recent mining report that it paid no royalties in the N.W.T.

If the government of the Northwest Territories wanted to attract attention to its mining policy review in advance of the territory’s new Mineral Resources Act, it did a good job.

A report, posted to a territorial government website in October, paints the disturbing picture of a royalty and taxation regime that lets mining companies get away with paying little in mining royalties and taxes, at least compared to some other jurisdictions in the world.

Rio Tinto, a 60 per cent owner of the Diavik diamond mine was singled out in the report for not — according to the report — paying any royalties for diamond production at the mine in 2015. The company has since disputed that claim. Continue Reading →

Victor Mine to shut down early 2019 – by Len Gillis (Timmins Daily Press – November 2, 2017)

ATTAWAPISKAT – De Beers Canada announced Wednesday that the Victor diamond mine, the first and only commercial diamond mining operation in Ontario, is shutting down in less than a year and a half.

Kim Truter, the company’s chief executive officer made the announcement in Timmins, which for the past 10 years has been the main jumping-off point for access to the mine, located in the James Bay lowlands, roughly 100 kilometres west of the First Nation community of Attawapiskat.

The mine can only be accessed by air year round, or by a winter road, for five or six weeks in January and February. Truter said the mine has performed according to the original mine plan and now that the diamonds within the Victor property are gradually being depleted, the time is right for closing. Continue Reading →

The best diamonds in the world are buried at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean – by Aislinn Laing ( – October 29, 2017)

The best diamonds in the world come from the sea. Swept up from riverbeds by the mighty Orange River in southern Africa back when dinosaurs still roamed the earth, their bumpy journey to the Atlantic polished them and broke up any stones with flaws, ensuring only the strongest and best survived.

Those diamonds landed off the coast of what is now Namibia, creating the world’s richest marine-diamond deposit. The country’s territorial waters are now estimated to hold 80 million carats, and the world’s biggest diamond miner, De Beers, has quietly built up an armada off the coast to vacuum up those precious gems.

Diamonds on land are running out; no economically viable new source has been found in 20 years. Continue Reading →

Exclusive – Vedanta, Adani may bid for $9 billion Indian diamond mine left by Rio – by Neha Dasgupta and Mayank Bhardwaj (Retuers U.K. – October 26, 2017)

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Indian resources conglomerates Adani and Vedanta are considering bidding for a $9 billion(£6.83 billion) diamond project in the country that was abandoned by global miner Rio Tinto (RIO.AX) (RIO.L) this year, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the matter.

The central state of Madhya Pradesh was likely to invite bids in the first week of November to explore the deposit, which is estimated to hold around 32 million carats of diamonds, a senior state government official said.

“We’re advertising only for that area in which (Rio Tinto) have prospected and established availability of diamonds,” Manohar Lal Dubey, Madhya Pradesh’s top mineral resources official, told Reuters by phone. An auction would be held around 40 days after the notice inviting bids was published, he said. Continue Reading →

As its diamonds break apart in production, Stornoway shares take a hit – by Nicolas VAn Praet (Globe and Mail – October 25, 2017)

Quebec’s first diamond mine has a grating problem: Its gemstones are breaking more than anyone anticipated. And that’s hitting the shares of its owner, Stornoway Diamond Corp.

The emerging diamond producer built the Renard mine in the Otish Mountains, a range of hills north of Lac Mistassini in north-central Quebec, in the summer of 2016 with a $946-million financing package. The project came in under budget and five months ahead of schedule, igniting hopes that it will lead to other resource development in the province’s vast northern territory.

But Stornoway has hit a snag. The Renard diamonds are breaking in processing to a higher degree than the company expected, hurting both the price they’re fetching at auction as well as Stornoway stock. In the diamond industry, bigger is better. And too many big Renard diamonds are getting smashed in its crushers. The quality profile of the diamonds has suffered as well. Continue Reading →

Sierra Leone gem sale a break with ‘blood diamond’ past (The Australian – October 18, 2017)

AFP – Sierra Leone plans to auction off a massive 709-carat diamond at a December sale in New York, aiming to make a clean break with the “blood diamonds” of its past.

The stone, which was unearthed in March, is the largest discovered in Sierra Leone in almost a half-century and is between the 10th and 15th largest ever found worldwide, experts say. Sierra Leone authorities told reporters that the massive gem will go up for sale on December 4 at Rapaport Auctions, which specialises in the diamond trade.

The government has pledged to be transparent in the stone’s sale, mindful of the history of cross-border diamond trafficking that fuelled Sierra Leone’s civil war from 1991-2002. Continue Reading →