Archive | Diamond Mining

‘Hey gorgeous’: Meet 2 women sick of sexism and discrimination in mining – by Jamie Malbeuf (CBC News North – August 15, 2017)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/

Some women stay silent and endure unwelcome situations, others quit the industry

The crass, sexist attitudes that lead to a camera being planted in the women’s washroom of the Ekati diamond mine don’t surprise some women with experience working in the mining industry. On July 27, a camera hidden in the women’s washroom of the mine was brought to a camp administrator’s office for safe-keeping until security could arrive. But by the time they got there it was missing.

Ekati is about 300 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife. Workers live at the mine, typically working shifts of two weeks on and two weeks off. RCMP and mine security are still investigating the camera incident, but two women with experience in the industry say the conditions that make an episode like this possible are all too common.

Kari Lentowicz worked at a mine in Saskatchewan for more than 12 years before she said she couldn’t take it anymore. “It was just a hard environment to work in,” said Lentowicz. “The men far outnumber the women and as far as mining goes, they really hardwire that gender disparity in there, into their camps.” Continue Reading →

How De Beers is being stymied in hunt for fresh diamond sources – by Allan Seccombe (Business Day – July 31, 2017)

https://www.businesslive.co.za/

De Beers, which is building a R20bn underground mine at Venetia in SA, is hampered in its hunt for fresh diamond sources by the country’s regulatory environment despite itching to spend millions of dollars here.

De Beers spends $35m a year on exploration in SA, Canada and Botswana but is running into headwinds in SA, which the miner reckons is one of the more prospective regions for new diamond sources.

There is an adage in the diamond industry that the best place to find kimberlites, the carrot-shaped ancient volcanic pipes bearing diamonds, is near other kimberlites. SA was a leading source of diamonds for nearly a century. However, De Beers’s efforts at securing diamond prospecting permits using an enormous century-old database has become nearly impossible. Continue Reading →

[Rio Tinto] How Much for That Fancy Red Diamond? It’s Kind of a Secret – by Micah Maidenberg – New York Times – July 26, 2017)

https://www.nytimes.com/

When the mining company Rio Tinto shows its latest batch of rare naturally colored diamonds — stones with hues of pink, red and even “deep-gray violet” — executives are delighted to go on about their beauty and scarcity.

But details about pricing? That is when the lips draw shut. “It’s quite confidential,” said a laughing Arnaud Soirat, the chief executive of Rio Tinto’s copper and diamond group. Welcome to the exclusive world of the colored diamond trade, a market where the buyer pool is slim, the supply is constricted and a carat can fetch $1 million or more.

On Wednesday, Rio Tinto came to Manhattan to introduce its latest and best colored diamonds, in the start of a tour that will include a stop in Hong Kong and another one in New York. The company’s latest cache, 58 stones, sparkled in glass cases on the 21st floor of a Chelsea skyscraper. With names like the Argyle Liberte and Argyle Isla, the total weight of all the stones was 49.39 carats, suggesting a collective value in the tens of millions — even though they all could fit in a pants pocket. Continue Reading →

Diamonds Bring New Life to War-Torn Central African Republic – by Fleury Koursany (Bloomberg News – July 24, 2017)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Rough diamonds enabled Abdoul Raouf to marry three women and put his nine children through school. Now that his town in western Central African Republic can legally export the gems to world markets again, his neighbors are expecting similar fortunes.

“Diamonds are my life,” said Raouf, who trades the stones bought from artisanal miners in the town of Gamboula, near the border with Cameroon and a 10-hour drive to the capital, Bangui. “It’s because of diamonds that I can take care of my family.”

Gamboula is one of five areas in the west that can freely trade in diamonds again after the gradual easing of an export ban imposed three years ago. While fighting has flared in the southeast, forcing tens of thousands to flee, the western Mambere-Kadei prefecture has embraced a tentative peace, enabling residents to return to the diamond sites. Continue Reading →

COMMENT: Dominion Diamond accepts sweetened offer from Washington Companies – by Marilyn Scales (Canadian Mining Journal – July 17, 2017)

http://www.canadianminingjournal.com/

YELLOWKNIFE, NWT – The management of Dominion Diamond Corp. has agreed to accept the sweetened takeover offer of the Washington Companies, the private company based in Missoula, Montana.

In March, Washington offered US$13.50 per share, and the Dominion board turned down the deal. Now offering US$14.25 per share, Washington looks to be the new, sole owner of the Ekati diamond mine (Canada’s first) and 40% of the Diavik diamond mine (operated by 60% owner Rio Tinto). The offer is a 44% premium over the March 17, 2017, share price and puts a value of US$1.2 billion on Dominion.

When that news hit my desk this morning, I thought, “There goes another one.” Readers will remember 10 years ago when Vale bought up Inco and Xstrata (now Glencore) scooped up Noranda/Falconbridge. Most of the writers who marked that anniversary recently thought the change in ownership did little to further Canadian mining or our place in the global minerals industry. Continue Reading →

Miners Dig High to Hunt for the Most Valuable Diamonds – by Alexandra Wexler (Wall Street Journal – July 12, 2017)

https://www.wsj.com/

Surge in demand and looming shortage for the stones is reshaping mining in one of the world’s poorest countries

LETSENG-LA-TERAE, Lesotho—A looming global diamond shortage is driving a small band of adventurous miners to brave bone-chilling winds at the world’s highest mines to extract stones that are worth as much as 20 times the global average.

The excavation is extremely challenging. The diamond-bearing kimberlite formations in the 11,000-foot high Maluti mountains had for years been largely untouched by mining companies, due to the difficulty and cost involved in extracting the stones from such heights.

The mines—which see temperatures dip 30 degrees below zero with wind chill—lie through landlocked and impoverished Lesotho’s steep, narrow, winding mountain passes and past one of southern Africa’s two ski resorts. The roads are often blocked by herdsmen on horseback wrapped in colorful, traditional blankets surrounded by hundreds of their shaggy sheep. Continue Reading →

Will Indonesian diamonds shine on the global market? – by Jun Suzuki (Nikkei Asian Review – July 19, 2017)

http://asia.nikkei.com/

BANJARMASIN, Indonesia — Cempaka Diamond Mine in southern Kalimantan, the Indonesian portion of the island of Borneo, is seen by some experts as one of the richest diamond fields in the world. A 166-carat stone and a rare blue diamond were discovered there in the past.

But with the halt of large-scale mining halted due to environmental and other problems, local people now engage in traditional methods of diamond hunting. Recently, however, a local entrepreneur has begun an effort revive industrial mining in the area. Although the hurdles to resuming full-scale operations appear high, expectations are growing that once begun, such work will contribute to the local economy. The hopes are that Indonesia will shine in the global jewelry industry.

Cempaka, a small village roughly 45km from Banjarmasin, the capital of the province of South Kalimantan, is pocked with large man-made holes. At the bottom of one, local men sift earth and sand in basins in a small pond. Continue Reading →

Dominion Diamond accepts sweetened $1.2-billion bid – by Josh O’Kane (Globe and Mail – July 18, 2017)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Dominion Diamond Corp., the world’s third-largest producer of rough diamonds by value, announced Monday that it would be acquired by The Washington Cos. for $1.2-billion (U.S.), four months after a previous unsolicited $1.1-billion offer from the privately held American company prompted Dominion to put itself up for sale.

If given shareholder and regulatory approvals, the deal would see Washington buy up Dominion’s shares for $14.25 a piece – a 44-per-cent premium to the $9.92 share price on March 17 of this year, versus its original $13.50-per-share offer.

In early-afternoon trading, Dominion’s New York-listed shares were up 4.4 per cent, at $14.07. Toronto-listed shares were up 5.4 per cent. Continue Reading →

Mining Giant Hunts for Diamonds in the Canadian Forest – by David Stringer (Bloomberg News – July 18, 2017)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Rio Tinto Group’s pursuit of new diamond output to tap rising demand in Asia is focusing on an unheralded exploration project in the Canadian forest.

The world’s second-biggest miner on Tuesday added the Fort a la Corne joint venture, about 60 kilometers (37 miles) east of Prince Albert in Saskatchewan, to its published list of advanced projects after striking an agreement last month to take as much as a 60 percent stake.

The venture’s Star-Orion South project holds an estimated diamond resource of 55.4 million carats and has potential development costs of about C$2.5 billion ($2 billion), according to 2015 filings by developer, Saskatoon-based Shore Gold Inc. Continue Reading →

Top 10 Canadian-based diamond companies – by Trish Saywell (Northern Miner – July 13, 2017)

Global mining news

Canada is the fifth-largest diamond producer in the world, according to the Mining Association of Canada. Last year two new diamond mines came into production: Gahcho Kué in the Northwest Territories and Renard in Quebec. Here are the top 10 Canadian-headquartered diamond companies by market capitalization, as of early July.

1. DOMINION DIAMOND: Market Capitalization of $1.01 billion

Dominion Diamond (TSX: DDC; NYSE: DDC) is Canada’s largest diamond producer and the world’s third-largest diamond miner after De Beers and Alrosa. Dominion operates the Ekati mine, in which it owns a controlling interest, and owns 40% of the Diavik mine. Both mines are about 300 km from Yellowknife and 200 km south of the Arctic Circle in the Lac de Gras region of the Northwest Territories. Ekati officially began production in October 1998 and Diavik in January 2003.

Dominion also owns a 55% stake in the Lac de Gras joint-venture with North Arrow Minerals (TSXV: NAR), which holds the remaining 45% interest. The joint-venture property adjoins the mineral leases that host the Diavik mine, 10 km to the north, and the Ekati mine, less than 40 km to the northwest. Dominion also has sorting and selling operations in Canada, Belgium and India. Continue Reading →

Canada’s Dominion Diamond accepts sweetened bid from U.S. billionaire – by Nicole Mordant and John Benny (Reuters Canada – July 17, 2017)

http://ca.reuters.com/

(Reuters) – Canada’s Dominion Diamond Corp on Monday agreed to a sweetened takeover offer of $1.2 billion from U.S. billionaire Dennis Washington that will take private the world’s third biggest diamond company by market value.

U.S.-listed shares of Dominion leapt 4 percent to $14.04, while its Toronto-listed shares rose nearly 5 percent, after Dominion said Washington Companies will acquire all of shares for $14.25 per share in cash.

The offer price is 5 percent higher than the Missoula, Montana-based company’s March 19 offer of $13.50 per share, which Dominion rejected as too low. Reuters reported on Friday that Dominion was in advanced and friendly talks with Washington on a sweetened cash takeover bid. Continue Reading →

Canadian miner’s tennis ball-sized ‘diamond in the rough’ proves too big to sell – by Susan Taylor (Reuters/Financial Post – July 17, 2017)

http://business.financialpost.com/

TORONTO — In the mysterious world of diamond mining, it turns out that some stones are too big to sell. Canada’s Lucara Diamond Corp will have to cut its tennis ball-sized rough diamond to find a buyer, industry insiders say, following Sotheby’s failed auction for the world’s largest uncut stone last summer.

It’s not the ending that William Lamb wanted for his 1,109-carat stone, named ‘Lesedi La Rona’, or ‘Our Light’ in the national language of Botswana where it was mined. “It’s only the second stone recovered in the history of humanity over 1,000 carats. Why would you want to polish it?,” said Lucara’s chief executive.

“The stone in the rough form contains untold potential…As soon as you polish it into one solution, everything else is gone.” Lamb had gambled that ultra-rich collectors, who buy and sell precious art works for record-breaking sums at auction, would do the same with a diamond in the raw. Continue Reading →

Americans Buying Fewer Gems Puts the Hurt on Diamond Hub Antwerp – by Thomas Biesheuvel (Bloomberg News – July 13, 2017)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

An ugly year for diamonds in the vital U.S. market is piling pressure on Europe’s historic center of the $80 billion global trade.

Diamond trading companies in the Belgian port city of Antwerp, which has been the industry’s trading capital for five centuries, were already feeling the pinch from a tightening credit bubble and thin margins. That’s now being compounded by falling demand from some of the industry’s biggest customers, notably retailers Signet Jewelers Ltd. and Tiffany & Co.

“Some of the major retailers have been exerting significant buyer power on diamond companies over the last few years,” said Anish Aggarwal, a partner at consultant Gemdax in Antwerp. “If a diamond company becomes too dependent on such retailers, they can get very exposed.” Continue Reading →

Miners head higher for rarest of diamonds (Wall Street Journal/The Australian – July 14, 2017)

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/

A looming global diamond shortage is driving a small band of adventurous miners to brave bone-chilling winds at the world’s highest mines to extract stones that are worth as much as 20 times the global average.

The excavation is extremely challenging. The diamond-bearing kimberlite formations in the 3350m-high Maluti mountains had for years been largely untouched by mining companies, due to the difficulty and cost involved in extracting the stones from such heights.

The mines, which see temperatures dip well below zero with wind chill, lie through landlocked and impoverished Lesotho’s steep, narrow, winding mountain passes and past one of southern Africa’s two ski resorts. The roads are often blocked by herdsmen on horseback wrapped in traditional blankets surrounded by hundreds of their shaggy sheep. Continue Reading →

Diamond Hunting In The Arctic [Canada] – by Ludovic Hirtzmann (World Crunch – July 9, 2017)

https://www.worldcrunch.com/

GAHCHO KUÉ MINE — The old Jumbolino, a small, 1980s-model British plane, circles above the pack ice and its multitude of frozen lakes. Aboard, the 90 passengers, all of them miners, are waking up. “Welcome to Gahcho Kué,” the purser chants in a hoarse voice.

Gahcho Kué means “place of the big rabbits” in the indigenous Chipewyan language. But for outsiders, the name is synonymous with diamonds. The Gahcho Kué mine, owned by the De Beers company, is located in Canada’s Northwest Territories, about two-hour by plane from Edmonton, Alberta. It looks a bit like a lunar base, stranded on the tundra, endlessly flat and white.

After they land, the miners make their way onto a pair of school buses. The men are quiet. Later they arrive at the entrance of the camp, which is made of prefabricated huts arranged in parallel lines. A stern young man calls for silence. Continue Reading →