Archive | Diamond Mining

Mozambique Interested in Botswana Mining Experience (All – April 25, 2017)

Gaberone — Mozambique and Botswana could cooperate in the mining industry, declared President Filipe Nyusi in Gaberone on Tuesday.

Speaking at the opening of a Mozambique-Botswana Business Forum, on the second day of his state visit to Botswana, Nyusi said that Mozambique is interested in such cooperation because Botswana is recognized for mining expertise across the world. The Botswanan diamond mining industry has become the basis of the country’s economy, accounting for around 60 per cent of its exports.

“Mozambique has been discovering mineral resources”, said Nyusi, addressing about 100 business people, 30 of them from Mozambique. “We need to share knowledge to take advantage of our potential throughout the entire value chain, and Botswana has enviable experience”. Continue Reading →

Diamonds Aren’t Forever – by Tom Wilson (Slate Magazine – April 25, 2017)

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, artisanal mining is a remnant of the once-booming gem industry.

TEMBO, Democratic Republic of Congo—As the truncated rat cooks in the fire, its body slowly roasting over the smoldering logs, 30-odd diggers stand around in the sweltering midday sun. Some break boulders at the bottom of a 50-foot pit in a dry riverbed, trying to access the gravel beneath, which they hope holds hidden wealth. Others watch, talk or take shelter from the heat.

A mile upstream, the divers try their luck. In ragged, re-stitched wetsuits, young men resurface every few minutes, heaving sacks of earth from the riverbed into the hands of helpers on a patchwork flotilla of multicolored dinghies. The boats are as close to the Angolan side of the river as can be, tethered to Congo by 50-foot ropes and pale hosepipes that pump air to the divers.

These miners are the remnants of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s diamond industry, which once provided a quarter of the world’s supply. In 2015, Congo exported 17.1 million carats of the gems, down from 33 million carats 10 years earlier. Continue Reading →

In the quest of yet another Koh-i-noor – by Appaji Reddem (The Hindu – April 23, 2017)

Prospectors flock to Kollur mine area as the KL Sagar waters recede

While India’s battle to reclaim the Koh-i-noor diamond continues, summer has given a new lease of life to the mines along the Krishna river that spawned the crown jewel. They have surfaced after months under the waters of the Pulichintala irrigation project in Guntur district.

And as the deserted villages in the 2.4 lakh sq. km. catchment area reappear, prospectors flock to the area, hoping to find another Koh-i-Noor. The Kollur mine, the ‘Eldorado’ that yielded the enigmatic diamond and the eponymous village in Andhra Pradesh lie in a forested region some 100 km from Vijayawada, enveloped by Pulichintala project or the Dr KL Rao Sagar project on the Krishna river.

The region has been home to diamond mining for centuries, reaching its zenith under the Qutub Shahi dynasty with their capital Golconda a global hub of the trade. Millions of carats of diamonds are believed to have been mined from Kollur between the 15th and the 19th century. Continue Reading →

Koh-i-Noor: India says it should not claim priceless diamond from UK (British Broadcasting Corporation – April 19, 2017)

The Indian government has told the Supreme Court that it should not try to reclaim the priceless Koh-i-Noor diamond from Britain. The gemstone came into British hands in the mid-19th Century, and forms part of the Crown Jewels on display at the Tower of London.

Ownership of the famous gem is an emotional issue for many Indians, who believe it was stolen by the British. But the solicitor-general said it was “neither stolen nor forcibly taken”.

Ranjit Kumar said the 105-carat diamond had been “gifted” to the East India company by the former rulers of Punjab in 1849. The case is being heard by the Supreme Court after an Indian NGO filed a petition asking the court to direct the Indian government to bring back the diamond. Continue Reading →

Diamond miners have India in sight with Real is Rare slogan – by Barbara Lewis (Reuters U.S. – April 21, 2017)

The world’s top diamond producers will try to spur demand in India with the launch of their “Real is Rare” slogan in September, after the withdrawal of high-value bank notes dented the world’s third biggest diamond market.

The marketing slogan was launched in the United States in 2016 by the Diamond Producers Association (DPA), which groups the biggest producers including De Beers, part of Anglo American, Russia’s Alrosa and Rio Tinto.

DPA Chief Executive Jean-Marc Lieberherr told Reuters early indications were that the slogan was effective and diamonds had captured the interest of the millennial generation, which the DPA’s research found wants “fewer and more meaningful things”. Continue Reading →

Offer For Dominion Diamond Corp Puts Spotlight On Canada’s Diamond Mining Future – by Albert Robinson (Index – April 6, 2017)

There’s nothing better than a story that runs and runs. And that appears to be the case with the rapidly developing story of Dominion Diamond Corp. Suddenly, apparently out of nowhere, the mining firm appears to be a cherry that several companies are keen to pick. It has also raised the subject of the consolidation of the Canadian diamond mining industry, which has been regarded as inevitable by industry players for a number of years.

Developing a diamond mine and mining diamonds is extremely expensive. On the other hand, the two ‘book-ends’ of the industry – selling rough diamonds and retail jewelry – is where the profit is, while the manufacturers and others in the midstream get squeezed.

Just two weeks ago, Washington Companies informally offered $1.1 billion for Dominion. Dominion rejected the offer, saying the terms of the proposed talks were unusual and unacceptable and that the offer did not sufficiently recognize the value of the firm. Given that the offer provided a 35 percent premium to the firm’s share price before the bid, it would suggest that Dominion believes it can force a much larger bid from potential suitors. Continue Reading →

How diamonds have made a difference to many in the North – by Tom Hoefer (Mining North – January 2017)

Diamond mining in the Northwest Territories is a good example of what
is possible to help alleviate poverty, and to do it responsibly. In
Nunavut, our younger mining industry is on a similar track to creating
significant new benefits to communities, their residents, and both Inuit
and public governments.

Tom Hoefer is the Executive Director NWT & Nunavut Chamber of Mines.

Prior to the 1990’s, few northern Aboriginal people worked in the northern mining industry. The economies of our small northern communities were very poor, and virtually totally reliant on government jobs, support and social assistance. The discovery and subsequent mining of diamonds in the Northwest Territories saw significant changes to that situation.

Our new diamond mines made strong commitments to training and hiring locally, and in particular, Aboriginal residents. They also committed to conducting business in the north, and with Aboriginal businesses, which were virtually non-existent 25 years ago.

The mining companies’ commitments are outlined in Socio-Economic Agreements with the NWT Government and with Benefit and Participation Agreements with Aboriginal Governments. Additionally, the Federal and Territorial Governments have committed to share resource royalties with almost all Aboriginal governments. Continue Reading →

Minerals smaller than grain of sand can help explorers find new kimberlite deposits, N.W.T. gov’t says – by Alex Brockman (CBC News North – April 3, 2017)

Government releases new data based on core samples near Lac de Gras, N.W.T.

Geologists with the territorial government say minerals smaller than grains of sand could be key to the next diamond find in the Northwest Territories. Data released by the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment last week shows whether certain minerals only found in kimberlite are present in core samples drilled from a nearly 8,000-square-kilometre area near Lac de Gras, N.W.T.

“You’re looking for certain sand-sized particles of indicator minerals only found in kimberlite,” explained Scott Cairns, the territorial government’s manager of minerals and bedrock mapping.

“The idea being if you find a few grains of sand that originated from the kimberlite, you’d be able to track those back to the kimberlite itself,” Cairns said. Traditional surveying for these kimberlite indicators tracked surface samples instead of samples from the core, Cairns said. Continue Reading →

2017 PDAC Viola R. MacMillan Award: Gahcho Kué Diamond Mine, De Beers Group of Companies & Mountain Province Diamonds

PDAC 2017 Viola R. MacMillan Award: De Beers Group of Companies and Mountain Province Diamonds from PDAC on Vimeo.

(L to R) Allan Rodel (De Beers Group of Companies), Patrick Evans (Mountain Province Diamonds), David Harquail (Franco Nevada)

This award, which is named in honour of the PDAC’s longest serving president, is given to an individual or organization demonstrating leadership in management and financing for the exploration and development of mineral resources.

Gahcho Kué Diamond Mine, De Beers Group of Companies & Mountain Province Diamonds: For development of the world’s largest new diamond mine in the last 13 years, a complex project that is expected to produce approximately 54 million carats of rough diamonds over its lifetime.

Gahcho Kué Diamond Mine in Canada’s Northwest Territories (NWT) officially opened in September 2016. It is a joint venture between the De Beers Group of Companies, a privately-owned diamond exploration, mining, rough diamond sales and retail company that owns 51% of the project; and Toronto-based Mountain Province Diamonds, that owns the remaining 49%. Mountain Province discovered the first kimberlite at Gahcho Kue in 1995 and entered into a joint venture with De Beers in 1997. Gahcho Kué is the world’s largest new diamond mine in 13 years and is expected to produce approximately 54 million carats of rough diamonds during its initial 12-year lifespan. It is comprised of three open pits and is on track to reach full commercial operation in the first quarter of 2017. Continue Reading →

In Sierra Leone diamond sale, echoes of corruption and conflict – by Eric DuVall ( – March 25, 2017)

March 25 (UPI) — After a pastor found the second-largest diamond ever in Sierra Leone this month, echoes have been heard of government corruption and the nation’s legacy of conflict or “blood” diamonds, leading to rampant speculation about the precious gem’s sale.

The Rev. Emmanuel Momoh was the leader of the freelance mining team that discovered a 706-carat diamond in Sierra Leone, a country known for producing some of the purest — and most lucrative — diamonds in the world. But in a country where the diamond trade financed a decade-long civil war that killed 50,000 people, finding the rare gem almost seems like the easy part when considering its sale.

The incredible find has set off wild speculation in the country about nearly every part of the story. Is Momoh the true finder, or is he a middleman? Was he mining legally when he found the diamond, or had his mining license expired? Is the gem itself, which Sierra Leone’s president showed off on television, even real? Continue Reading →

Dominion Diamond to explore strategic options, including sale (Reuters U.S. – March 27, 2017)

Canadian diamond miner Dominion Diamond Corp (DDC.TO) (DDC.N), which is being pursued by Washington Cos and Stornoway Diamond Corp (SWY.TO), said it would explore strategic alternatives, including a sale.

U.S.-listed shares of Dominion, which has a market cap of C$1.41 billion ($1.06 billion), were up 7.3 percent at $13.70 in premarket trading on Monday. Dominion’s largest shareholder, M&G Investments, last week asked the company to run a formal sales process and open its books to interested parties.

Washington Cos, a group of privately held North American mining, industrial and transportation businesses founded by billionaire Dennis Washington, revealed its $1.1 billion unsolicited bid in March. Continue Reading →

COMMENT: New chapter for Canadian diamonds? – by Marilyn Scales (Canadian Mining Journal – March 22, 2017)

“It’s been 10 years since Falconbridge and Inco were snapped up by Glencore
(then Xstrata) and Vale, respectfully. Canadians are still stinging from
the loss of our world leadership position in nickel production. We still
produce it, but the profits go elsewhere. Those profits include not only
cash from the metal sold but the innovation and proprietary technology
that generate worldwide acclaim.”

This writer has a fondness for Canadian diamonds, as do many CMJ readers. The stones are beautiful, world famous and conflict free – an excellent accomplishment for a sector that didn’t exist 35 years ago.

But could the Canadian diamond industry go the same way our nickel producers did – into foreign ownership?

The Washington Companies have expressed interest in acquiring Dominion Diamond Corp., owner of Canada’s first producer, the Ekati mine, and 40% owner of the Diavik mine (along with Rio Tinto). WashCorps made an offer on March 19 of US$13.50 per share for Dominion in a deal worth US$1.1 billion. Continue Reading →

Attawapiskat could have more prosperity, but not by getting local diamond mines to shut down – by Joseph Quesnel (Financial Post – March 22, 2017)

Attawapiskat First Nation — an isolated Northern Ontario reserve — played a prominent role in the Idle No More indigenous protest movement that erupted in 2012. Then Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence complained to the media about unacceptable housing conditions on her reserve. The movement was energized by Chief Spence’s decision to declare a hunger strike to raise awareness of the ongoing First Nation housing and infrastructure crises.

Attawapiskat’s band council was subjected to a government-commissioned audit in 2012 that found little proper documentation for millions of dollars spent by the band government.

Attawapiskat has largely fallen out of the news. But, a few weeks ago, diamond producer De Beers announced it was shelving plans for an expansion of a diamond mine located nearby. The company had planned to draw five or six more years of production from the mine. However, without Attawapiskat support, the company will not proceed. Continue Reading →

Dominion Diamond, Stornoway held merger talks: sources – by Nicole Mordant and John Tilak (Reuters Canada – March 20, 2017)

VANCOUVER/TORONTO (Reuters) – Dominion Diamond Corp DDC.TO DDC.N and fellow Canadian diamond miner Stornoway Diamond Corp SWY.TO have held talks about a potential merger in recent months, people familiar with the matter said on Monday.

World No. 3 diamond miner Dominion, target of a $1.1 billion bid by U.S. billionaire Dennis Washington, and Stornoway, a small miner with a diamond mine in Quebec, declined to comment. The people declined to be named as the discussions are private.

One of the people said the talks were still ongoing. The talks include Stornoway’s chief executive officer and president, Matt Manson, becoming CEO of the merged group, one source said, adding that the discussions on an all-share merger started in January. Continue Reading →

Dominion Diamond in play following Washington Cos. takeover proposal – by Andrew Willis (Globe and Mail – March 20, 2017)

Dominion Diamond Corp. is expected to attract interest from the world’s largest diamond miners after being put in play Sunday by a $1.1-billion [U.S.] hostile takeover proposal from conglomerate The Washington Companies.

Yellowknife-based Dominion owns stakes in the Ekati and Diavik diamond mines in the Northwest Territories, and caught the eye of the private Montana-based company controlled by billionaire Dennis Washington, who made his fortune in construction and now owns tugboats, trains and copper mines.

Washington held takeover talks with Dominion that stretched over three weeks, but broke down earlier this month. Washington went public Sunday with a plan to buy the diamond miner for $13.50 a share, a 36-per-cent premium on Dominion’s Friday closing price. Dominion stock prices jumped 20 per cent yesterday on news of the offer. Continue Reading →