Monday, October 31, 2011

Diamantaires expect decision on Zimbabwe roughs at Congo meet

The $43 billion worth Indian diamond industry expects a positive outcome on the question of export of rough diamonds from Zimbabwe at the plenary meeting of Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KLCS), which began at Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Monday.

The diamantaires expect the central government to play an important role in this regard. They are hopeful that it would be able to convince US, EU, UAE, Australia, Canada and other member countries to end their opposition to exports from Zimbabwe. About 75 member countries including India - considered a founder member of KP - are participating in the meeting which will take key decisions on various issues including on Zimbabwe.

The Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) said the KP's approval on the export of rough diamonds from Zimbabwe would mean a lot for the tens of thousands of diamond workers in Surat. Being the representative of the largest stakeholder in the diamond manufacturing world today, the council decried the divisions that are stopping the export of diamonds .

"The politicisation of the process is demeaning the good efforts of the industry in forging an effective alliance and creating a mechanism against conflict diamonds in today's world. Being one of the founders of KP, we will not allow these happenings to stop the rightful means of African people to earn from their own resources," said Rajiv Jain, chairman, GJEPC.

"India remains committed to compliance with Kimberly Process and expect the members to arrive at a common position on Marange mine," said Jain. Industry sources said the decision on Zimbabwe was eagerly awaited in Surat. "The rough diamond prices have appreciated by more than 50 per cent in the past few months. It is because of the depleting diamond production in the mines world over. However, only the Marange diamond field in Zimbabwe, which is one of the biggest finds in the history of diamond mining, can fill the prevailing demand- supply gap and help the Surat industry," said Chandrakant Sanghavi, chairman of Sanghavi Exports.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Mugabe facing diamond accusations from MDC MP

An MP from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC has named President Robert Mugabe and his family as potential players in diamond activities in alluvial-rich Marange area.

Contributing to a motion by fellow party member Eddie Cross on the need to ensure transparency in Marange, Mbizo MP Settlement Chikwinya also named close Mugabe ally and defense minister Emmerson Mnangagwa and senior military officials as being involved in Marange diamond deals.

“We have a lot of public and media speculation that the first family is involved in diamond mining through Mbada Holdings with their front man being former Air Vice Marshal Robert Mhlanga who is a former personal pilot to President Mugabe and his (Mhlanga) daughter Patience,” said Chikwinya.

“We also have minister of defence Emerson Mnangagwa through the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) in partnership with Anjin from China approaching the minister of mines Obert Mpofu to give them a license to operate but it was delayed because of their factional differences.

“However, the moment he (Mnangagwa) acted as minister of mines in the absence of Mpofu in 2010, he approved the application,” said Chikwinya.

Tempers flared, with ZANU PF MPs leaping to Mugabe’s defense. ZANU PF MP for Zvimba East Patrick Zhuwao angrily objected to the mentioning of Mugabe’s family in diamond dealings.

“I object that the President owns the diamond mines. It is not true,” said Zhuwao. Zhuwao is Mugabe’s nephew.

But Chikwinya was undeterred, saying diamond mining in Marange was associated with chaos.

“Mining of Marange diamonds is characterised by confusion, lawlessness and chaos and no one really knows what is going on and in the context of that confusion smuggling of diamonds is taking place on a massive scale benefiting only a few individuals,” said Chikwinya.

The motion by Cross states that government should take steps to manage and control the exploitation and marketing of the mineral, and to nationalise and prescribe all diamond mining operations both formal and informal in Marange.

The motion was adopted after MPs from the MDC outvoted their ZANU PF counterparts

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Round Flawless Diamonds Expected to Sell for $18M At Christie’s Auction

Two loose round brilliant cut diamonds with a color grade of D and a clarity grade of Flawless are expected to sell for a combined $18 million at the Christie’s Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels sale on November 29.

The stones – put up as separate lots – weigh 35.77 and 35.61 carats and are the largest two diamonds of their type ever auctioned.

Both diamonds were originally mined in South Africa and cut by the Steinm Diamond Group. Last year, they were displayed at New York’s Guggenheim Museum.

A statement from Christie’s says that “to find large pieces of colorless rough [diamonds] within the same timeframe represents an extremely rare occurrence… to combine that with the vision to obtain a closely matched pair raises the project to new heights.”


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

World’s largest fancy vivid yellow diamond tipped to fetch £10m at auction

It is one of the most sought-after diamonds in the world and so rare it was once said to be impossible to value.
But now the dazzling Cora Sun-Drop gem is tipped to make £10 million when it appears at auction next month.

Roughly the size of a woman's thumb and 110 carats it is thought to be the largest vivid yellow pear-shaped diamond in existence.

It was discovered last year in South Africa and is currently owned by New York-based diamond manufacturer Cora International.

Now bidders will have the chance to get their hands on the prized gemstone at Sotheby's Magnificent Jewels sale held in Geneva on 15 November.

It has been given a pre-sale price of £6.9 million - £9.4 million ($11m-$15m) but many anticipate that it will exceed this estimate.

Sotheby's Switzerland co-chairman David Bennett said: 'This stone has immense presence and is truly stunning.

'It is also one of the largest diamonds ever to have appeared at auction.'

In February the Sun-Drop attracted crowds of admirers when it went on display at London's Natural History Museum alongside some of the world's rarest treasures.

At the time Alan Hart, the Natural History Museum's minerals curator, told BBC News: 'I've never seen a stone such as this.

'A one-carat diamond is what most people are familiar with, and are really pleased to own. You can see how exceptional this diamond is.'

The unusual yellow colour of the Sun-Drop stems from the very small percentage of nitrogen within the carbon structure of the stone.

Diamonds with a strong saturated colour represent only a tiny percentage of all natural diamonds, and when it is more than 100 carats, it takes on a historic significance as so few exist.

Over recent weeks the precious stone has been on an international tour, showcased with other lot items which include intricate diamond rings, bangles and brooches.

Sotheby’s Geneva has a renowned history of selling exceptional diamonds.

Last year The Graff Pink diamond- a fancy intense pink diamond of almost 25 carats- was sold for $46.1 million setting a new world record for any jewel auctioned.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

World's First Diamond-Dispensing ATM Launches in India

Gold ATM vending machines have been popping up all over the world this year, so instead of following the trend, Mumbai became the first city in the world to launch a diamond-dispensing machine.

The Gitanjali Group, which claims to be the world's biggest integrated manufacturer of branded jewelry, opened the machine in a luxury shopping mall in the city Sunday and said that it already served a "substantial number of customers."

It hopes to roll out 75 more of the ATMs -- which also sell gold and silver coins -- in shopping malls, airports and at Hindu temples.

With prices ranging from 1,000 rupees ($20.17) to 30,000 rupees, customers can pay by cash or credit card for products ranging from gold coins etched with an image of Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth, to diamond-studded pendants in the shape of a swastika, which in India is an ancient religious symbol of unity.

Jammy Gagrat, a 47-year-old businessman, said, "This machine is going to be a problem for the gents. Ladies are going to keep on buying more and more every time they come here."

Source: Fox News

Monday, October 24, 2011

Gem Diamonds sells Letseng Star for US$16.5 million

Gem Diamonds Ltd has sold the Letseng Star, a 550ct white gem diamond recovered in August from the Letseng mine in Lesotho, for US$16.5 million.

In addition to the rough price sale of the Type-IIa D-colour diamond, Gem Diamonds will further benefit from a significant share of the downstream polished margin uplift from the sale of the polished diamonds cut from the Letseng star.

Clifford Elphick, Gem Diamonds chief executive officer, said: “The Letseng Star has the potential to yield an exceptional polished product and the profit sharing arrangement for the polished margin of the Letseng Star will ensure that its true value is realised and the Letseng Diamonds benefits directly from the exposure to the resulting upside.”

The Letseng Star ranks as the 14th largest white diamond on record and is the fourth diamond of such historical significance to be recovered from the mine.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Disclosure: HPHT

Over the past year or two, gemological labs have received a large influx of HPHT-treated diamonds. Jewelers are also seeing more of such color-treated diamonds.
The twin issues here are: Valuation & Disclosure.
What is HPHT?

HPHT can "de-colorize" pale yellowish diamonds.

High pressure and high temperature in the earth make the diamond. In a lab, high temperature and high pressure (HPHT) can change a diamond's color or even create a diamond.

Exposing a diamond of weak or unattractive color to extremes of pressure and temperature can vastly improve its appearance. The treatment can de-colorize pale yellow diamonds, improving their color grade from H to F, for example. It can also change unattractive brownish diamonds into radiant blues, greens, yellows, and even the difficult but very desirable reds.

HTHP treatment has been around for a dozen years and the color changes it produces are considered to be permanent. Some brands specialize in this process, offering lushly colored diamonds at a fraction of the price of natural "fancies."

Because of the huge price difference between natural and treated diamonds, disclosure is essential.

HPHT can produce vibrant colors.

Is HPHT a Treatment? YES

Brands that sell HPHT diamonds prefer to avoid using the word "treatment" because of its associations. Like treating an illness, treating a gemstone suggests that something was wrong with the gem, and that requires more explanation and results in buyer hesitation.

Instead, companies using HPHT talk about unmasking or revealing Nature's colors. Bellataire, an early developer of HTHP treatment, was influential in getting GIA to use on its certificates the phrase "HTHP Process," rather than "HPHT Treatment."

The FTC requires disclosure of gem treatments. Whether called a treatment or a process, HPHT should be disclosed on the appraisal, the diamond certificate, and the sales receipt.
Are the labs being "tested"?

Laser inscription on diamond's girdle says the stone is color-treated.

Over the past decade, the jewelry industry has promoted disclosure practices around HTHP. Early producers of color-enhanced gems were proud of their accomplishment and laser-inscribed their brand on the girdle of the diamond. GIA's protocol is to require laser inscriptions, either with the brand name or with words such as "HPHT Processed" or "Irradiated," before the diamonds are submitted for grading.

The current problem is that labs have been receiving HPHT–treated diamonds without such inscriptions-that is, without disclosure. Also, they are receiving larger diamonds than previously. This suggests that new companies are using different versions of HTHP and "testing" the labs, to see if the labs are able to detect the treatment.

New gem enhancements are always under development and old methods are constantly being refined and improved. Sophisticated analysis relies on specialized equipment for detecting enhancements, just to keep up with gem-treatment technology. It's only the major grading labs that can afford much of this equipment; the avera jeweler cannot.

GIA is contacting its clients both to learn the source of the treated diamonds and to remind them that failure to disclose treatment at all stages of the pipeline–dealer, distributor, and retailer–is unacceptable. The lab is also reviewing each transaction to determine whether it's appropriate to turn over relevant information to trade organizations and law enforcement bodies.

Source: JCRS

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Miranda Kerr reveals $2.5 million Victoria's Secret diamond bra

The Australian beauty posed in New York with the $2.5 million diamond encrusted bra that she’ll model for the lingerie brand at the upcoming fashion show in November.

Mrs Orlando Bloom has accepted her crown of Victoria's Secret Angel to wear the extravagant ‘Fantasy Bra’ on the Victoria Secret catwalk next month.

Reminding us why we have a serious girl-crush on the Australian model, Miranda, wore a strapless pink Michael Kors gown that showed off her svelte figure and lovely legs to perfection.

But the bra very nearly stole Miranda's limelight. With 3,400 gems hand-stitched into the piece it took a London jeweller more than 500 hours to make.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Giant Yellow Diamond Sells at Christie's for $6.6M

An anonymous bidder paid a whopping $6.6 million for a rare 33.77-carat diamond at Christie’s New York Magnificent Jewels auction, held Tuesday.

The pear-shaped, named Vivid Yellow, has such an intense yellow hue that the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) categorized it as one of the rarest gemstones in its class, according to the trade publication Professional Jeweller.

Rahul Kadakia, head of Jewelry at Christie’s New York, called $201,000-per-carat “a sensational price”, on a par with the famed “Gold Drop” diamond which sold in 1990 at Christie’s London. The Gold Drop diamond was 18.49 carats.

“The Vivid Yellow literally blazes with color, unlike any yellow diamond I’ve ever seen,” said Rahul Kadakia in a Christie's statement. “In the world of diamonds, a naturally colored stone of this incredible color and size represents a freak occurrence — an extremely rare geological phenomenon."

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Is Zim any better with diamonds?

Zimbabwe’s economy does not seem to be changing for the better despite the discovery of precious gems — diamonds — which many thought, would have by now catapulted the country’s economy to greater heights and created thousands of jobs for unemployed youths.

Five years after the discovery of diamonds in Marange, the country’s future does not look as bright as initially thought.

The questions many Zimbabweans are asking today are: How many carats of diamonds have been mined to date and where have these precious gems been taken to?

Braitwood Institute of Gemology director Bernard Mutanga whose company is into rough diamond cutting and polishing, lamented the failure by the government to allow many colleges to train locals in diamonds.

“There is no college that is offering courses in diamond cutting and polishing at the moment and the country is losing a lot of revenue because no value addition is being done to our diamonds,” Mutanga said.

Finance minister Tendai Biti in his Mid-Term Budget Review statement said: “Wherever rough diamonds exist and are not managed transparently and openly, they become a major source of suspicion, conflict and national dislocation.

There are times when resources, instead of being a blessing, can become a curse.”
Biti said local diamonds continue to be curtailed by problems associated with the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme as well as internal issues of transparency and accountability.

“The reality of Zimbabwe’s situation is that there is no connection between Zimbabwe’s income from diamonds, its output and international prices,” he added.

The minister also said between January and June 2011, the country exported 716 958,50 carats from its alluvial diamond mines in Marange.

However, Biti said, during the first half of 2011, only $103,9 million of diamond export shipments was accounted for and despite the huge production at Marange, no payment has been received by Treasury for income earned between January and June 2011.

“It is therefore, imperative and urgent that the government concludes its work on the Diamond Revenue Bill. This Bill will create a proper legal framework dealing with the audit trail of all diamond revenue, its sharing and distribution, as well as Zimra (Zimbabwe Revenue Authority) at both production and marketing levels,” Biti said.

Core-mining and mineral resources director, Lovemore Kurotwi, who is also shareholder in Zimbabwe Diamond Education College, was reluctant to comment on what was being done to local gems.

“If you want to know more about what is happening with diamonds in Zimbabwe, Minister of Mines Obert Mpofu would know better. My company is not doing anything as of now and the college is yet to get the licence to buy rough diamonds for practical lessons. We, however, hope to get the licence soon so that we can begin operating,” Kurotwi said.

Many Zimbabweans seem not to understand who is actually benefiting from the proceeds from the gems.

Many would have thought creating a diamond centre where all companies dealing with the precious gem would be working, would be a major breakthrough in ensuring transparency and accountability.

Analysts argue that just a few individuals in the government positions are aware of what is happening to the precious gems, but the whole nation is in the dark.

“The government is on record in trying to promote ‘black empowerment’, but it seems when it comes to natural resources that are supposed to benefit the nation, the opposite is true and the concept becomes ‘politician empowerment’,” said an analyst.

“Zimbabwe would benefit if more people were trained in adding value to the diamonds. This will also create jobs for our unemployed youths.”

Non-diamond producing countries such as Belgium, Israel, India and many others are benefiting more than Zimbabwe because of the way their diamond industries are managed.
India employs more than a million people in the diamond industry.

“Diamond industry has its down and upstream benefits in any country as it creates employment starting from mining, cutting, polishing and jewelry making. Many other sectors such as insurance, transport, banks, clothing industries and agriculture also benefit from people employed in the diamond industries,” an analyst added.

Alrosa Boosts Profit Fivefold on Higher Diamond Prices

OAO Alrosa, the largest diamond miner by output, posted a fivefold gain in first-half profit as prices surged, reducing the need to pare debt with an initial public offering, Chief Executive Officer Fyodor Andreev said.

Net income climbed to 26.3 billion rubles ($854 million) in the six months through June from 5 billion rubles a year earlier, Alrosa said in a statement. Revenue rose 3 percent to 66.1 billion rubles even as volumes dropped 23 percent because of sales from stockpiles in the first half of 2010.

“We had record financial results,” Andreev said in Moscow. “It’s doubtful now whether we need to sell new shares in an IPO. It’s more likely the government will sell existing shares to generate proceeds.”

Alrosa, which mined more diamonds than global rival De Beers in 2009, 2010 and the first half of 2011, is benefiting from higher prices for rough diamonds driven by increased demand in India and China. Average sales prices rose to $109 a carat in the first half, compared with $84 over the whole of 2010, the company said in a presentation.

Alrosa said in March it planned to sell a stake as large as 25 percent in the Mirney, Siberia-based company to fund expansion and cut debt. While the company is still prepared for a share sale by late 2012, a decision on the size and timing of an IPO will depend on the government, Andreev said.

Profit Margin

An Alrosa share sale may be held on the Micex stock exchange in Moscow to support the Russian government’s efforts to transform the country’s capital into an international financial center, Andreev said.

Profitability at the diamond producer is improving, he said.

“For full 2011, we plan to achieve about $5 billion of revenue and $2 billion of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization,” Andreev said. Alrosa’s Ebitda margin, a measure of profitability, widened to 54 percent in the first half from 32 percent a year earlier. The ratio of net debt to Ebitda fell to 2 after peaking at 6.1 in 2009, the company said.

The company plans to sell $400 million of bonds by year-end to help fund the $1 billion acquisition of natural-gas assets from VTB Group. Alrosa will then seek a strategic investor for those fields in the same way it attracted Evraz Group SA to help develop the Timir iron ore deposit, Andreev said.

Derivative Product

Alrosa accounted for 26 percent of global diamond production in 2010, according to its presentation. De Beers was responsible for 25 percent and Rio Tinto Group for 10 percent.

Demand for rough diamonds has fallen this year in the U.S., while it remains flat in Europe and is surging in India and China, Andreev said. Demand in Russia has slowed after large domestic buyers cut purchases in October, he said.

Alrosa has discussed the creation of a derivative product backed by physical stocks of rough diamonds with investment banks, Andreev said. That could attract investors after prices for the gems rose 40 percent in the last two years.

De Beers Sees Diamond Prices Steadyng After Rising More Than 35%, CEO Says

De Beers, the largest diamond producer, said rough diamond prices will probably fluctuate around current levels after increasing by more than a third this year, spurred by demand from China and India.

“Maybe we can see some instability or short-term volatility or seasonality but I am expecting this new level of pricing to stick,” Chief Executive Officer Philippe Mellier said today in a phone interview from London. “We don’t see any softening of the demand.”

Prices paid for the company’s uncut, unpolished diamonds increased about 35 percent in the first half and rose further after that before declining slightly, according to De Beers. Rough diamond prices advanced 49 percent in the first half after two straight years of more than 30 percent gains, data compiled by show.

In India and China, retail sales are “very, very strong,” Mellier said. Overall retail diamond sales are “very strong” and are growing in the U.S., the world’s largest retail market, he said.

De Beers should produce record or near-record sales for 2011, RBC Capital Markets analyst Des Kilalea said in a note earlier this month. RBC sees sales by De Beers’ trading arm DTC at about $6.4 billion this year, the second highest on record.

Diamonds association gives to disaster relief

The Diamonds Manufacturers Association of Namibia (DIAMAN) donated N$80 000 to the Directorate of Disaster and Risk Management in the Office of the Prime Minister, as its contribution to disaster relief fund.

Speaking at the cheque handover last week, the Director of Disaster and Risk Management in the Office of the Prime Minister, Japhet Iitenge, told reporters present that people affected by floods are now in a recovery phase.

The Prime Minister’s office was at its planning phase in as far as floods are concerned, he said.

He explained that disasters are not only floods, but that there are also other hazards that strike the country and its citizens.

The Prime Minister’s office has since end of August distributed food to all regions in the country with the exception of the Khomas Region.

Food was distributed to these regions, with a focus on rural communities, Iitenge highlighted.

“We send out teams to assess what is going on in terms of distribution,” he further said. More food would be given to communities in these regions until end of January, he added.

On behalf of DIAMAN, chairman of the association, Burhan Seber, said they had fears that the donation was relatively late since the flood season “is past for this year”. But he expressed hope that the organisation would be part of such activities in future. “We are glad to donate this,” Seber said.

On his part, the Deputy Prime Minister, Marco Hausiku, said, “Our system is growing in terms of creating more capacity to mitigate disasters.”

He said the Prime Minister’s office has been continuously working on recording every donation received in order to report back to donors and the public.

Today, the Prime Minister’s office will give a detailed report to the public and media on how much has been received, added Hausiku.

“We have to thank you, nothing is small. Nothing is late,” Hausiku told the team from DIAMAN.

DIAMAN was started two years ago and its focus is on cutting and polishing of diamonds.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Stellar Diamonds shares surge after upbeat full-year results

Shares in Stellar Diamonds (LON:STEL) surged today after the West African-focused miner said it was “extremely pleased” with the progress made during the full year to end June 2011 and that it is on track to produce a maiden JORC-compliant independent resource estimate for the Droujba and Tongo kimberlites in the first quarter of 2012.

Shares in the firm were up 13.1 per cent at 4.1 pence by 11:52am today.

Stellar said that although the current market environment is characterised by volatility and risk aversion, it is well capitalised to progress with work programmes, with cash of US$6.5 million as at June 30 2011, and no debt.

Programmes aimed at generating maiden resource estimates at Droujba in Guinea and Tongo in Sierra Leone are ongoing. Bulk sampling of the Lion-5 dyke at Kono in Sierra Leone is due to commence shortly and at Bouro in Guinea a previous bulk sample realized a grade of 243 carats per hundred tonnes. Mining at Mandala in Guinea is currently on a seasonal break.

Revenues were US$1.5 million for the year to the end of June, compared with US$2 million in the previous year. The firm incurred a full-year operating loss of US$6.25 million before an impairment charge of US$8.6 million (2010: US$5.4 million). The operating loss is in line with expectations given the stage of Stellar’s development, said the firm.

The impairment charge is an accounting item resulting from the board’s decision to cease mining at Bomboko and the reduced estimate of commercially minable resource at Mandala.

Chief executive Karl Smithson said: “We are extremely pleased with the progress made during the financial period and the subsequent months. The decision to refocus our resources on our core kimberlite projects has proved to be successful, with strong results achieved at both our Droujba and Tongo projects as we have sought to considerably accelerate the pace of work at both these projects.”

Smithson added that drilling at both projects has revealed “very encouraging” results and that the firm is confident in its ability to create further value and momentum from these projects. “We are expecting a maiden resource for both projects in the first quarter of 2012, and this will be a major milestone for Stellar as we look to create significant value from our portfolio of diamond projects,” he said.

The diamond market has been very strong for most of the year under review with many companies reporting record prices for rough diamonds, the company said.

The firm also noted that while the longer term pricing outlook remains bullish, the recent economic volatility and worries about sovereign and bank debt have resulted in a weakening of rough and polished diamond prices from these record highs.

However, there is still very strong diamond demand in India and China which are the main growth areas and Stellar expects this to continue. Because of this, the firm believes that although there will be periods of price weakness “the longer term trend for diamond prices will be upwards driven by strong consumer demand and lack of new production”.

House broker Northland Capital Partners, which has a ‘buy’ rating for Stellar, commented: “Whilst there has historically... been some volatility in results due to alluvial production, this now seems well under control. Mandala is a useful operation both in maintaining a production presence in the region and in providing a backbone for Bouro exploration. Alluvials are of much lesser import going forward and the group has substantial resources to progress its two key projects this year which [have] not been reflected in the valuation which is discounting little or no success.”

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Diamond Bourse of Canada Seeks to Deepen diamond trading with China

In a drive to improve diamond trade relations with China, the Diamond Bourse of Canada is opening a liaison office within the Shanghai Diamond Exchange facility.

The DBC's opening of its permanent China presence follows a formal business visit by a delegation of Canadian diamond businesses to China organized by the DBC, the SDE and the Diamond Administration of China.

The Canadian diamond delegation sought to address three primary goals: establish commercial synergies between Canadian and Chinese diamond operations with bilateral trade relations between the members of the diamond exchanges, establish a China-specific marketing strategy for Canadian diamonds that includes the education of Chinese consumers on the value of "Brand Canada,” and to advocate the benefits of Canada to potential Chinese investors with the goal of attracting direct investment in various facets of the country's emerging diamond industries.

"As major producers and consumers, China and Canada have much to gain from exploring and seeking mutually beneficial industry synergies — on all levels of the industry,” according to the DBC's General Manager Adam Shubinsky.

DBC Chairman Bhushan Vora stressed China's potential future role, as a major market for Canadian polished diamonds. “We believe that we are faced with a unique opportunity here to create and establish a distinct value-proposition for Canadian polished diamonds within the rapidly expanding Chinese diamond market.

“On the whole, the average Chinese consumer already has a very favorable perception of Canada. To capitalize on this foundation though, it is important that the marketing of Canadian polished diamonds transcend its usual selling points of ethics, sustainability or quality and focus more on selling and marketing 'Canada' and the idea of Canada, to the Chinese end consumer," Vora added.

The DBS said that additional Canadian diamond trade missions are expected in the coming months.

Source: IDEX

Doubling Rough Diamond Prices, Lower Costs, Pull Rockwell Back to Profit

Rockwell Diamonds’ revenues have declined in the second quarter ending August 31 due to shrinking production. However a doubling in the achieved average diamond price and a sharp cut in costs helped the company end the second quarter with a $2.0 million profit.

The South Africa-based diamond miner posted revenue of $9.2 million, compared with revenue of $11.4 million in the prior year.

The company sold 3,223 carats during the quarter at an average of $2,186 per carat, a 109 percent increase. Beneficiation revenue from the joint venture with Steinmetz increased 64 percent to $2.3 million.

The rise in the company’s achieved average diamond prices reflects its production more than it reflects the change in rough diamond prices. While prices increased by 35-60 percent between August 2010 and August 2011, Rockwell mined 46 diamonds exceeding 10 carats, of which 11 stones exceeded 20 carats.

These stones were channeled into the joint venture with the Steinmetz Diamond Group, which delivers value added revenues for stones that exceed 2.8 carats.

During the quarter the high quality stones sold through the joint venture included a 128.67-carat fancy yellow with high clarity stone, a 21.52-carat clean D/E color stone, and a 179.95-carat makeable, clean brown colored stone.

Mine site operating costs were brought down by 18 percent to $5.1 million

Production decreased 47 percent to 3,611 carats chiefly due to the closure of Holpan.

“By focusing and delivering on our strategic imperatives to optimize our current operations and sustainably increasing our production profile, our operations have the potential to deliver strong returns for shareholders,” said CEO James Campbell.

Source: IDEX

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Coated Pink Diamonds being sold as natural in Australia

The DCLA is still receiving a large amount of undisclosed treated diamonds for certification and verification.

Most of these stones are coming in from the public who purchased them as natural.

In some cases the stones are accompanied by in house, or so called independent valuations.

This in laymen’s terms, this unethical and in some cases fraudulent practice is “ the selling of treated, enhanced or synthetic diamonds. Without disclosure”.

All efforts to educate the trade and the public in Australia is futile if there is a lack of industry ethics.

There is an old saying, “the more things change the more they stay the same”

Miranda Kerr Wears $2.5 Million Dollar Diamond Bra

Miranda Kerr must be the luckiest woman in the world! Not only does she get to be married to Orlando Bloom, have an adorable baby son, but she is now going to wear a bra worth $2.5 million for Victoria's Secret, according to People. She will be wearing the piece on the runway, and the piece is designed to draw attention, but it doesn't look obviously ostentatious either. Surprisingly, the diamond aqua bra actually looks comfortable!

The model told People, "It's such an honor to wear the bra. And it's such a piece of artwork! It's absolutely stunning... it kind of feels a little mermaid-like... but I can't believe I'm wearing $2.5 million on my chest." Miranda Kerr goes on to say she feels amazing wearing the hardware, but what girl doesn't feel amazing wearing diamonds?

Miranda Kerr took a year off during her pregnancy after her son Flynn was born. While she admits it was good to have the time off, she's certainly ready to get back to work. The model feels better than ever, and doesn't look like she's ever been pregnant! She has claimed the weight loss was mostly due to breastfeeding her baby, but she does regularly do Yoga, which must help her get the long and lean look she's famous for.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Whiteflash Acquires New World Class Diamond

HOUSTON, Texas, Whiteflash Inc. announced today that a new collection grade diamond has just taken its place in the vaunted A CUT ABOVE(R) brand, adding even more muscle to its inventory of world class diamonds. Combining perfect cut quality and light performance with perfect color, this 2.26 carat D color VVS2 clarity Hearts and Arrows Ideal (priced at around $100,000) now takes its place among the finest diamonds in the world.

An important diamond in its own right, the 2.26 joins a 2.10ct D IF and a 3.09ct G VS1 as elite members of the internationally recognized A CUT ABOVE(R) family of super ideal diamonds. Each diamond has been awarded an Ideal Platinum Certificate by the American Gem Society Laboratory, the most prestigious cut quality and light performance credential in the world.

In addition, each gem has passed all of the additional evaluations required by the Whiteflash diamond review team for entry into their uncompromising brand of Hearts and Arrows diamonds. Cut and polished with advanced technology to excruciatingly exact specifications, the A CUT ABOVE(R) Hearts and Arrows Super Ideal delivers the absolute maximum fire, brilliance and scintillation technically possible in a diamond.

Comprehensive information is posted for each diamond to the website including gemological data and several different types of light performance imaging. Secure online purchasing is always available and Whiteflash also welcomes international visitors to their Houston offices.

About Whiteflash:

Whiteflash is a full scale manufacturing jeweler specializing in Ideal Diamonds and Fine Bridal Jewelry and stocks the biggest inventory of AGS Certified Ideal Cut Diamonds in the world.

The award winning website, described by Kiplinger’s Magazine as the “Lord of the Online Rings” enables shoppers the world over to view, compare, and purchase top quality loose diamonds, engagement rings and fine diamond jewelry in a convenient and secure environment.

Whiteflash is the first jeweler in the world to attain ISO 9001 certification for total quality management.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Diamantaires in Surat, Asia's largest diamond polishing hub, are unperturbed by the slowdown in demand from the United States and Europe, given the diversification of their market portfolio. Exports to Asian countries and the Middle East have helped buoy the drop in sales.

Though the US and Europe still account for a sizeable quantity of diamond exports from the country, Asian markets like Hong Kong accounted for the highest export of cut and polished diamonds from India between January and August 2011, at $5,957 million, according to the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council.

Thailand followed with exports worth $355.85 million, Japan with $173.41 million, Singapore with $151.03 million, the Republic of Korea with $36 million, Malaysia with $23.64 million and Nepal with $1 million worth of polished diamonds.

In the same period, exports of cut and polished diamonds to the US stood at $2,330.28 million, and key market Belgium in Europe had exports worth $1,532.48 million.

"This is a complete turnaround from two years ago, when Indian exporters were completely dependent on the US and Europe to take their business forward,'' said Surat Diamond Association president Dinesh Navadia.

The UAE was another top export destination for Surat's diamond merchants with exports pegged at $7,789.25 million. Last fiscal, the UAE emerged as the largest importer of Indian diamonds, accounting for a 47% share, followed by Hong Kong with 22% and the USA with 11%, according to the Council.

Moreover, in August 2011, India's gem and jewellery industry saw its polished diamond exports rising 3% to $2.373 billion on a year on year basis. Imports of polished diamonds jumped 14% to $1.571 billion, but the country's net polished exports, dropped 15% to $802 million.

"One has to understand that it was just a month after the Mumbai bomb blast in July 2011. The drop in sales should be seen against that scenario,'' said Navadia.

Rough diamond imports increased 20% to $830 million, while rough diamond exports jumped 57% to $141 million, data from the Council showed.

The economic slowdown in the US and the rising value of the Indian rupee have been cited as reasons for the decline in exports from the main regions. Two years ago, the diamond industry in Gujarat, which polishes over 93% of the world's diamonds, was in severe trouble due to the drastic fall in export orders from the US and Europe.

In July, India's polished diamond exports were up 14%, while in April, polished diamond exports rose 5.53%. In March 2011, exports rose a huge 59%, while in February, polished diamond exports rose 23%, according to the Council.

Harry Winston defers rough diamond sales

Economic uncertainty is once again taking its toll on the diamond industry, including Harry Winston Diamond Corp.

During the credit crisis of 2008 and 2009, diamond prices simply collapsed. While nothing that serious is happening today, diamond polishers are selling off their inventory and reducing purchases of rough diamonds, thus lowering prices.

The polishing industry is largely underwritten by European banks, which are under pressure because of sovereign debt problems. Credit facilities are not being increased, so the polishers are reducing rough purchases and increasing their liquidity in case the debt problems get worse.

That is an issue for Harry Winston, which produces rough diamonds from the Diavik mine in the Northwest Territories. On Monday, the company deferred rough sales into the fourth quarter, and possibly beyond, rather than sell them into “an unstable market that seeks bargains.” The company did not offer specific guidance.

Edward Sterck, an analyst at BMO Capital Markets, previously anticipated that Harry Winston’s lower-than-expected sales in the second quarter would be largely rebalanced in the second half of the year. “A further reduction in sales through the remainder of the year is likely to negatively impact earnings forecasts,” he wrote in a note.

Previously, he thought Harry Winston could offset a pullback in rough prices by producing higher value diamonds at Diavik. He rates the stock a Market Perform with a price target of $18.00 a share.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Lonrho Mining achieves best diamond recovery of 31.8 carats at Lulo in Angola

Lonrho Mining (ASX:LOM) has achieved the best diamond recoveries to date, 19 diamonds ranging up to 6.2 carats, at its Lulo Project in Angola.

Meanwhile, Lonrho is evaluating funding options for a $12.7 million exploration program to follow up priority kimberlite targets at Lulo.

The diamonds were recovered from less than 60 cubic metres of alluvial gravels processed through Lonrho’s Dense Media Separation (DMS) plant for an average grade of 31.86 carats per 100 cubic metres. The average stone size was more than one carat.

Lonrho said the latest diamond grades, from BLK_06, were the best received since the company began treating diamond-bearing alluvial gravels through its DMS plant in August 2010.

This would provide further encouragement of the economic potential of the Lulo Project for Lonrho.

The best bulk sample grade received previously was 16.23 carats per 100 cubic metres.

Lonrho has excavated more than 5000 cubic metres of gravel from the BLK_06 site.

The company is continuing to process gravels from BLK_06 and will report significant results as they receive them.

It is believed that the African nation of Angola is one of the most prospective diamond exploration areas in the world and Lulo is believed to be one of the most prospective projects, at this stage of its development, in Angola.

The Lulo Diamond Concession is a highly prospective 3000 square kilometre area which Lonrho Mining intends to develop, with Endiama, the national diamond company of Angola.

Lulo is surrounded by concessions which are operated by the largest diamond companies in the world, including De Beers, Trans Hex and Alrosa.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

3 held for duping diamond firm

Two diamond agents, including a woman, and a jeweller who allegedly cheated a diamond firm of Rs 23 crore were arrested on Thursday outside the Bombay High Court after their anticipatory bail plea was rejected.

Mumbai police's Economic Offences Wing (EOW) arrested the trio who have been identified as Bupendra Deepran Trivedi (45), Anita Bhatia alias Lata Govind Khera (49) and Ashok Ratanchand Jain (39) under various charges of cheating, breach of trust and forgery. They have been remanded to police custody till October 10.

While Trivedi and Khera are diamond agents, Jain is a jeweller from the Matunga area.

Khera has already been arrested twice in the past - in a 2006 diamond cheating case and a hawala transaction case.

They were arrested after the high court rejected their anticipatory bail application.

According to investigating officer Bhaskar Pingat, the trio had applied for anticipatory bail saying the amount involved was Rs 4 crore and not Rs 23 crore.

"A battery of lawyers representing the accused conducted lengthy arguments for nearly two weeks, after which the court asked the accused, who admitted to having cheated the trader of Rs 4 crore, to deposit either the diamonds or cash in court. But the accused deposited only Rs 50 lakh in cash and diamonds worth Rs 70 lakh. The court rejected their bail plea,'' said another senior officer.

The complaint in this case was filed by Pushpa Corporation, a diamond trading firm situated at Grant Road. Last year, Khera and Trivedi approached Pushpa Corporation saying that Jain wanted to buy diamonds from the firm. Pushpa Corporation sold him a few diamonds through Khera and Trivedi. "Jain completed approximately two dozen transactions in six months and made timely payment and gained the firm's confidence. After some time, though, the payments stopped and the outstanding bills' amount crossed Rs 23 crore,'' said inspector Pingat.

When despite several reminders there was no sign of payment, the firm filed an FIR.

According to investigating officer Bhaskar Pingat, the trio had applied for anticipatory bail saying the amount involved was Rs 4 crore and not Rs 23 crore

Rio Tinto's diamond cut

RIO Tinto's Zimbabwean subsidiary Murowa Diamonds has reportedly ceded 51 per cent of its equity to comply with a new law giving local blacks majority shares in foreign companies.

''Murowa Diamonds wrote to us yesterday saying they have given up 51 per cent [of] shares and these would be given to our people,'' the state-owned Herald newspaper quoted Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere as saying.

Zimbabwe gave foreign companies until September 25 to submit plans to sell 51 per cent of their shares to the black community by 2015.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Pear-shaped 110-carat diamond to go under hammer

One of the world's largest diamonds, a pear-shaped 110.3-carat yellow rock, will go under the hammer in Geneva in November expecting to fetch about $15 million, an auction house said pn Thursday.

The Sun-Drop diamond, discovered in South Africa last year, is billed by Sotheby's as the "world's largest known pear-shaped fancy vivid yellow diamond".

"This stone has immense presence and is truly stunning. It is also one of the largest diamonds ever to have appeared at auction," Sotheby's Switzerland co-chairman David Bennett told a news conference in Hong Kong.

The Chinese city, which has emerged as the world's third-largest auction centre after New York and London, was the first stop of an international tour on which the precious stone is being showcased before the November 15 auction.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Diamond exports reach P20bn mark

Diamond exports from Botswana have surpassed P20 billion ($3 billion) in the first seven months of the year on the back of both higher demand and firmer prices, figures released by the Bank of Botswana (BoB) show.

Exports from Botswana which comprise both rough and polished diamonds, were at P20.8 billion in 2008 before falling to P15.2 billion in the recession year of 2009 and rebounding to P21.7 billion last year.

According to figures released by the Central Bank this week, Botswana exported diamonds worth P3.88 billion in July after selling P16.55 billion worth of the stones in the first half of the year bringing the total to P20.43 billion with five more months left before the year ends.

The P3.88 billion- ($594.3 million) worth of polished and rough exported diamonds in July, were a percentage increase of 371.3 from the same month last year. However month-over-month exports have declined by 11.4 percent. In June though, exports were unusually high, reaching a record $670.8 million in diamond exports.

Although the P20.43 billion exports recorded up to July include a marginal contribution from Firestone Diamonds' BK 11 Mine, the majority of exports are production from Debswana's three operational mines. Debswana produced 11.32 million carats in the first half of the year, up from 10.3 million in 2010 but revenues have been significantly higher due to firmer prices during the first half of the year. According to the De Beers interim results for the first six months of the year, a 33-percent rise in sales saw prices increase by 35 percent to reach unmatched levels on the back of robust demand in the US, China and India.

"This is the highest-ever sales figure recorded for the first half of the year, buoyed by continued retail demand from the Indian and Chinese consumer markets and stronger than expected demand in America., said De Beers about the results. However, the last five months of the year will less likely fetch revenues as high as the first half of the year as the diamond market is now cooling off with prices starting to soften.

Industry players say since the start of the third quarter, the prices of diamonds have softened - especially for certain type of diamonds - after more than a year of sharp increase,
The September DTC sale was slightly lower as buyers are looking for discounts due to the cooling off in the market.

Though rough diamond prices had risen approximately 40 percent in the first half of the year, they had dropped off by between 15 and 20 percent since the beginning of August due to uncertainty in international markets.

Most producers and retailers attribute the price jump in the first half of the year to a shortage of stones on the market, as well as high demand in China and India. Firestone officials said, during a eent meeting in Gaborone, that the company expects prices to stabilise towards the end of the year, while continuing shortage of the precious stones will limit any price drops in the interim.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Diamond industry in for a dull festive season this year

Diamonds may be forever, but the hardest known natural material seems to be losing its famed allure. The domestic industry, which in 2009 suffered its worst downturn, fears sales will decline 10-15 per cent in domestic as well as international markets this festive season.

The erosion of rupee value against the dollar and sluggish demand from key foreign markets are cited as the main reasons for declining sales. The overseas demand is low due to fears of a double-dip recession in the US and the sovereign debt crisis in Europe.

The dollar has gained almost 10 per cent against the rupee in the past two months. The rupee has fallen from Rs 44 a dollar in August to Rs 49, the sharpest fall since the Lehman Brothers crisis in early 2009. Also, the cost of dollar-quoted imported diamonds has risen due to an appreciation in the US currency, while low demand is prompting sellers to reduce prices of polished diamonds to recover investments.

The industry has witnessed a roller-coaster ride so far this year. Rough diamond prices have increased by 30 per cent in the past few months, hitting peak levels of about $230 per carat in September. This prompted diamantaires to raise prices of polished diamonds as well. “There is a dullness among diamond players. Global factors are hampering sales prospects. It is feared diamond sales may dip by at least 10 per cent this festive season, owing to uncertainty in the market,” said Champak Mehta, managing director of C Mahendra Exports.

“But there is no need to panic. We are not entering a recession, but the non-branded segment of jewellery and diamonds would face problems.”

The weak rupee, largely due to the high inflation in the domestic economy and debt worries of the euro zone and the US, also pushed up the cost of imported rough diamonds.

“There is uncertainty in the (diamond) market and this festive season may not be a fantastic one for diamond players. We cannot rule out the possibility of a decline in sales against that in last year, but those who have set aside a budget for diamond purchases would certainly buy diamonds. So, more or less, the demand would be there,” said Tehmasp Printer, managing director, IGI India.

According to the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), India exported polished diamonds worth Rs 11,047 crore in September 2010 and Rs 10,742 crore this August.

“So far, we have not received any cancellation of orders, but we are concerned about the slowdown in major economies. Exports of gems and jewellery may grow at 15-16 per cent to $48-49 million this financial year. We are also looking at new destinations like Latin America and African and CIS countries,” said Rajiv Jain, chairman, GJEPC. Industry experts are banking on retail buying to give some psychological boost to diamantaires. The industry hints at a rather flat growth for September sales of polished diamonds.

“The retailers are pretty geared up. During May-June, we witnessed good demand from domestic and international markets. For this festive season, we have executed initial orders and now, waiting for the repeat orders to come for Diwali and Christmas. The diamond industry would not show any ‘degrowth’, in spite of the current global uncertainties,” said Aagam Sanghavi, director of Sanghavi Exports.

About 35-40 per cent of initial sales till September is expected to generate repeat orders. He said exporters would not be affected because of currency fluctuations, as they kept inventories in dollars, which safeguarded them from a decline in the rupee. Meanwhile, the diamond industry in Surat, the world’s largest diamond polishing hub, is taking every decision cautiously.

“Diamond manufacturers, traders and importers are all scared of the current global financial situation. Most diamantaires have adopted a ‘wait-and-watch’ strategy till the markets show some signs of stability,” said Dinesh Navadia, president of the Surat Diamond Association. As a fallout of the market uncertainty and reduced demand prospects, diamantaires from Surat are considering to extend their Diwali vacation by a month from the usual 20 days. The extended vacation is believed to help diamantaires to reduce their losses from selling diamonds at lower rates in the absence of demand.

Monday, October 3, 2011

New agreement to catapult Botswana into global player

The agreement between the Botswana Government and De Beers specifying that the world’s biggest and oldest diamond company is moving its rough diamond sorting and trading division, better known as the Diamond Trading Company (DTC) from London to Gaborone, is one of the most important developments in the diamond industry in many years.

The agreement effective as of January 1, 2011, is the longest sales contract ever concluded between the two partners and is in the words of the Botswana Minister of Mines ”a major step in securing the future of Botswana’s economy”.

Described as a major achievement for not only Botswana, but also Africa, it is to be expected that not everyone will agree, especially those who are asking for and promising assistance to bring about a regime change in Botswana.

It would be no surprise if those same voices will put this agreement down as a calculated ploy by the “imperialists” and “neo-colonialists” to increase their stranglehold on Botswana to carry on stealing and plundering the continent’s natural riches.

It is however not the purpose of this article to try and second guess the most likely response of some firebrands and the uninformed but rather to get some insight in this development that can still have far-reaching consequences in more than one respect.

Strong relationship

Botswana is the world’s leading producer of diamonds. Its relationship with De Beers is strong and goes back many years. Forty-four years to be exact and it is easy to understand why.

Since geologists from De Beers discovered promising diamond deposits in Botswana in 1967 it grew into a major operation where Botswana today accounts for 67% of the total De Beers diamond output, which in turn constitutes 2% of global diamond output.

The decision to move the DTC from its London office to Gaborone by 2013 will bring to an end a 100-year tradition of sending Africa’s diamonds to London for further processing.

The DTC, which stores all De Beers' unpolished diamonds in its London vaults, will move its entire operation to Botswana and with it all De Beers' sales to sight-holders (buyers) which will in future take place in Gaborone instead of London.

In 2010 the value of these sales was $5.08 billion and the DTC made an operating profit of $478 million.

Long-cherished goal

The agreement signed between the Botswana Government and De Beers contains more than just the move of the DTC to Gaborone but is also set to make Botswana a leading seller of rough diamonds. It allows Botswana the right to an independent price and market verification system, overriding De Beers’ prerogative to determine the direction of diamond prices by stockpiling and regulating the sale of the precious stones.

For Botswana this is the culmination of a long-cherished goal.

Not satisfied with only remaining a producer of high-quality diamonds but eager to become a recognised global player in the lucrative diamond industry, the Botswana Minister of Mines said that the agreement and its consequences will enable Botswana to achieve its long-held aspirations to become a major diamond centre engaged in all aspects of the business and transform Gaborone into the Antwerp of Africa.

The agreement allows Debswana, the local diamond mining company in Botswana owned by De Beers and the Botswana Government in equal partnership, to increase its current 10% ownership of the annual Botswana diamond output to 15% over five years.

Under the agreement, diamonds produced by Debswana will be aggregated in Gaborone with those from De Beers’ other mines in South Africa, Namibia and Canada to be sold at regular auctions in Gaborone by DTC Botswana to De Beers’ clients.

Botswana expects the agreement to result in the value of its diamond trading topping $ 6 billion.

Socio-economic improvement

The Botswana Government’s vision is for the move from London to Gaborone to stimulate downstream activities and the establishment of a production chain from mining the most precious stones through the cutting and polishing process to the final most exquisite jewellery products.

For this purpose the groundwork has already been done with the development of the impressive Diamond Technology Park in Gaborone which, in response to the agreement, embarked on an expansion drive to accommodate the expected rising demand for office space.

The Botswana Government expressed confidence that growing unemployment can be restricted by new jobs that will be created and the revenue released will allow government to develop the socio-economic situation in Botswana and help to empower the country’s citizens.

Vitally important

The success of this arrangement with De Beers is vital for Botswana’s future. The country remains highly dependent on diamond mining with about 80% of export earnings, 40% of government revenue, and approximately one-third of gross domestic product (GDP) coming from diamonds. Botswana’s diamond mineswill not last for ever and developing related industries is important to ensure that Botswana has a lasting diamond industry to supply an alternative revenue stream in the long run.

Botswana has been working towards this agreement for a long time and now that it has been signed after long and extensive negotiations, it is up to the relevant Botswana authorities to prove that it is capable of competing globally in a highly competitive and closely guarded industry.

Rockwell Diamonds Strengthens Board Of Directors

VANCOUVER, Oct. 3, 2011 -- /PRNewswire/ - Rockwell Diamonds Inc. ("Rockwell Diamonds" or the "Company") (TSX: RDI) (JSE: RDI) (OTCBB: RDIAF) is pleased to announce that it has strengthened its board of directors with the appointment of a new non-executive director as well as a new chairman.

David Copeland has stepped down as Chairman, but will remain on the board as a non-executive director. The Company is delighted that he will continue to contribute to strategic matters while actively supporting the new Chairman.
Dr Mark Bristow has been appointed as non-executive Chairman with effect from September 9, 2011. Mark was Acting CEO of Rockwell for six months to May 2011 during which he initiated the strategic review early in 2011 which led to initiatives to improve the production profile and enhance efficiencies. He is well positioned to guide the Company as it delivers on its growth strategy.
Johan van'T Hof has joined the board of Rockwell as an independent non-executive director and will be appointed to the audit committee. Based in Canada, Johan is a C.A. and holds an MBA. He has wide ranging experience in the listed company environment including regulatory affairs, financings, mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance.

These changes to the board are in line with the ongoing operational and strategic repositioning of the Company, ensuring that it has a board and management team with the appropriate and committed skills to optimize its performance and to unlock its inherent value for shareholders.

"We welcome Johan to the board and look forward to a long and productive engagement with him. The additional technical and financial skills which he brings will benefit the Company as it progresses with its growth strategy," explains Mark Bristow, Chairman, Rockwell Diamonds. "We also express our sincere gratitude to David for his loyal commitment and wise counsel during his five year tenure as Chairman. With the changes that have been implemented, Rockwell's board has a good balance with its South African based knowledge and experience being complemented by global focus of our international directors."

No regulatory authority has approved or disapproved the information contained in this news release.

SOURCE Rockwell Diamonds Inc.

Elizabeth Hurley shows off her HUGE engagement ring after accepting Shane Warne's proposal Read more:

It was reported last night that Shane Warne had asked Elizabeth Hurley to marry him.

And today the glamorous mother-of-one showed off her new engagement ring after accepting the Australian cricketer's proposal.

Posing together with Hurley's son Damien at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship this afternoon, the pair looked happier than ever as Hurley proudly flashed her sapphire and diamond ring.

The stunning ring, which features a huge square sapphire and two diamonds on either side, looked right at home on Hurley's left hand.

The Estée Lauder model, 45, went for a casual look in a pair of navy jogging bottoms, jumper and scarf as she took to the golf course with Warne, who opted for a baby blue jumper and beige trousers.

Damien, nine, clutched on to his mother's arm as he posed up for a photo with Hurley and Warne, who will soon be his stepfather.

Warne is believed to have proposed in a restaurant at the exclusive Old Course Hotel in St Andrews following a romantic meal.

Warne, 42, made the declaration in front of stunned VIP guests in the hotel’s fine dining Road Hole Restaurant, sources said.

The source said: ‘Shane proposed over dinner and it was fairly public, not a private affair.

'It was a VIP crowd in there this evening. It was residents only, including Dunhill past players.

‘He didn’t get down on one knee, but when it was announced the other guests in the restaurant stood up and applauded.

‘Everyone there was absolutely delighted.’

A spokesman for the Scottish hotel said they were unable to comment on the news.

Speculation has been rife Warne was planning to propose to the 45-year-old model and mother-of-one. They have been dating for only ten months.

Warne was divorced in 2006 after ten years of marriage to wife Simone. Hurley divorced textiles heir Arun Nayar in June.

Talk of the proposal swept St Andrews last night.

The Old Course Hotel has 144 lavish bedrooms and suites, many of them designed by top French designer Jacques Garcia.

Popular with celebrities who visit St Andrews, the hotel boasts on its website that its rooms have ‘picture postcard views’ of the course.

Both avid Twitter users, Mr Warne’s last tweet to Miss Hurley before asking for her hand read: ‘Let’s play the Dunhill together next year - you up for it?

‘You swing great & have nice rhythm – with a super short game! X’

A spokesman for the couple was unavailable today.

Warne has undergone a radical physical transformation in recent months though he has has denied going under the knife He says his youthful look is down to love and his smoother skin is thanks to the help of Hurley.