Thursday, May 30, 2013

Shortage of low-end rough diamonds sees prices rise 10-12%

Mining disruptions in South Africa have led to a huge scarcity of low-end rough diamonds in India, and this has resulted in a rise of 10-12 per cent in prices in the last two months. The segment hit the hardest is diamonds of size 10-50 cents, which saw robust consumer demand during the wedding season.

It is expected diamond prices would normalise in the lean season beginning June.

Mining at De Beer's Venetia mine in South Africa, the biggest in that country, saw disruptions early this year, owing to heavy rains followed by devastating floods at the mine site. Mining has been resumed, albeit at a moderate pace, and De Beers hopes operations at the mine would return to normal in the second half of this year, helping the company maintain production at least year's levels. Last year, the company produced four million carats of diamonds in South Africa. Of these, three million carats were mined at Venetia.

"Availability of rough diamonds between 10-50 cents was scarce in the last couple of months. Consequently, prices of both rough and polished diamonds in this segment rose five to six per cent in the last 15 days. Overall, prices of rough and polished diamonds have risen 10-12 per cent in the last two months," said Umesh Parekh, managing director of Kolkata-based Shree Ganesh Jewellery House.

After a staggering 57 per cent rise in import of rough diamonds in December 2012, imports fell sharply in the three subsequent months. However, in April, imports rose 18.48 per cent, as Indian jewellers rushed to bridge the deficit created by the robust demand. Despite a six per cent rise in overall rough diamond imports, jewellers were ready to pay premium to secure supply from independent buyers.

At 6.4 million carats, De Beers, which controls about 40 per cent of global rough diamond supplies, recorded a three per cent rise in rough diamond production in the quarter ended March. Varda Shine, executive vice-president of De Beers Global Sightholder Sales, had recently said this year, the company's rough diamond output would stand at last year's levels.

"Now, there is a shortage of rough diamonds. But looking at the lean season ahead, the shortage is unlikely to affect jewellers' business," said Mehul Choksi, managing director of Gitanjali Gems, one of India's largest branded jewellery manufacturers and retailers.

In the ongoing wedding season, overall jewellery sales rose 25-30 per cent. As the wedding season accounts for about half of jewellers' annual sales, business during this season points to their prospects during the rest of the year.

Choksi said the rising diamond prices compensated for the fall in gold prices, and this helped Gitanjali Gems keep jewellery prices unchanged.

Meanwhile, jewellers have refrained from fresh bookings, amid expectations of lean sales during the coming monsoon season. For the festival season, fresh orders are expected to start in July.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Biti Says Marange Diamond Miners Have Yet to Remit Revenue

Once again Zimbabwe's diamond mining companies in the Marange region have not remitted revenue to the nation's Treasury, according to the Minister of Finance,  Tendai Biti. Presenting his State of the Economy Report for April at his government offices,  Biti said revenue from the diamond mining companies would have financed voter registration for the upcoming presidential election in Zimbabwe.

"There are no receipts on diamonds since January. The revenue from the diamonds could have gone a long way in sponsoring the elections," said Biti.
By his estimate, Biti said that at least $113 million was required to fund the elections; and  despite the non-remittance of revenue from the country's diamond resources, the minister was confident that funding would be found for the elections.

"We expect the UN to assist and we have written to SADC and to individual countries such as South Africa and Angola for financial assistance. We have no doubt that we will be able to secure the funds. People want to assist Zimbabwe as we have shown what we can do during the referendum and voter registration exercise," Biti said.
Zimbabwe's Treasury secured $25 million for voter registration, following the signing of the new Constitution this past week.
"Government is going to publish how the process is going to pan out. Every ward will have a mobile voter registration center and every school should have the voters' roll for inspection. This funding will cover voter education, information and publicity under the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), police work in ensuring peace and stability and the actual work of voter registration. What we are now left with is to secure the remaining funds to cover elections," Biti said.
A date has not been set yet for the election, to which Biti called for  urgent implementation of all  outstanding reforms in order to ensure free and fair elections once a date is set.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Lazare Kaplan Commemorates 110th Anniversary by 'Giving Back'

Lazare Kaplan International Inc.  will celebrate its 110th anniversary this year by making charitable donations to multiple industry organizations. Lazare Kaplan will kick off its “Hearts for Hope” charitable donation campaign during the Luxury/JCK shows, May 28 to June 3, in Las Vegas. A custom-made heart pendant, featuring a Lazare Diamond laser-inscribed with “Hearts for Hope,”  was designed specifically for this charitable donation campaigndiamond pendant.
For every pendant sold during the show, a donation of $110 will be given to both Jewelers for Children (JFC) and The Lazare Ongoma Initiative (LOI).

Lazare Kaplan created LOI  in 2012 to raise awareness for a number of important causes in Africa, one of which is to improve and enhance every child’s educational experience in Namibia – one of the world’s largest gem diamond producing nations. Ongoma, meaning “drum” in an African language, is an instrument that is created to make sound and Lazare Kaplan designed the initiative to ''make noise'' about the LOI mission.
In addition, Lazare Kaplan will continue to donate to the LOI, which is tied with The Lazare Diamond Incentive program whereby  each sales associate’s reward will be matched as a donation to the Five Rand Primary School in Okahandja, Namibia.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Russian diamonds make it to Sotheby’s

Russia’s diamond company Alrosa will now sell its precious gems at Sotheby’s auctions. The two companies have signed a memorandum of cooperation, a statement released on Alrosa’s official web page on Monday says.
 RIA Novosti / Vladimir Astapkovich
The auction house will also provide marketing support to Alrosa, the report states.
Russian media in mid-March reported that the diamond company planned to sign this document, when it came to light Alrosa had held a trial sale and gained $500 thousand for two diamonds.
In early April an expert subcommittee of Russia’s State Precious Metals and Gems Repository blocked the sale of a Russian diamond weighing 47.48 carats at Sotheby's. The Repository recognized the stone to be unique and taking such gems outside Russia is banned by law. Alrosa tried to appeal the ban, stating the gem it was produced from was never recognized as unique but the Repository declined the appeal.
Alrosa sells diamonds wholesale and retail. Before teaming up with Sotheby's the company sold the gems on their own or participated in auctions. It also has a number of private customers from the US, Belgium, Israel, Hong Kong and India.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Petra Sells Blue Rough Diamond for $17M

Petra Diamonds sold an exceptional 25.50 carat blue diamond that was recovered from its Cullinan mine in South Africa in April for $16,910,180 or $663,144 per caratblue diamond.Johan Dippenaar, the CEO of Petra, said, “We are delighted to have concluded such a successful sales process for this important blue diamond. The process was highly competitive in terms of bids received, due to the incredible rarity of a blue stone of such size and quality. This result further serves to highlight the Cullinan mine’s unique position as the world’s most important source of blue diamonds.”

Rio Tinto Now Selling Diamonds At Auction, As Well

 diamond mine
Mining giant Rio Tinto announced that it will now offer a second mechanism for purchasing the rough diamonds that it extracts from the Diavik mine in northern Canada, according to Diamond World: public auctions. Until now, Rio only sold the diamonds it mines in Diavik to a specific select group of diamond buyers, and these will still account for the majority of Rio diamonds purchased. But the newly introduced electronic sales platform will allow for a longer list of diamond companies to get access to the stones.
The new sales system has already been used once successfully, in April. There was no word as to whether the new option will apply to the diamonds that Rio produces from its other holdings: the Murowa mine in Zimbabwe and the Argyle mine in Australia.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Gold Prices Beat Out Property Boom

Investing in property is meant to be the Australian layman’s way to turn a little bit of money into a lot of money. This month, a Sydney harbour-front mansion often vacationed in by Bono sold for $54 million to an anonymous Chinese businessman - a $26 million dollar improvement on what it was bought for back in 2002. But what if this property investor had instead chosen to play the commodity markets instead of eventually selling to a wealthy buyer? Mike Cohen from The Gold Company does the math so you don’t have to.

In 2002, the average gold price was $$554.55 in Australian dollars. Nowadays, the price is sitting around AU$1420. 

If the owner of this mansion had decided to invest in gold instead of property back in 2002, he would have been able to purchase 50,4266.66 ounce of gold. Just for reference, that’s a lot of gold, and particularly compared with today’s commodity market, an absolute investment bargain.

So how much would that initial investment be today? If he chose to sell gold at today’s prices of $1420 an ounce, it'd be worth $71,704238.0523 whereas the house only sold for a comparatively measly $54 million. When looked at this way, gold has outlasted property - even through the recession - as a dizzyingly good investment.

“Gold is a controversial commodity as both a form of money and as an investment because it is not subject to the same forces that cause stocks to rise and fall. However, as you can see from this easy comparison, maybe it’s time Australians reconsidered the safest way to make money in this uncertain economy.” says Mike Cohen.

The property market has long been held up as the sure-fire way for average Australians to make huge returns. However, perhaps learning to buy and sell gold wisely could be the key today’s investors need to change their fortunes.

While gold has been through a sudden price drop recently and a few people are rushing to sell gold in case they lose out, historically, gold has been a safe investment and even a form of money that holds its purchasing power against inflation. As seen in this case of the Sydney mansion, a smarter financial choice back in 2002 would have been to take a chance on the commodity market instead of the property market and reaped the benefits only 11 years later to the tune of $17 million.

This holds true even today. If people want to take control of their finances and look for a safer way to invest their money, learning to sell gold is a sure bet.

Media contact:
Dan Novick   
Phone: 02 9020 5150 

Buying Diamonds Online: Don’t Be Taken Advantage Of

Let’s face it: everything you buy today in store is also available online, and often for far cheaper. While some thought it was a fad at first, Internet shopping is here to stay. These days, if you were looking at a pair of runners, you would be silly not to look at the online offers first!

At the DCLA laboratory, we are asked everyday, “How does this work with diamonds and diamond jewellery?”

Read more: DCLA

Monday, May 20, 2013

Rockwell Confirms Positive Results From Wouterspan Assessment

Rockwell Diamonds Inc. updated its preliminary economic assessment on its Wouterspan alluvial diamond property, which is  located on the opposite side of the Orange River from its Saxendrift diamond mine in South Africa. The assessment resulted in positive enough economics to take the project through a detailed design stage.

The economic model yielded an internal rate of return of between 45 percent and 70 percent. The net present value for the base case was $91.71 million at a 15 percent discount rate, yielding a project payback period of 2.3 years from the start of construction or approximately 1.3 years from commencement of diamond production, according to Rockwell. The project is most sensitive to revenue with a 5 percent variance in the total revenue over a 10 year life of mine, impacting the net value by 15 percent. The operation is expected to employ 300 people.
''Completion of this study on Wouterspan is a critical milestone in Rockwell's strategy to unlock the growth potential of its Middle Orange River projects. The property was successfully mined in the past using pan plants. We now have access to more efficient fit for purpose technologies such as the bulk X-ray system that we have incorporated into the new plant design,'' said James Campbell, the CEO of Rockwell Diamonds.
''The study's results are based on what we are achieving in other areas of our operations. The project capital is expected to be some $42 million, including a 25 percent contingency, with the potential to come in substantially lower. The team that conducted the Wouterspan study was instrumental in more than halving the eventual capital budget required to recently bringing on stream a new kimberlite mine in Botswana, compared to initial estimates.''


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sotheby's Sets Record For Fancy Yellow Diamonds

Auctioneers Sotheby's set two new world records last week at its Magnificent and Noble Jewels Sale in Geneva, Diamond World reports: the highest price paid for a fancy yellow diamond - $2.9 million – and the highest per-carat price paid for a fancy yellow diamond – approximately $39,000. The stone in question, a 74.53-carat cushion-shaped SI1 clarity polished diamond, used to belong to the Persian Shah Ahmed Qajar.

Other standout sales at the Geneva auction of over 600 lots, which netted $78.2 million in total sales, included jewelry that used to belong to famed Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida. Among the $4.9 million worth of Lollobrigida's jewelry sold at auction was a pair of natural pearl and diamond earrings. The $2.37 million paid for the earrings carved out another auction record, eclipsing the Bulgari pearl and diamond earrings owned by American actresss Elizabeth Taylor, which were purchased for $1.98 million two years ago, according to IDEX Online.
The most expensive single item to sell at the auction was a 28.9-carat D-color cushion-modified brilliant cut internally flawless diamond ring, which netted $4.4 million.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

$26.7 Million for 101.73 Winston Legacy

The record breaking price achieved at Christie’s in Geneva for the D flawless pear shape which sold for $254,400 per carat,  $26.7 million total.

Source: DCLA

Belgium's April Polished Exports +23%

Belgium's April polished diamond exports grew 23 percent year on year to $1.157 billion in April, according to the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC). By volume, polished exports fell 9 percent to 533,128.25 carats as the average price of the goods grew 36 percent to $2,170.60 per carat.

Belgium's polished imports rose 8 percent to $1.009 billion. Net polished exports, representing the excess of exports over imports, rose to $147 million during the monoth, compared to $11.5 million one year ago.

Rough imports increased 38 percent to 1.422 billion and rough exports grew 28 percent to $1.528 billion. Belgium's net rough imports, representing rough imports less exports, was in deficit by $105 million compared with a deficit of $167 million in April 2012.

Belgium's net diamond account for April, reflecting total rough and polished exports less total imports, rose to 42 percent to $253 million.

For the first four months of the year, Belgium's polished exports was flat at $4.506 billion and polished imports fell 9 percent to $ 4.227 billion. The country's net polished exports rose to $278.66 million during the period, compared to a deficit of $129.17 million the previous year.

Rough imports rose by 8 percent to $4.877 billion and exports rose 6 percent to $5.111 billion, leaving net imports in a deficit of $234 million. Belgium's net diamond account for the first four months tripled to $512.79 million.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Pangolin Diamonds Discovers Its First Kimberlite in Botswana

Pangolin Diamonds Corp.  the "Company" or "Pangolin" is pleased to announce it has discovered its first kimberlite at its 100% owned Tsabong North Project in Botswana. Core logging identified crater facies sediments and underlying reworked volcaniclastic kimberlite ("RVK") breccias in drill hole "Magi-01/1".
 Pangolin Diamonds Corp.
Representative rock samples were submitted for independent whole rock analysis to Activation Laboratories Ltd., in Ancaster (Ontario). The results assisted in discriminating between the kimberlite crater facies sediments and the overlying Kalahari Formation. Crater facies sediments are present from a depth of 33.5 meters to 58.8 meters below which RVK breccia occurs to 76.3 meters. The crater facies sediments and RVK breccias intersected are consistent with the equivalent lithological units observed in the core of drill hole M1/50 from the M1 Kimberlite in the Tsabong Kimberlite Field which was drilled in 1981.
Dr Leon Daniels, B.Sc., Ph.D., Chairman of the Board of Pangolin, stated: "We are very pleased with Pangolin's success to date, as we have now graduated from an explorer to a discoverer and are determined to continue on this course."
The 45 mantle-derived indicator garnets, inclusive of some high pressure garnets previously announced on March 26, 2013, were liberated from a core sample in Magi-01/1 taken at a depth of 22 meters below the surface. A split of the available core will now be processed through a mini-Dense Media Separation Plant to recover any additional kimberlite indicator minerals, such as garnets, and/or macro diamonds from the kimberlite intersected section.
Based on these positive results, two additional diamond drill holes intersecting at least 100 meters of kimberlite will be drilled on the Magi-01 kimberlite for kimberlite indicator mineral and microdiamond recovery. The Company has also elevated additional previously identified kimberlite targets in the project area to targets of high immediate interest with similar magnetic signatures to Magi-01/1.
The photos in the link below compare the various kimberlite crater facies sediments (A1, A2) and RVK breccias (B1, B2) from Pangolin's core drill hole Magi-01/1 (to the left) versus those from drill hole M1/50 from the M1 Kimberlite Pipe.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Zimbabwe Discovers More Diamonds in Bikita

Zimbabwe has officially discovered diamonds in Gutu.

The Government of Zimbabwe is preparing to issue a diamond mining license to a Chinese company Nan Jiang Africa Resources once the company categorically puts in writing its willingness to cede at least 51% of the shareholding to Zimbabweans. Such a policy falls in sync with the prevailing country’s indigenisation and empowerment laws as spearheaded by Minister Saviour Kasukuwere.
Nan Jiang Africa Resources, believed to be a consortium of Chinese and Zimababwean businessmen, recently applied for a licence to start diamond mining in Bikita. The application followed the discovery of four kimberlite pipes in the Devuli Ranch in Budzi communal lands. The area where the diamonds were discovered lies on the border with Manicaland which is home to the Chiadzwa diamond fields.
Speaking on the sidelines of a national mineral policy stakeholders’ meeting in Masvingo, Deputy Mines and Mining Development Minister Gift Chimanikire confirmed that Nan Jiang Africa Resources had formally applied for a diamond mining licence. He further confirmed that the Government was currently considering the application.
The said Minister also reiterated that the prospective company had already been warned of the need to fully comply with the country’s indigenisation and empowerment laws for them to get a licence to operate. Without such willingness to adhere with the indigenous laws, then nothing would be realized.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Banks might tighten loans to jewellery sector

Owing to Winsome group default, lenders could seek higher collateral and margins,
With the Winsome group (erstwhile Su-Raj Diamonds) defaulting on its loan, gems and jewellery companies might face hurdles in securing loans, as banks might now seek more collateral, as well as higher margins.

Senior bankers said the loan-to-value ratio might be made more stringent. For instance, if loan credit was given up to 60 per cent of the value of collateral earlier, now it would be for only 50 per cent.

A Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council official said banks had become more careful in issuing fresh standby letters of credit. After a sharp rise in defaults during the global financial crisis of 2008-09, banks had taken a cautious approach to financing units in the sector. Bank loans to the sector grew from Rs 27,477 crore in March 2008 to Rs 67,024 crore at the end of March 2013. Gross non-performing assets rose from Rs 270 crore in March 2008 to Rs 2,750 crore.

Winsome had delayed servicing its maturing letter of credit obligations by about a month, owing to the company’s weakening liquidity position due to a sudden stretch in receivables. Rating agency CRISIL had downgraded the company and some group entities to ‘D’, following the default in repayments. The company is already in talks with lenders to restructure its loans.

Compared to jewellery exporters, diamond exporters could face a bigger hurdle. As they export loose diamonds to traders abroad, these traders remain unidentified. But jewellery exports are mostly sold to retailers, which makes it easier to assure banks.

“We may take a 20 per cent higher margin against the collateral in the case of loans for jewellery exports. Banks have also become very cautious while giving out loans to diamond traders,” said a senior State Bank of India official.

Bankers and jewellery exporters expect the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to increase the margins on gold holding, as well the amount of collateral against which the loan is taken. Rajiv Popley, director of jewellery retailer and exporter Popley Group, said banks would highlight gems and jewellery traders and seek more collateral. Earlier, too, banks were wary of lending to diamond traders; now, with RBI considering tightening the norms, it would become very difficult for these traders to avail of loans.

Currently, diamond sales are stagnant, owing to the economic instability in the US and Europe, major diamond-importing regions.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Valuers put to the test to see if they could tell the difference between synthetic and natural diamonds failed with valuations varying by thousands.

Synthetic diamonds are sometimes referred to as laboratory-created diamonds, laboratory-grown diamonds, or cultured diamonds, and are manufactured diamond crystals produced by man, not nature.

Synthetic diamond can be optically and chemically identical to natural diamond.
Gem-quality synthetic diamonds are predominantly cubic and octahedral in the rough form. Impurities are common, but as the technology has progressed so the rough diamond crystals have improved. A diamond's hardness can vary depending on its impurities and crystalline structure.

DCLA does not certify synthetic diamonds, but laboratories that do opt to certify synthetic diamonds must clearly state on the certificate that the diamond is a laboratory-created, synthetic diamond.


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Blue Nile Posts 17% Rise in Sales in Q1

An almost 20-percent jump in engagement jewelry sales in the United States and robust growth in American and overseas sales helped push online net sales at diamond and jewelry retailer, up 17 percent to $97.1 million in the first quarter.
 Net income for the quarter was $832,000, up substantially from $154,000 in the first quarter of last year.
 “We are pleased to announce significant revenue growth along with expanding profitability in the first quarter of 2013,” said Harvey Kanter, Blue Nile president and CEO. “Clearly our value proposition continues to resonate with consumers, both in the U.S. and internationally.”
 Net sales of US engagement jewelry rose 19 percent to $55.3 million, while non-engagement jewelry net sales climbed 7.4 percent to $24.2 million.
 The firm’s foreign net sales soared 24.8 percent to $17.6 million, and when stripping out the impact of foreign exchange rates, overseas net sales were 25.9 percent higher.
 Gross profit was $17.6 million. Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the quarter were $40.5 million.
 Looking ahead, Blue Nile expects second quarter net sales of $100 million to $105 million.
 For the fiscal year 2013 ending December 29, Blue Nile said net sales are seen at $440 million to $470 million.


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Police arrest 17 over $50 million Brussels diamond heist

Police have detained 17 people over the heist of $50 million in diamonds in February - one of the biggest jewelry robberies in history - after coordinated raids in Belgium, France and Switzerland, Belgian prosecutors said on Wednesday.

More than 300 police were involved in the Belgian operations near Brussels which led to 10 people being detained, a spokesman for the Brussels prosecutor said. One suspect was held in France and the rest in Switzerland.
Heavily armed and dressed as police, the robbers stole 120 parcels of diamonds from the runway of Brussels airport without firing a shot. The suspect detained in France was believed to be a member of the gang of eight who carried out the heist.
"It's the only person that we can say at this stage that could have participated in the events on the tarmac," said Jean-Marc Meilleur, the prosecutor's spokesman.
"As for the others, we still need to investigate to find out whether they are intermediaries or if they are people who participated directly."
Belgian authorities have asked for the French suspect to be extradited.
Initially 24 people were rounded up in the Belgian raids, all aged between 30 and 35 years old, and late on Wednesday a Brussels judge decided to keep 10 of them in custody, the prosecution spokesman said.
Under Belgian law, a judge must decide within 24 hours whether to release a person.
Police in Geneva said they had questioned eight people after raids there and had subsequently released six of them, leaving two under investigation. Those figures differed slightly from the details provided by Belgian authorities.
Among those seized in Geneva were a businessman and a lawyer, while around 100,000 Swiss Francs ($106,200) in cash and a number of diamonds were recovered, the police there said. In Belgium, the raids recovered cash and luxury cars, the prosecutor's spokesman said.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Okavango to Hold First Diamond Auction in June

The Okavango Diamond Company will hold a pilot sale of rough diamonds on June ‎‎26. The sale is intended to test the company’s systems before ‎it launches full, regular auctions in September.‎

Okavango will invite 50 companies to view the goods in Gaborone’s Diamond ‎Technology Park before taking part in the live auction test. Among those invited will ‎include all the companies with diamond manufacturing license in Botswana. Jacob ‎Thamage, Okavango’s chairman, told Rapaport News that participating companies were ‎chosen to represent all manufacturing centers so that Okavango can receive ‎diverse feedback from all sectors of the market. ‎

‎“The pilot sale represents an important final step in Okavango’s establishment,” said Toby ‎Frears, Okavango’s managing director. “It will help us ensure that our systems are ‎efficient and robust ahead of our full sales launch and underlines our commitment to ‎delivering a customer focused sales model.” ‎

Thamage explained that the company has developed an online auction system that ‎draws from industry trends and best practices. ‎

State-owned Okavango Diamond Company was established in 2011 to introduce rough ‎diamond sales in Botswana independent of De Beers. The company is entitled to 12 ‎percent of Debswana’s production in 2013, which will increase by 1 percent each year ‎until the allocation stabilizes at 15 percent in 2016. Debswana is a joint venture between ‎the Botswana government and De Beers.‎

Thamage said the company has not taken its full allocation for the pilot auction and that ‎only a small amount of goods will be available.  ‎

When full sales commence in September, the auctions will be open to broad participation ‎from local and international diamond companies that will be able to gain access to the ‎full range of Debswana’s diamonds at market-determined prices, the company ‎explained. ‎

Frears explained that the sales model has been designed to care for both short term and ‎long term supply needs. He added that the company intends to introduce fixed term ‎supply contracts in its next phase of development, with those details expected to be ‎finalized in early 2014.

Registration information  for the September auctions will be published in the coming ‎weeks.‎

Monday, May 6, 2013

Sarin's 1Q Revenue +3%, Profit +4%

Sarin Technologies Ltd. reported that its revenue rose 2.5 percent year on year to $20.2 million in the first quarter that ended on March 31. The firm's profit increased 3.8 percent to $8.1 million. Gross profit margin rose slightly to 72 percent. The company observed improving  business sentiment across the diamond industry and found that diamond manufacturers accelerated their technology investments  during the quarter.
Sarin stated that sales of its Galaxy-related product family were robust with recurring revenue up by 50 percent year on year. Sarin delivered nine Galaxy systems in the period and now services a base of 105 systems worldwide. Following the commercial launches of DiaExpert Atom and the Sarine Light, the group will launch Galaxy Ultra in the second quarter and Sarine Loupe later in 2013.
“The group will capitalize on the prevailing favorable conditions to increase the pace of Galaxy family systems deliveries in second quarter and throughout 2013. In fact, the orders that we have received thus far in second quarter have already almost equaled those delivered in first quarter,” said Uzi Levami, the CEO of Sarin. “We will also take advantage of Sarin’s market dominance in rough planning products to create additional entry barrier to any would-be automated inclusion mapping competitor.”


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Lucapa Discovers Eight Kimberlite Targets at Lulo in Angola

Lucapa Diamond Company has discovered eight new kimberlite targets in a aeromagnetic survey currently taking place at its Lulo diamond concession in Angola’s diamondiferous Lunda Norte Province.
The company has received preliminary data from a survey over a 70 square-kilometer strip of the Lulo concession near to where Lucapa has recovered diamonds of up to 131.4 carats from its alluvial sampling operations.

This area has taken on added significance following confirmation in March this year that three of the biggest alluvial diamonds recovered from Lulo are Type IIa diamonds, the rarest and most valuable diamonds.

Initial examination of the data has identified an additional eight targets with magnetic signatures consistent with known kimberlites, the firm said.

The most significant, currently designated Se251, is a large magnetic feature located between Lucapa’s current camp and dense media separation (DMS) diamond plant site. From the preliminary data, Lucapa, which has started test work on the new target, said it is not possible to determine whether Se251 represents a single large kimberlite target or a number of closely spaced smaller targets which extend north of the DMS plant site.

Exploration work immediately north of the DMS plant site has located a kimberlite that is thought to be part of Se251.

It is being sampled and will be processed though the DMS plant in the coming weeks. Lucapa will fully evaluate Se251 when the final processed magnetic data becomes available.

While Se251 is a major target of immediate interest as a potential source of the alluvial diamonds recovered by Lucapa, the smaller Se252 identified from the preliminary survey data also lies close to a number of the alluvial bulk sample sites and is also considered a possible kimberlite source for alluvial diamonds.

The aeromagnetic survey over the north eastern part of the Lulo concession is expected to be completed next week.

Lulo is operated as a joint venture between Lucapa and the Angolan government via state-owned diamond company Endiama which is the exclusive concessionary for Angolan diamond mining rights.


Thursday, May 2, 2013

Botswana Diamonds granted exclusivity period extension

Aim-listed Botswana Diamonds has been granted an extension to an agreement, signed in February, providing it with a three-month exclusivity period to review data on 13 licence blocks in the Gope region, in the south-west of the Orapa region of Botswana.

In February, the diamond exploration company signed a memorandum of agreement with a private South African company, which held an 85% interest in the 13 licence blocks, to review the data and decide whether or not it wanted to acquire an equity interest in the licence areas.
The exclusivity period had now been extended to June 14.
Botswana Diamonds stated that its board was pleased with the results of its in-house evaluation. To confirm the findings, the company’s joint venture (JV) partner in the Orapa area would now apply its technology to the initial analyses.
The JV partner expected to make its findings available by the end of May.

“Our results, so far, are exciting, but diamond exploration is high-risk, so we have requested this extension to enable additional work to be undertaken by the multinational partner working with us in Orapa. Our partner is using its unique technology to evaluate and corroborate our findings,” Botswana Diamonds chairperson John Teeling commented in an update to shareholders on Thursday.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Paragon Diamonds set to shine

Paragon Diamonds has received a lift from specialist small-cap broker Fox-Davies, which repeated its ‘buy’ advice and gave a very punchy price target.
Analyst Peter Rose reckons Lesotho-focused Paragon is worth 30 pence a share – three-and-a-half times the current stock price.
His assessment was released after updated bulk sampling results from the group’s Lemphane kimberlite, which revealed the company has unearthed an 8.86-carat dodecahedron diamond, which has significant positive implications for the project.
So far, some 14,000 tonnes of material of a planned 35,000 have been processed, which has yielded over 200 carats with 31 diamonds over one carat.
Managing director of the junior diamond explorer, Stephen Grimmer, told investors: "The largest stone recovered to date helps to confirm our view of Lemphane as a large diamond producer; this single stone represents 5% of the total carats recovered so far.
"Importantly, over one third of all carats to date are in diamonds of one carat or greater.
"It clearly shows that, with increased sampling, further and larger diamonds should be forthcoming in-line with statistical projections.
"We also expect improvement in the grade as sampling increases - the recovery of a single large stone can have a disproportionately positive effect on the total carats, and thus on the grade, as has already been demonstrated."
Paragon has an 85% stake in Lemphane, which is one of three projects it is advancing in Lesotho.
The current sampling programme is aimed at providing a maiden resource at the site.
The discovery of the larger stone helps support the company’s thesis that Lemphane is a low grade, high value kimberlite. Certainly the results are in keeping with those from other pipes nearby.
Fox-Davies mining analyst Rose added: “We view the fact that such a relatively small sample gave such a large stone as very positive.
“There are a large proportion of plus-two carat stones, which is in keeping with diamond pipes in Lesotho.
“Whilst very positive, we await with interest the start of trial mining when a really meaningful tonnage will be treated that will give a much more representative sample.”