Monday, September 30, 2013

Gem Diamonds recovers rare blue diamond and 84 ct white diamond

A 12.47 ct blue diamond and an 83.8 ct white diamond have been recovered from the Letšeng mine, in Lesotho, London-listed Gem Diamonds said on Monday.
The rare blue diamond and the “exceptional quality” white diamond originated from the Main pipe and the Satellite pipe respectively.
"Letšeng continues to recover large, white, largely undamaged diamonds on a relatively consistent basis, as well as the occasional rare blue or pink diamond,” Gem Diamonds CEO Clifford Elphick commented.
The Letšeng mine was expected to continue delivering more exceptional diamonds as the group focused mining on the higher value and higher grade Satellite pipe for the remainder of the year.
The two diamonds were expected to “fetch good prices” at Letšeng's tenders, which are held in Antwerp, Belgium.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Diamcor Recovers 92 Carat Diamond

Diamcor recovered an octahedron, 91.65 carat gem quality diamond at the Krone-Endora, Venetia project. This is the first gem quality diamond over 10.8 carats recovered at the project.
Diamcor Logo
“We are very pleased with the recovery of a diamond of this size and quality, which again confirms the potential of the project to produce large quality diamonds”, said Dean Taylor, Diamcor's president and CEO. Taylor noted that the diamond's near perfect octahedron shape is extremely rare and not typically seen in diamonds of this size.

The company is currently assessing the diamond's color and quality through an independent expert.

Diamcor acquired the Krone-Endora at Venetia project from De Beers Consolidated Mines in February 2011.

The company further reported that it installed a final crushing circuit at the main plant to effectively increase the processing of larger size material. The company expects to advance the testing and processing of all material up to 45 millimeters in size in the near future.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

India dazzling in diamond capital

In the world’s diamond capital, the Belgian city of Antwerp, diamonds are more than a girl’s best friend. The sparklers drive the economy. As many as eight out of every 10 diamonds in world trade passes through Antwerp at least once; there are nearly 1,850 diamond dealers stashed within the Diamond Square Mile; a 500-metre street does annual diamond business worth €42 billion; of the 30 Diamond Exchanges around the world, four are in Antwerp, including the only one for rough diamonds. Diamonds love Antwerp, as the city’s famous tagline goes. 
 Diamond jewellery on display in Antwerp. - Preeti Verma Lal
Baugrand’s peacock came to the city several decades before the first Indians sailed into Antwerp at the behest of the ruler of a small village in Palanpur, Gujarat. Circa 1930s, the nawab sent his Jain administrators to buy diamonds from Antwerp for Indian and Nepalese royalty. The visits became more regular in the 1960s. By 1970s, there were 300 Indian families in Antwerp, almost all from Palanpur. The Hassidic Jews had a stranglehold on the large diamond business; the Indians created a new industry based on small, low-quality rough diamonds. Now, even the not-so-rich could afford a diamond. There are nearly 500 Indian families in Antwerp today, directly involved with diamond trade. In the past 20 years, the Indian share of Antwerp’s €26-billion a year diamond revenues has grown from a meagre 25 per cent to roughly 65 per cent, while the Jewish share has fallen from 70 per cent to approximately 25 per cent.
Step into the narrow, cobbled pathway of Hoveniers Straat, which has 300 close circuit cameras, and the first thing you notice is the Indian flag fluttering in the crisp Antwerpen air. Look up and there’s the board of Antwerp Indian Association. Founded in 1979, this cultural organisation helps Indians integrate into the Belgian community (cricket tournaments are popular). It’s no surprise here to come upon the hum of a Gujarati conversation, familiar surnames (Patel, Shah, Jawhrey) or a bunch of Indians huddled on the street sorting diamond trade plans. So important are the Indians to the lucrative diamond trade that the Belgian government has established special security arrangements for traders who are on the radar of Italian mafia.
Around the street have mushroomed several Indian landmarks. State Bank of India, ICICI Bank and Bank of India have Antwerp branches. There’s Bollywood Indian Restaurant and the Shanti Shop Indian supermarket. Not too far in the Jewish Quarters is Patel’s Cash & Carry. Travel India has set up shop exclusively for the Indian diamond traders.
To cement the Indian success further, HRD Antwerp Institute of Gemology has set up a diamond laboratory in Mumbai, where grading experts hunch over microscopes and laser machines to classify diamonds according to the 4 Cs: carat, cut, clarity, colour. An HRD Antwerp Diamond Certificate confirms authenticity; the laboratory is accredited with international standard NBN EN ISO/EC 17025.
“The share of Indians in Antwerp diamond trade is growing and they play an important role in the Antwerp Diamond Master Plan and the Diamond Project 2020,” says Caroline de Wolf, Manager Communications, Antwerp World Diamond Centre.
The history of diamond cutting in Antwerp dates back to the early 1500s. Here, each hour, diamonds worth $4.5 million are traded. Sniff hard and Antwerp just might smell of diamond. Indian diamonds!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Shares in Lucara Diamonds spike as 257 carat stone recovered

Shares in Lucara Diamond Corp. (TSE:LUC) were up 3 per cent in early trading Wednesday on news that the Vancouver-based miner had recovered a 257 carat diamond from its Karowe Mine in Botswana.
 In the year to date alone, the company, which has concentrated its efforts at the site over the past 6 months on the Centre and South lobes of the AK6 kimberlite, has reported the recovery of 47 diamonds of sizes greater than 50 carats, including 14 that exceeded 100 carats.
In the year to date alone, the company, which has concentrated its efforts at the site over the past 6 months on the Centre and South lobes of the AK6 kimberlite, has reported the recovery of 47 diamonds of sizes greater than 50 carats, including 14 that exceeded 100 carats. The diamond exploration and development company plans to sell the 257 carat stone on tender in the remaining quarter of 2013.
In addition to the excavation of the large diamond, Lucara also closed its sixth rough diamond tender for the year, where all lots were sold with very strong results, which are to be reported in the company’s third quarter results due for release in early November.
"The Karowe mine continues to outperform with the consistent recovery of large, high value diamonds,” said president and CEO William Lamb in a company statement released with the announcement.
“The recovery of this magnificent 257 carat diamond, along with the recovery of a significant parcel of larger stones over the past 6 months, strengthens our understanding of the resource at Karowe," he said, adding that revenues generated from the sale of these diamonds will be used to reduce debt and strengthen Lucara's balance sheet.
"With the challenges currently facing the rough diamond market, the demand for the high quality goods produced by Karowe has remained consistently high.”
Lucara's share price had reached $1.03 as of 9.45am EST in Toronto, up from previous close of $1.00.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Johnny Depp Drops $50,000 On Diamonds For Amber Heard!

Johnny Depp has shown his love and adoration for Amber Heard by buying her diamonds.

Depp surprised her with $50,000 Neil Lane diamond drop earrings."
Johnny Depp has shown his love and adoration for his main squeeze Amber Heard by showering her with a girl's best friend: diamonds!
A not so dead man telling tales spilled the deets about the pricey purchase, saying Depp "recently surprised her with $50,000 Neil Lane diamond drop earrings."
- See more at:
Johnny Depp has shown his love and adoration for his main squeeze Amber Heard by showering her with a girl's best friend: diamonds!
A not so dead man telling tales spilled the deets about the pricey purchase, saying Depp "recently surprised her with $50,000 Neil Lane diamond drop earrings."
- See more at:
Johnny Depp has shown his love and adoration for Amber Heard by buying her diamonds.
Depp surprised her with $50,000 Neil Lane diamond drop earrings."
Johnny Depp has shown his love and adoration for Amber Heard by buying her diamonds.
Depp surprised her with $50,000 Neil Lane diamond drop earrings."

Monday, September 23, 2013

Diamonds: Spare us the drama, Mr President!

President Robert Mugabe went a notch higher in a desperate attempt to rebrand himself when he used a luncheon after the official opening of Parliament to launch a seemingly spirited campaign against corruption.
Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation chairperson Godwills Masimirembwa was to be the sacrificial lamb in the latest laughable pretence against corruption.
At the luncheon last week, Mugabe – who has presided over one of the most corrupt governments in Africa – began a rebranding campaign as a true statesman who has a strong position against ills such as graft, avarice and corruption.
Ironically, his 33-tenure in office is replete with the most obnoxious examples of corrupt practices that he did absolutely nothing about before he suddenly found his voice last week after three and half decades in office.
Let us get down to the facts.
Some of Mugabe’s Cabinet Ministers, including a few he reappointed for the umpteenth time only last week, are on record as having stated that they were over 100 percent disabled as a ploy to loot the War Victims Compensation Fund.I do not want to get into the details of what was said by  the now Police Commissioner-General in terms of his war injuries when he got his loot from the Fund, which Fund was one of the many feeding troughs the Zanu PF elite has enjoyed over the  years.
This is the same Chihuri that Mugabe is now portraying as having been one of the innocent by-standers in the so-called diamond saga which is about to claim the latest scapegoat, Masimirembwa.
This is not to mention the Willowgate scandal. Despite having a so-called Leadership Code in place, Zanu PF chefs in the late 1980s abused a car loan facility and resold the vehicles for high profit. Mugabe never fired anyone for this vice, except one Maurice Nyagumbo who fired himself not only from government but also from this earth when he committed suicide in shame.
Are we now to believe that Mugabe has suddenly found his voice to speak on corruption that has been a major trait that has blighted his regime over the years? Is there a catch somewhere? Is he addressing legacy issues, so that history will at least say he did something about corruption, albeit in his twilight years?
But the sacrificial lamb, Masimirembwa, is a far much small player than the main characters we have known to be the big players in this corruption game. Zimbabweans know that top government officials became multiple farm owners after a supposedly successful land reform exercise meant to benefit the ordinary Zimbabwean, not to mention the number of farms Mugabe himself has personally acquired for his family.
We also still remember, by the way, the VIP Housing scheme and how it sucked in the first family, not to mention Obert Mpofu who Mugabe implied was an honest minister who was unaware of the many shenanigans surrounding the country’s diamonds, particularly in the Masimirembwa saga.
But this is the same Mpofu who, as Minister of Mines and with a monthly salary of about US$800, managed to buy a stake in a bank for around US$35 million.In a country with a leadership that is really serious about corruption, he would long have been investigated on how he managed to raise the millions with such a salary.
Tendai Biti, as Minister of Finance, and Morgan Tsvangirai, as the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, have had meetings with the President and Mpofu himself over the non-remittance of billions of diamond revenue to Treasury. Nothing was done.
But now the President is suddenly serious about the issue of corruption in the diamond industry as if he has just heard it for the first time. We are talking here of three Cabinet Ministers belonging to Mugabe’s political party, three ministers he recently reappointed.
Saviour Kasukuwere, Nicholas Goche and Mpofu were protected by the police who prevented the Anti- Corruption Commission from searching the three Ministers’ offices. If the three had nothing to hide, they ought to have allowed the Commission to execute its Constitutional mandate and absolve them of any crime.
Now the President wants to tell us that his government, particularly his party to which the three Ministers belong, is now serious about dealing with graft. Give us a break!
The simple truth is that Mugabe cannot lecture us on corruption which has been a major affliction of his party in government over the years. If he is to catch all the culprits involved in stealing diamonds, will there still be a Cabinet left, let alone a party called Zanu PF?
But there is a world of difference between Robert Mugabe and one Morgan Tsvangirai, who fired an entire council for corruption in Chitungwiza. The councillors were protected by Ignatious Chimbo, the Zanu PF Minister of Local Government who allowed them to stay but they were no longer MDC members.
It is a simple tale of two different leaders, qualitatively. Believing that Zanu PF is serious about fighting corruption is like entrusting mosquitoes to lead the anti-malaria crusade.
So please, spare us the drama, Mr President!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Kimberley Diamonds Acquires Mantle Diamonds

Kimberley Diamonds Ltd. is buying all of Mantle Diamonds Ltd. for almost 13.6 million new ordinary shares.

The deal will take place after it has carried out due diligence and a capital restructuring of Mantle Diamonds, the firms said.

Mantle Diamonds owns the Lerala diamond mine in eastern Botswana, which has five diamondiferous kimberlite pipes disovered by De Beers around 20 years ago with indicated resource estimates of around 3.1 million carats and probable reserves of almost 2.5 million carats.

Despite a considerable overhaul of the plant and equipment and the Lerala is ready to be recommissioned, Kimberley Diamonds said the operation requires engineering enhancements to increase recovery and cut operating costs. It hopes to recommence mining next year and has set an annual production target of 400,000 carats. Upgrades are estimated to have a cost of $10 million.

Kimberley Diamonds also aims to acquire Mantle's 34-percent stake in a joint venture with Firestone Diamonds at the Lahtojoki kimberlite project in Finland along with the Slave and Superior projects near the Ekati diamond mine in Canada's NorthWest Territories.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Use Your Phone To Weigh Diamonds!

 Use Your Phone To Weigh Diamonds!
As if your phone wasn’t multitasking enough already. Here’s a neat app that we recently came across (disclaimer: It’s been out for a few months) that claims to be able to weigh your jewellery using … wait for it… just your android or Apple smartphone!

See more: HERE

South Africa's Rockwell Diamonds sparkles after monster diamond finds

A South African diamond company saw its share price surge nearly 70 per cent this week, when it reported uncovering four large gems weighing more than 100 carats each.

Rockwell Diamonds a mid-tier miner, announced news of the discovery on Tuesday. By Thursday its shares on the Toronto stock exchange were worth 69 per cent more.

The four stones weighed between 116-carats and 168-carats. That means each stone weighs at least 23 grams -- roughly half the weight an egg.

Depending on quality the gems could be worth tens of millions of dollars each.

The stones -- two of which are of "exceptional" quality -- were found in the Middle Orange River of South Africa, a region known for its large and high quality gemstones.

"We have recovered four stones exceeding 100 carats in three weeks," Stephanie Leclercq, Rockwell investor relations executive in South Africa, told AFP.

"We generally expect to recover one or two of those stones in a year so that was quite material," she added.

The company is dual listed on the Johannesburg and Toronto stock exchanges.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Kimberley Diamonds to Acquire Mantle Diamonds

Kimberley Diamonds Ltd. agreed to acquire full equity in Mantle Diamonds Ltd. for almost 13.6 million new ordinary shares. The agreement is dependent upon its own due diligence and Mantle Diamonds' capital restructuring, according to the junior miners.
Mantle Diamonds owns the Lerala diamond mine,  situated 50 kilometers  west of the Martin’s Drift Border Post with South Africa in eastern Botswana. The mine hosts   five diamondiferous kimberlite pipes that were discovered by De Beers in the early 1990s. Indicated resource estimates were about 3.1 million carats and probable reserves were nearly 2.5 million carats.  mantle diamonds
Reportedly, Mantle and partner DiamonEx Ltd. undertook a substantial refurbishment of the plant and equipment, focusing on critical engineering modifications to optimize processing and security. Kimberley Diamonds stated that even though Lerala stands ready to be recommissioned, it requires engineering improvements that must  further enhance recovery and reduce operating costs since it hopes to restart mining in 2014 with a production target of 400,000 carats per year. Upgrades that will receive priority, subsequent to the completion of the transaction, are estimated to cost $10 million and include:
<> Purchasing a new diamond sorter to replace outdated technology and improve recovery;
<> Purchasing an optical waste sorter to improve the throughput capacity of the plant; and
<> Replacing the diesel power generators with a link to Botswana’s national power grid.
Once this transaction is completed,  Kimberley Diamonds expects to acquire Mantle's 34 percent stake in a joint venture with Firestone Diamonds at the diamondiferous Lahtojoki kimberlite project in Finland along with the Slave and Superior projects near the Ekati diamond mine in Canada.
Alex Alexander, Kimberley Diamonds' chairman, said, “The acquisition provides Kimberley Diamonds with a strong foundation for the company’s growth ambitions, including its objective to become a world class diamond producer – with multiple operating mines, supported by longer term life extension opportunities. We aim to consistently acquire projects with promising prospects at attractive valuations, with significant upside potential that can be realized quickly and cost effectively. Lerala has all of these qualities and represents an important incremental step in the company’s growth.”


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

European Union clears Marange diamonds

ZIMBABWE could soon be allowed to sell diamonds from Marange in Europe after sanctions on the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) were lifted.
The ZMDC holds a 50 percent stake in several mining operations in Marange on behalf of the Zimbabwe government, but the company had been blacklisted under European Union sanctions.
The European Union said Tuesday that the company would be removed from the sanctions, despite concerns over alleged fraud in a July election that kept President Robert Mugabe in power.
EU governments have carried out a review of the company’s inclusion in the EU sanctions list "and begun the process of delisting ZMDC," EU foreign affairs spokesman Michael Mann said.
The decision gives a boost to Mugabe, whose Zanu PF party calls EU sanctions illegal, and will allow the mining firm to sell its diamonds in Europe, potentially raising its revenues.
Belgium, centre of the global diamond trade, had pushed hard for the EU to lift sanctions on ZMDC, in line with an earlier agreement. Britain, Zimbabwe's former colonial power, had resisted the step so as not to be seen to be rewarding Mugabe.
The decision to take ZMDC off the sanctions list must be endorsed by EU foreign ministers. That is expected to be a formality and to happen quickly, an EU diplomat said.
Mugabe overwhelmingly won the July 31 vote but it was denounced as a "huge fraud" by his main rival, Morgan Tsvangirai. The EU expressed "serious concerns" over the alleged irregularities in the election but the African Union and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) said the election was free and credible.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Merlin Diamonds Recommissions Northern Territory Mine

Merlin Diamonds, formerly North Australian Diamonds, has recommenced production at its Merlin Diamond mine, which is located 100 kilometers south of Borroloola in Australia's Northern Territory. The mine had ceased production in 2003 after producing 507,000 carats. In 2002, Australia's largest diamond, a 104.73-carat stone that the company named the Gungulinya-Bunagina was recovered at the mine.

The company noted that the most recent parcel of diamonds from the mine was sold on the open market for $1.87 million in 2012.

The Merlin kimberlite field was first discovered by Ashton Mining in 1991. After periods of trial mining and feasibility studies, Rio Tinto acquired Ashton Mining and subsequently sold the mine to North Australian Diamonds Ltd. in 2004.

Since then, resource definition drilling and trial production indicated that the mine contains an estimated resource of 7.2 million carats, making it the second largest diamond reserve in Australia after Rio Tinto's Argyle diamond mine.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Rough diamond prices to rise till 2018

For small and medium diamantaires in world's biggest diamond cutting and polishing centre in Surat, there is little hope of recovery in the market until 2018.

Diamantaires in the world's diamond hub, who are facing severe liquidity crisis due to weak rupee and skyrocketing rough diamond prices, have received a setback after a report by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and the Bain and Company predicted major price increase for rough diamonds for the next five years till 2018.

The report states that the global rate of rough diamond production will rise by 4.8 per cent every year between now and 2018, at which point it will peak at 169 million carats per annum, worth approximately $19.6 billion.

Thereafter, however, global production will fall by 1.9 per cent per year, and five years after peak it will level off at 153 million carats, which will be worth about $18.4 billion.

Since January 2013, there has been nearly 10-15 per cent hike in rough diamond prices by diamond mining companies in the world. When the rough diamond reaches the secondary market, the small and medium diamanataires have to buy the stones paying premium of 4-5 per cent.

Industry sources said there is no profitability on polished diamonds due to weak rupee against the dollar, increased rough diamond prices and the 5-6 per cent decrease in the certified polished diamond prices since January 2013. However, most of the small and medium diamantaires have stopped buying rough diamonds.

As per Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council's ( GJEPC) figures, India imports $11 billion worth of rough diamonds. Around 85 per cent of the rough diamonds imported in the country is shipped to Surat for cutting and polishing and the rest are sent in other centres like Ahmedabad, Bhavnagar, Rajkot and Navsari in Gujarat.

Surat Diamond Association president Dinesh Navadia told TOI, "It is certainly very bad news for the diamond hub. The industry can no longer sustain the increased rough diamond prices. We fear that small diamantaires may perish in the long run."