Monthly Archives: July 2014

THIS DIAMOND MINE IN RUSSIA IS ENORMOUS-CHECK OUT THIS HUGE GALLERY OF PICS

Check out this amazing photo gallery

The now inactive Mirny mine was operated by Russian diamond-producer Alrosa, which late last month opened Russia’s largest diamond mine.

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Henry Sapiecha

pink diamonds line image www.worldwidediamonds.info

 

Blood diamonds still a problem from hell it seems

infographic-blood-diamonds-still-a-problem-from-hell image www.worldwidediamonds.info

More than ten years after the creation of The Kimberley Process, a certification scheme established to prevent illegally mined diamonds from filtering into the market and fuel armed conflicts, the problem is far from being over.

Only last week, Cameroon and Chad agreed to tighten border security to halt the illegal flow of these so-called “conflict” or “blood” diamonds, which are said to be sponsoring armed groups in neighbouring Central African Republic.

While Peter Meeus, Chairman of Dubai Diamond Exchange says diamonds are the most strictly checked raw materials in the world, there is a certain amount of illegally traded gems that make it into the market.

Henry Sapiecha

pink diamonds line image www.worldwidediamonds.info

Namibia advances plans of selling diamonds without De Beers

diamond polisher works on a gem in a diamond-polishing factory at NamCot Diamonds in Windhoek, Namibia.image www.worldwidediamonds.info

The government of Namibia confirmed Friday it is going ahead with its announced plans of setting up a company that will separately sell part of the diamonds mined by Namdeb Diamond Corp., the joint-venture it owns equally with Anglo American’s (LON:AAL) De Beers.

Speaking at the World Diamond Congress meeting last month, the country’s Minister of Mines and Energy Isak Katali said the idea is to give diamond dealers and manufacturers the opportunity to buy directly from locals, Rapaport reported.

The project follows the lead of neighbouring Botswana, which began trading 13% of the country’s gems in December, and it depends on a deal with De Beers.

Currently the precious rocks mined in Namibia by Namdeb, the 50-50 joint venture between the government and Anglo’s unit, are sent to De Beers sorting facilities in Botswana and mixed with other De Beers goods. After that, only 10% of the total sent is returned to Namibia, where they are sold through the Namibia Diamond Trading Company (NDTC).

Namibia is renowned for its gem quality placer diamonds that occur along the Orange River as well as onshore and offshore along its coastline.

Henry Sapiecha

pink diamonds line image www.worldwidediamonds.info

Alrosa opens Russia’s largest diamond mine

alrosa-opens-russias-largest-diamond-mine russia image www.worldwidediamonds.info

Russia-owned diamond miner Alrosa has began underground operations at its massive Udachny project in northeast Russia, expected to become the country’s largest diamond mine and one of the world’s biggest.

The Udachny (meaning “lucky”) mine, discovered in 1955, used to be an open-pit-only operation, but it is approaching the end of its mine life, by 2015. After that, Alrosa plans to begin commercial production from the beneath-the-surface kimberlite pipe, which is projected to generate over 5 million carats of diamonds per year.

Open-pit mining at the Udachny kimberlite pipe, one of Alrosa’s largest deposits, began in 1971, with the company obtaining about US$80 billion from the precious gems mined at the site throughout its operation.

Open-pit mining at the Udachny kimberlite pipe, one of Alrosa’s largest deposits, began in 1971, with the company obtaining about US$80 billion from the precious gems mined at the site throughout its operation.

The world’s No.1 diamond company by output said that underground mining will begin in parallel to the open-pit mine until next year, aiming to produce between 2.4 and 3 million tons of ore per year by 2016, and 4 million tons per year by 2019.

The city of Udachny, located in north Siberia, about 17 km from the Arctic Circle, has become one of Russia’s major diamond-mining centres.

Diamond giant

Aside from this mine, Alrosa also operates the International and Aikhal underground mines, with the designed capacity of 500 thousand tons of ore per year, and the Mir underground mine, which can reach 1 million tons of ore per year at full-tilt.

Currently the miner’s main processing facilities are in Western Yakutia and the Arkhangelsk region, as well as in Africa —in Angola and Botswana.

In total, the company is developing 22 deposits. In October 2013, the company held a successful IPO on the Moscow Stock Exchange, during the course of which 16% of the company’s shares were sold. This raised about $1.3 billion.

Henry Sapiecha

pink diamonds line image www.worldwidediamonds.info

Diamond mining industry recovers on climbing demand

white cut diamond on rocks image www.worldwidediamonds.info

Diamonds may be forever but their supply certainly isn’t, and that is the main reason why the main companies involved in the business are predicting a “perfect storm” triggered by rising demand and prices.

Until recently, falling commodity prices and rising costs prompted some of the world’s biggest miners, such as BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP), Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) and Anglo American (LON:AAL), to review their diamond business.

But diamonds have regained a place in their hearts, and in their balance sheets.

We expect the demand requirements to grow around 6% per annum for the course of the decade,” said Alan Davies, head of the diamond unit for Rio Tinto, the world’s third-largest diamond producer, according to The WSJ.com. “And when you look at the supply response there hasn’t been a major find brought on for a long time.”

The report adds that for Rio and Anglo American the diamond business is the one delivering some of the healthiest returns these days.

Asia leads demand

De Beers, the world’s largest diamond miner by market value, said last month it expected global demand for polished gems to rise by up to 4.5% this year, boosted by the US market recovery and an ever growing appetite for these precious stones in China and India.

Several of the company’s latest decisions seem to signal De Beers —majority-owned by Anglo American— is also bracing for a rough diamond demand rush.  In January, the firm said it has not ruled out an expansion of its Victor diamond mine in Canada. In March, it revealed it was looking to tap into the new markets, landing later a new diamond exploration license in Angola, the world’s fourth largest producer of diamonds by value, and sixth by volume.

De Beers is not the only one tooting the industry’s own horn. World’s largest diamond producer Alrosa is also anticipating a big jump in gems prices due to both reduced production in the medium term and increasing demand.

Rough diamond prices have, in fact, climbed 3% over the last few months and Bain & Company and the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) predict prices for the gems will continue to increase until at least until 2018.

‘Blood diamond’ monitoring to retain focus on conflict-torn regions

blood-diamonds image www.worldwidediamonds.info

The newly elected president of the World Diamond Council, Edward Asscher, put a chill Tuesday on the movement to expand the scope of the Kimberley Process and so cover general human rights abuses, stating the trade body should focus exclusively  on diamonds proceeding from conflict zones.

Speaking at the Intercessional Meeting of the Kimberley Process In Shanghai, Asscher said he supported increasing the scope of a global monitoring of the trade in rough diamonds to counter all forms of organized violence, not only those associated with civil wars. However, he drew a line at “other social and humanitarian challenges”, saying this task should be left to other industry actors.

Currently the KP only addresses diamonds produced in areas controlled by rebel militias. It doesn’t take into consideration violence committed by governments.

Poster for campaign in France, highlighting the costs of conflict diamonds image www.worldwidediamonds.info

“The implementation of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme in 2003 saved many lives,” he said in his speech. “Its effectiveness inspired further confidence in our product, the diamond.”

KP only addresses diamonds produced in areas controlled by rebel militias. It doesn’t take into consideration violence committed by governments.

Henry Sapiecha

pink diamonds line image www.worldwidediamonds.info

Diamond deposits run out in Zimbabwe & massive layoffs expected

zimbabwe-as-diamond-deposits-image www.worldwidediamonds.info

Diamond mining firms operating in Zimbabwe’s Marange deposit are expected to cut around 400 jobs this week as it has become economically unviable for them to dig any deeper for the precious stones.

Chinese firms Anjin and Jinan are among the miners that have already ceased operations and will be shutting down mines

According to AllAfrica.com, Chinese firms Anjin and Jinan are among the miners that have already ceased operations and will be shutting down mines because Marange has run out of alluvial diamond deposits. These rocks are those close to the surface and so easily extractable through open cast mining.

Marange is the largest diamond discovery in generations image www.worldwidediamonds.info

Some experts believe that Marange above is the largest diamond discovery in generations but the find has been dogged by allegations of human rights abuses and corruption going right to the heart of Robert Mugabe’s government.

The news doesn’t come as a surprise. Late last year the country’s Mines Minister, Walter Chidhakwa, acknowledged the issue and warned the existing miners had neither the expertise nor the resources to search for new deposits underground the country’s current major diamond source.

Henry Sapiecha

pink diamonds line image www.worldwidediamonds.info