Category Archives: Africa

Never-Before-Seen Mineral Discovered Inside a Diamond

The diamond acted as a carrier, keeping a piece of calcium silicate perovskite stable as it moved towards the Earth’s surface.

Calcium silicate perovskite (CaSiO3) is thought to be the fourth most abundant mineral on the planet, but until recently, it had never been observed in nature. Above about 400 miles beneath the Earth’s surface, this elusive mineral becomes unstable. But as Michelle Starr of Science Alert reports, researchers have found a piece of CaSiO3 that managed to make it close to the surface of the Earth, encased in a very small diamond.

The diamond sliver was discovered at South Africa’s Cullinan diamond mine, which is best known for yielding two of the largest diamonds in the British Crown Jewels. According to Brandon Specktor of Live Science, the piece of CaSiO3 was visible to the naked eye once the diamond was polished, but an international team of researchers collaborated on analyzing the precious stone with X-ray and spectroscopy tests. They published the results of this analysis in the journal Nature.

The diamond was discovered less than 0.6 miles below the Earth’s surface, but the researchers note in the study that it was in fact a “super-deep” diamond. Most of these sparkly stones originate between 93 and 124 miles below the Earth’s surface. The one containing the CaSiO3 likely formed at a depth of around 435 miles, where the pressure is approximately 240,000 times greater than the atmospheric pressure at sea level. When this extreme force formed the diamond, the CaSiO3 was trapped inside.

The mineral did not deform as the diamond moved towards the Earth’s surface because the diamond acted as “an unyielding container,” Graham Pearson, a mantle geochemist at the University of Alberta and a co-author of the study, explains in a statement.

Pearson also says that the findings of the new analysis suggest there may be “as much as zetta tonnes of this perovskite in deep Earth.” (Zetta is a unit prefix equal to a factor of 1021, or a one followed by 21 zeros.) Scientists have long known that CaSiO3 was plentiful, particularly in “slabs of oceanic crust that have plunged into the planet’s mantle at tectonic boundaries,” Specktor of Live Science writes. But since nobody has been able to keep the mineral stable at accessible depths, it has proven very difficult to study.

Researchers at the University of British Columbia are now working to learn more about the mineral’s age and origin. The recent find also yielded interesting information about the processes that shape Earth, offering strong evidence of a very deep “recycling” of oceanic crusts, as the authors of the study put it.

“The specific composition of the perovskite inclusion in this particular diamond very clearly indicates the recycling of oceanic crust into Earth’s lower mantle,” Pearson said in the statement. “It provides fundamental proof of what happens to the fate of oceanic plates as they descend into the depths of the Earth.”

Henry Sapiecha

Gem Diamonds shares ablaze as miner discovers 910-carat rough diamond

A RARE FIND OF A 910 CARAT ROUGH DIAMOND IN AFRICAN DIAMOND MINE

Shares in Africa-focused Gem Diamonds (LON:GEMD) skyrocketed Monday morning after the miner announced the recovery of what it qualified as the fifth biggest gem-quality diamond ever found.

The 910-carat, D colour, Type IIa rough diamond was unearthed at the firm’s flagship Letšeng mine in Lesotho. According to analysts at Liberum, it may fetch as much as $40 million, based on previous sales of large quality stones.

The company’s stock leaped more than 17% on the news by midday Monday, the biggest intraday gain since 2010, trading at 93 pence.

To date, Gem Diamonds has recovered ten 100-carat-plus stones from its Letšeng mining

operation  inLesotho, and five of the 20 largest white gem-quality rough diamonds ever
found.

 

Since acquiring Letšeng in 2006, Gem Diamonds has found now five of the 20 largest white gem quality diamonds ever recovered, which makes the mine the world’s highest dollar per carat kimberlite diamond undertaking.

Up to now the company has recovered ten 100-carat-plus stones at Letšeng. One of them, a 357-carat stone found in 2015, sold for $19.3 million.

“This eawesome top quality diamond is the largest to be mined to date and highlights the unsurpassed quality of the Letšeng mine,” em Diamonds’ chief executive officer, Clifford Elphick, said in the statement.

Previous to today’s announcement, the biggest diamond dug at that mine was the 603-carat called Lesotho Promise, found in 2006.

At an average mountainous elevation of 3,100 metres (10,000 feet) above sea level, Letšeng is also one of the world’s highest diamond mines.

The biggest diamond ever found was the 3,106-carat Cullinan, dug near Pretoria, South Africa, in 1905. It was later cut into several stones, including the First Star of Africa and the Second Star of Africa, which are part of Britain’s Crown Jewels held in the Tower of London. Lucara’s 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona was the second-biggest in record, while the 995-carat Excelsior and 969-carat Star of Sierra Leone were the third- and fourth-biggest.

Henry Sapiecha

www.www-gems.com

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Sierra Leone ‘Peace Diamond’ in the rough sold for less-than-expected

Still, the egg-sized, 709-carat rock fetched $6.5 million

Sierra Leone has sold one of the world’s largest diamonds ever found at an auction in New York on Monday, fetching a lower-than-expected price of $6.5 million

The egg-sized, 709-carat rough “Peace Diamond” is one of the largest ever discovered in the West African country and one of the world’s 20 biggest rough precious rocks ever found.

The egg-sized diamond was found in March in the country’s eastern Kono region by a Christian pastor who gave it to the government.The yellowish diamond is also one of the largest found in recent years at mines in southern Africa, closely behind Lucara Diamond’s (TSX:LUC) 1,111-carat rock discovered in Botswana in 2015.

It was sold to luxury jeweller Laurence Graff, chairman of Graff Diamonds, a British multinational jeweller based in London, said international diamond trading network Rapaport Group, which marketed and auctioned the stone for free.

As promised by the pastor who found the diamond and later donated it to Sierra Leone’s government, half of the proceeds from the auction will be used to fund infrastructure projects to benefit the community of the small village where it was discovered.

The country’s government will receive about $3.9 million of the final selling price as taxes, Rapaport said. Another $980,454 will enter a community development fund, while about $1 million will go to local diggers in the West African nation’s Kono district.

This is not the first “Peace Diamond” is put up for sale. A $7.8 million bid was turned down by the government of Sierra Leone in May. Two months later, authorities announced they would try selling it again.

Between 1991 and 2002, the Kono district — where the Peace Diamond was found — was at the centre of the “blood diamond” trade that funded the country’s brutal civil war as rebel groups exchanged gems for weapons.

Emmanuel Momoh, a 39-year-old pastor who is also one of hundreds of so-called artisanal miners in Kono, Sierra Leone’s key mining district, found this diamond — the second-largest ever found in the West African nation. (Image courtesy of National Minerals Agency of Sierra Leone.)

Henry Sapiecha

Lucara sells world’s second-largest diamond for $53 million

The tennis ball-sized Lesedi La Rona rough diamond that Lucara Diamond (TSX:LUC) unearthed two years ago at its Karowe mine in Botswana was sold this week for $53 million.

The buyer, London-based Graff Diamonds, paid nearly $47,777 per carat.

“The stone will tell us its story. It will dictate how it wants to be cut, and we will take the utmost care to respect its exceptional properties,” said the gem’s new custodian, Laurence Graff, in a press release.

On the other hand, Lucara CEO William Lamb stated that Graff paid a fair price for the 1,109-carat diamond, whose discovery marked a defining moment for the Vancouver-based company.

Such finding, he said, “solidified the amazing potential and rareness of the diamonds recovered at the Karowe mine. We took our time to find a buyer who would take the diamond through its next stage of evolution.”

Henry Sapiecha

Yet Another huge diamond unearthed in Lesotho mine

Gem Diamonds discovered this high quality 126-carat, D colour Type IIa rock at Letšeng

Africa-focused Gem Diamonds (LON:GEMD) unveiled Thursday a 126-carat rock unearthed at its flagship Letšeng mine in Lesotho, the latest in a string of major discoveries at the operation this year.

The finding of the high quality D colour Type IIa diamond comes barely a month after the company discovered two massive diamonds at the same mine —  a 151.52-carat Type I yellow rock and a high quality 104.73-carat, D-colour Type IIa stone.

It also follows the recovery of a 114-carat diamond in April and an 80-carat, D-colour Type-II diamond found in May — one of the highest-quality diamonds to come out of the Letšeng mine.

Type IIa diamonds contain very little or no nitrogen atoms, which places them among the most expensive stones.

Since acquiring Letšeng in 2006, Gem Diamonds has found four of the 20 largest white gem quality diamonds ever recovered, which makes of the mine the world’s highest dollar per carat kimberlite diamond operation.

At an average elevation of 3,100 metres (10,000 feet) above sea level, Letšeng is also one of the world’s highest diamond mines.

Henry Sapiecha

 

Gem Diamonds finds two large rough diamonds at flagship mine in Lesotho Africa

Africa-focused Gem Diamonds (LON:GEMD) has discovered two diamonds bigger than 100 carats at its Letšeng mine in Lesotho, which should help the company boost revenue and investors confidence.

The two massive diamonds are a 151.52-carat Type I yellow rock and a high quality 104.73-carat, D-colour Type IIa stone, the London-based miner said in a statement.

The last time Gem Diamonds had made a significant discovery at its Letšeng mine before April this year was in 2015.The findings come on the heels of other key discoveries at the mine. In April, the company announced the recovery of a 114-carat diamond and last month it found one of the highest-quality diamonds to come out of the Letšeng mine — an 80-carat, D-colour Type-II diamond.

The last time Gem Diamonds had found a significant diamond in Lesotho was in 2015, when it unearthed an “exceptional” 357-carat rock, later sold for $19.3 million.

Investors reacted positively to the news, with the stock was trading at 1.64% higher at 93 pence around 2:00PM GMT.

Since acquiring Letšeng in 2006, the company has found four of the 20 largest white gem quality diamonds ever recovered, which makes of the Lesotho mine the world’s highest dollar per carat kimberlite diamond operation.

At an average elevation of 3,100 metres (10,000 feet) above sea level, Letšeng is also one of the world’s highest diamond mines.

www.www-gems.com

Henry Sapiecha

Diamcor just found this rare green diamond at S. Africa project

Canada’s Diamcor Mining (TSX-V:DMI) said Tuesday it has found a 5.36-carat green gem quality octahedron rough diamond from its Krone-Endora project in South Africa, located next to De Beers’ Venetia mine, the world’s third largest.

While the significance of this rough green diamond is currently uncertain, the company said that given the rarity and potential high value of green diamonds, an analysis of the recently-found rock will be performed over the coming weeks.

The stone has been shipped to Antwerp along with other rough diamonds recovered from the ongoing efforts and processing underway at the project, Diamcor said.

Krone-Endora previously belonged to diamond giant De Beers, but Diamcor officially acquired the project in February 2011.

Diamcor and De Beers mines in Limpopo, South Africa. (Image courtesy of Diamcor Mining )

The project is located directly adjacent to De Beers’ Venetia mine, which is South Africa’s largest diamond mine, accounting for over 50% of the country’s annual output.

Prices for coloured diamonds have increased in the past two years. In June 2016, a massive intense blue diamond, known as The Cullinan Dream, fetched $25.4 million at a Christie’s auction in New York, breaking all records and becoming the most expensive gem of its kind ever sold at auction.

And last month in Hong Kong, the 59.60-carat “Pink Star” sold for a record $71.2 million, a price that highlighted the galloping market for coloured gems.

Henry Sapiecha

 

HUGE 110 CARAT YELLOW DIAMOND UNEARTHED IN AFRICAN Liqhobong MINE

Shares in Africa-focused Firestone Diamonds (LON:FDI) shot up in London Wednesday after it announced it had unearthed an 110-carat yellow diamond, it’s biggest find so far, at its newly developed mine in Lesotho.

The company, which is just ramping up production at its Liqhobong operation, said the finding confirmed its belief that the deposit holds large stones.

Investors reacted positively to the news, with the stock climbing as much as 13% early in the day and trading 9.7% higher to 49.10p at 1:38PM GMT.

Firestone spent $185 million building Liqhobong, which boasts over 11 million carats in reserve. The total open pit resource contains over 17 million carats down to 393 metres.

Since production began at Liqhobong in October, and before today’s announcement, the company had recovered 20 stones larger than 10.8 carats, the industry cut off for an exceptional stone, including a 37-carat white diamond.

Beautiful_Russian_4_300_250

Henry Sapiecha

Massive Cullinan Dream blue diamond fetches over $25m at auction

Price fetched makes it the most expensive fancy intense blue diamond ever sold at auction.

massive-cullinan-dream-blue-diamond-fetches-over-25m-at-auctionimage www.worldwidediamonds.info

The Cullinan Dream in the rough.

A 24.18-carat intense blue diamond known as The Cullinan Dream has just sold for $25.4 million at Christie’s Magnificent Jewels auction in New York, breaking all records and becoming the most expensive gem of its kind ever sold at auction.

The diamond, cut from a 122.52-carat rock found at Petra Diamond’s (LON:PDL) Cullinan mine in South Africa in 2014, is the largest of four blue diamonds made from the original.

The Cullinan Dream, a cut-cornered rectangular mixed-cut diamond, has been classified by the Gemological Institute of America as Type IIb. Those kinds of gems are very rare and account for less than one-half of 1% of all diamonds found in nature.

cullinam-dream-diamond-ring image www.worldwidediamonds.info

The Cullinan Dream is now a cut-cornered rectangular mixed-cut fancy intense blue diamond, weighing approximately 24.18 carats.

Type IIb gems contain a small amount of the element boron trapped in the crystal carbon structure during their formation that can give rise to a blue or grey coloration, Petra Diamonds said in a statement.

The mine is best known for the discovery of the Cullinan diamond, at 3,106 carats the largest rough diamond ever found. The gem was cut into two highly significant diamonds, which can be found in the British Crown Jewels.

Cullinan-Dream is now a cut-cornered rectangular mixed-cut fancy intense blue diamond, weighing approximately 24.18 carats.image www.worldwidediamonds.info

It is flanked on either side by a tapered baguette-cut diamond and set in a platinum ring, inscribed “Cullinan Dream”.

Since acquiring a majority stake in the mine in 2008, Petra Diamonds has found some high-profile blue diamonds, including “The Blue Moon of Josephine,” which sold in November for $48.5 million and “The Star of Josephine” — a 7.03 carat polished stone that sold in 2009 for $9.49 million, representing what at the time was a world record price per carat of $1.35 million.

www.www-gems.com

www.gem-creations.com

DDD

Henry Sapiecha

Petra finds yet another huge diamond at its very productive Cullinan mine

petra-finds-another-massive-diamond-at-its-cullinan-mine 121.26-carat white rock image www.worldwidediamonds.info

London-listed Petra Diamonds (LON:PDL), already known for its major findings of recent months, has just unearthed a 121.26-carat white rock from its Cullinan mine in South Africa.

The gem is a Type II diamond “of exceptional colour and clarity”, the company said, and is “an outstanding example of the large, high quality diamonds for which the mine is known.”

The 121.26-carat white diamond, along with a number of other high quality stones, will be sold in the last tender of Petra’ 2016 financial year.While Petra did not provide a value estimation, it did say the freshly found rock, along with a number of other high quality stones, will be sold in the last tender of its 2016 financial year.

Last week, a 24.18-carat intense blue diamond known as The Cullinan Dream, which Petra found in 2014, sold for $25.4 million in New York, breaking all records and becoming the most expensive gem of its kind ever sold at auction.

The Cullinan mine, located north-east of Pretoria, has yielded several massive gems, including the largest rough gem diamond ever discovered — the Cullinan. The 3,106-carat stone was cut into two highly significant diamonds, which can be found in the Crown Jewels of the Queen of England.

Petra, which operates four diamond mines in South Africa and one in Tanzania, posted a loss for the first half of its financial year in February, due to fewer sales demand and a glut of supply that pushed rough diamond prices down by 9%.

www.gem-creations.com

www.www-gems.com

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petra-diamonds-cullinan-mine image www.wordwidediamonds.info

DDD7

Henry Sapiecha