Category Archives: DIAMOND MINES

Canadian latest diamond discoveries could fill pending supply void

Story by Paul Zimnisky of Diamond Analytics

On November 1st, De Beers said that it will be closing its nearly depleted Victor diamond mine in northern Ontario in early 2019. Victor is the first in a line of legacy diamond mines world-wide that will be closing over the next 5-years.

Most notably, Rio Tinto’s illustrious Argyle mine in Australia is expected to shut operations in 2021. At peak production, in the mid-90’s, Argyle produced over 40M carats annually. To put that into perspective, total 2017 global diamond output is estimated at less than 150M carats.

De Beers Voorspoed mine in Botswana is on pace to reach end-of-life by the end of the decade, and a slew of the company’s alluvial mines in Namibia are planned to be phased out by 2022.

With global diamond demand forecast to grow at approximately 3.5% annually over the next five years, driven by middle class consumers in Mainland China and India, the industry’s fastest growing large markets, a supply gap down the line seems inevitable if forecasts hold.

Globally there only two new diamond projects in the works with annual production potential of in excess of 1M carats, one in Angola, the other in Russia. Further, new diamond project exploration has been limited by challenges in the upstream diamond industry’s primary jurisdictions.

Greenfields diamond exploration in South Africa is at multi-decade lows due to delays in granting of prospecting licenses and perceived risks of a new Mining Charter, and this year there was a production disruption at the Williamson diamond mine in Tanzania related to government changes in mining legislation.

In Botswana, home to De Beers’ primary asset base, the country has been heavily explored and most major diamond discoveries are assumed to already have been made. In Russia, most major diamond production in is controlled by government entities.

Estimated global diamond production by nation in value in 2017. Total 2017 global diamond production estimated at $15.6 billion. Source: Paul Zimnisky
Notes: Asterisk notes G20 nation. Number inside parenthetical notes country’s ranking in Transparency International’s 2016 Corruption Perceptions Index (1-“very clean”, 176-“highly corrupt”). Dollar figure is estimated 2017 value of diamond production by nation. Percent figure is nation’s estimated contribution to global diamond production by value in 2017. All figures in USD.

This makes Canada, already the third largest diamond producing nation in the world by value (see chart above), arguably the most prospective diamond exploration jurisdiction in the world. In May of this year, Canada’s leading diamond producer, Dominion Diamond (private), pledged to spend C$50M on exploration over next 5 years, the company’s first major greenfields exploration since 2007.

After being acquired for US$1.2B in July by private-held the Washington Companies (at a 44% premium to where the stock was trading the day before initial indication of interest was made), on November 1st Dominion reiterated plans of “reinvigorating” exploration programs in Canada.

Dominion is partnered with North Arrow Minerals (TSX-V: NAR) on the prospective “Lac de Gras” property, which is located within a diamondiferous kimberlite field in the Northwest Territories that is the source to some of the richest diamond deposits in the world, including Dominion’s two world-class mines, Ekati and Diavik.

Dominion’s partner is known for making 2 of the only 5 kimberlite discoveries made in Canada over the last 5 years, and both of North Arrow’s discoveries were diamond bearing. Just last month North Arrow announced a discovery at the company’s 100%-owned Mel project in in the Nunavut territory of Canada. The company has plans to set up an exploration camp and drill the property next year.

Mel is approximately 200km northeast of the North Arrow’s 100%-owned Naujaat property which already has an inferred resource of over 26M carats and contains fancy yellow and orangey-yellow diamonds. In September, the company completed a C$2M drilling and mini-bulk sampling program at the property with results expected in the coming months. North Arrow also has pending results from a till sampling program at its Pikoo project, a 100%-owned diamond bearing kimberlite project in Saskatchewan that was discovered by North Arrow in 2013.

This coming March, Dominion will lead a drill program at the aforementioned Lac de Gras joint-venture (69% Dominion/31% North Arrow) in hopes of discovering new diamondiferous kimberlites. At around the same time North Arrow will also be drilling at its 100% owned Loki project, also in the Northwest Territories, and approximately only 30-40km away from both Ekati and Diavik.

With active programs across multiple worthy projects in Canada’s premier diamond territories, North Arrow appears well positioned to add to previous success and maintain its status as Canada’s leading publicly-traded stand-alone diamond explorer.

Disclosure: Paul Zimnisky has been compensated by North Arrow Minerals to produce the above content. The content includes views that are based on observations and opinions. The author has made every effort to ensure the accuracy of information provided, however, accuracy cannot be guaranteed. The above content is strictly for informational purposes and should not be considered investment advice. Consult your investment professional before making any investment decisions. None of the parties involved accept culpability for losses and/or damages arising from the use of content above.

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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

World’s ‘most beautiful diamond’ to go under the hammer at Christies Auction House

Diamond necklace featuring 163-carat flawless emerald stone, largest of its kind ever to be put up for an auction, has been unveiled in Hong Kong on Thursday September 28 (PRNewsfoto/de GRISOGONO)

An impressive flawless 163-carat diamond that has been hailed the “world’s most beautiful” will go under Christie’s hammer in Geneva in November, the auction house said Thursday.

Discovered in February last year in eastern Angola, the 404.20-carat rough diamond — named the “4 de Fevereiro” — was also the largest found so far in the southern African country, Christie’s said.

www.gem-creations.com

Diamond necklace featuring 163-carat flawless emerald stone, largest of its kind ever to be put up for an auction, has been unveiled in Hong Kong on Thursday September 28 (PRNewsfoto/de GRISOGONO)

A team of ten diamond-cutting specialist were involved polishing the rough diamond during the period of 11 months. The stone was then designed into a one-of-a-kind piece by Swiss jewellery house de Grisogono.

The D-color, emerald-cut diamond is classified as a rare Type IIa one, which in technical terms means an almost complete absence of nitrogen in the stone, de Grisogono said in a separate statement.

The original, 404.20-carat rough diamond that was mined in eastern Angola — the 27th largest rough white diamond ever discovered. (Image courtesy of Christie’s.)

It took over 1,700 hours to create this unique jewel and involved a team of 14 craftsmen and their know-how as well as love for perfection for each detail in the necklace.

he D-color, emerald-cut diamond can be detached from its white gold, diamond and emerald necklace. (Image courtesy of Christie’s.)

The finished piece, named The Art of de Grisogono, allows customers to detach it from its white gold, diamond and emerald necklace, if they wish to do so. It will be shown in London, Dubai and New York before going to auction in Geneva on November 14.

www.www-gems.com

Henry Sapiecha

Alrosa Russian Diamond mine finds gigantic pink diamond, likely its most expensive one

Russia’s Alrosa (MCX:ALRS), the world’s top diamond producer by output in carats, has unearthed 27.85-carat pink precious rock the company believes could be the most expensive it has ever found.

Alrosa is trying to decide on whether to sell this pink rock as a rough diamond, or cut and polish it.The miner, majority-owned by the Russian government, said the gem-quality stone was found at its alluvial mines in Russia’s Far East, adding that the largest pink diamond it had previously discovered was less than 4 carats in weight.

The impressive pink rock, measuring 22.47 mm x 15.69 mm x 10.9 mm, has very few flaws and could become the company’s most expensive polished diamond if it decides to cut it, Alrosa said in the statement.

Coloured diamonds, especially pink ones, have been lately setting records in auctions. In April, Sotheby’s sold a 59.6-carat one — the ‘‘Pink Star’’ — for $71.2 million. Until then, the most expensive diamond ever sold at auction was the “Oppenheimer Blue,” which fetched 56.8 million Swiss francs (more than $57 million at the time) in May 2016.

The previous world auction record for a pink diamond was $46.2 million for the 24.78 carat “Graff Pink” in 2010.

Alrosa noted that it is currently trying to decide on whether to sell this pink rock as a rough diamond, or cut and polish it.

www.www-gems.com

Henry Sapiecha

Worlds biggest diamond mine Alrosa has sold $2.5 billion in diamonds so far this year 2017

World’s largest diamond producer by output said market has refound its balance.

Russia’s Alrosa (MCX:ALRS), the world’s top diamond producer by output, said Monday it sold $2.5 billion worth of rough and polished precious rocks from January to June this year.2017

From that total, rough diamonds sales totalled $2.442 billion, and polished ones fetched $54.9 million, the company said.

Last month alone, the miner brought in $365 million in diamond sales — $354 million in rough rocks and $10.6 m. in polished ones.

Alrosa Vice President Yury Okoemov said the company considers the seasonal slowdown of June officially at an end, adding the rough diamond market is back to being balanced.

The company, which is planning to increase production by 6% to 39.2 million carats this year, appointed in March Sergei Ivanov, the son of a close advisor to Russian president Vladimir Putin, as its new president.

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

Alrosa finds 62.75-carat diamond at prolific Jubilee pipe mine in Russia

Russia’s Alrosa (MCX:ALRS), the world’s top diamond producer by output, said Tuesday it found a 65.75-carat precious rock at the Jubilee kimberlite pipe of its Aikhalsky Mining unit in Yakutia, northeast Russia.

The transparent crystal, the miner said, has an octahedron-shape, light-yellowish tint and its measures 23 x 16 x 17 mm.

Alrosa’s Jubilee pipe is famous for its large finds. Several diamonds from 50 to 138 carats were recovered from the deposit in the past two years, including a 76.07-carat diamond, which was named in honour of 70 Years of the Soviet Union’s Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 against Nazi Germany.

The company’s business unit Aikhal Mining accounted for over 30% of Alrosa’s total raw diamonds in 2016. It generated 12.2 million carats, worth $1.2 billion, according to the firm.

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

 

Lucara gets almost $18M for fragment of its massive ‘Lesedi La Rona’ diamond

Canada’s Lucara Diamond (TSX:LUC), the company that hit the jackpot in 2015 after finding the world’s second-largest diamond, just got $17.5 million for a piece that broke from that rock, the now historic 1,109-carat “Lesedi La Rona.”

To date, Lucara has sold 145 diamonds for more than $1 million each.The 373.7-carat diamond, sold during the Vancouver-based miner’s $54.8 million recent tender to luxury jeweller Graff Diamonds, was one of 15 large and high value rocks offered by the company.

Just like the 1,109-carat diamond it found in 2015, all the stones sold this week were mined at Lucara’s Karowe mine in Botswana, which has been yielding massive rocks as of late.

Last year, the miner sold one of those mammoths — the 813-carat “The Constellation” — for $63 million, setting a new record for a rough gem.

It wasn’t that lucky when it came to three-billion-year-old “Lesedi La Rona,” meaning “our light” in the Tswana language spoken in Botswana, as the rock failed to sell at a Sotheby’s auction in June last year.

This is the 373.72-carat rock, once part of the second largest gem quality diamond ever discovered. (Image courtesy of Graff Diamonds.)

The gem, second in size only to the Cullinan diamond in the British Crown jewels, was expected to go for at least $70 million. The highest bid, however, was around $61 million, leaving it in Lucara’s hands.

To date, the company has sold 145 diamonds for more than $1 million each, bringing in revenues of more than $528 million, its President and CEO William Lamb said in the statement.

Botswana, the focus of Lucara, is the world’s largest producer of diamonds and the trade has transformed it into a middle-income nation.

Henry Sapiecha