Category Archives: LISTS

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

10 of the most expensive diamonds in the world.Video,

LARGE MOST EXPENSIVE DIAMONDS OF THE WORLD

10. The Heart of Eternity ($16 million)
The stone that was made into the heart of Eternity Diamond was found at the world’s largest supplier of blue diamonds, the South African Premier Diamond Mine. Blue diamonds are incredibly rare with, on average, only one being found every year, and this one was an amazing find. The rough stone was 777 carats when it was dug up, and the owners waited until they had the perfect design idea before they started cutting it. The result was The Millenium Blue Diamonds- a series of heart, pear drop and oval shaped diamonds of which the Heart Of Eternity is the largest.
In recent years it has been on tour at various exhibitions, including at the Millennium exhibition in London in 2000, followed by the Smithsonian museum. It was reportedly bought in 2012 by Floyd Mayweather to give to his fiancée, but no details of the selling price were ever revealed. The $16 million price tag is an estimate based on its size and color, but the finished piece could be worth far more when you consider what a rare piece it is.
9. The Moussaieff Red Diamond ($20 million)
Diamonds come in many colors, but red ones are particularly rare. According to the Cape Town Diamond Museum there have only been up to 30 true red diamonds ever found, with most of them being less than half a carat. A farmer in Brazil found the rough stone that was to become the Moussaieff Red Diamond in the 90’s. At a weight of 13.90 carats it immediately became the center of attention.
The William Goldberg Diamond Corporation from New York then bought it, and decided to cut it into a triangular brilliant cut. This process would mean losing 8.79 carats, but the resulting cranberry colored 5.11 carat gem is simply stunning. It was originally named the Red Shield, but was renamed by the Moussaieff Jewelers when they purchased it for about $8 million at the turn of the century. This diamond has regularly been to exhibitions, being shown alongside other ones in the Smithsonian. Were it to be sold, it would be expected to cost at least $20 million.
8. The Perfect Pink ($23 million)
When it sold for $23 million in 2010, the Perfect Pink Diamond was the most expensive jewel that had ever been sold in Asia. It weighs 14.23 carats, is graded as fancy intense pink, and is set in a rose and white gold ring with rectangular shaped diamonds on either side. Pure Pink diamonds of more than 10 carats are very unusual, with only 18 examples having gone to auction in the past 244 years; none of which was classified as intense pink at the time of sale. This makes the Perfect Pink a truly unique piece, and explains why it sold for ten million dollars more than had been expected.
7. The Wittelsbach Diamond ($23.4 million)
The first records of the Wittelsbach Diamond come from back in the 17th century when it was sold to Louis XIV of France. It has a rare blue color, and weighs 35.56 carats. The stone has a royal history, having been passed down through families since the 1600’s. It went from France, to Spain, and over to Germany, where it accompanied the German King Louis III to his burial place in 1921.
At some point in the 30’s it was sold to raise money for the German government, and from here things get mysterious. No one seemed to know who had bought it, and it somehow got replaced with a piece of blue glas in the museum. Rumors of the actual diamond changing hands were rife in the following decades, until 1962 when it reappeared at a jewelery store in Belgium.
It was sold in 2008 for $23.4 million and, to the dismay of diamond historians, the new owner decided that it should be recut, since it had originally been done in the early 1600’s. The resulting stone, now 21.06 carats, meant that both the color and quality were improved, and the estimated price sky-rocketed.

Henry Sapiecha

These were the world’s top producing diamond mines in 2016

While diamond industry experts warn that demand is expected to outstrip supply as early as 2019, the largest mines keep producing the coveted rocks at full steam.

Here are last year’s top 10 diamond mines in terms of output and value, based on data compiled by expert Paul Zimnisky.

1. Jwaneng, Botswana

Produced 11,975,000 carats, worth $2,347 million

Jwaneng, the richest diamond mine in the world, is located in south-central Botswana in the Naledi river valley of the Kalahari. It’s 2 kilometres across at its widest point and patrolled by colossal 300-tonne trucks that labour up the terraced slopes.

Nicknamed “the Prince of Mines”, Jwaneng was opened in 1982, as the diamond trade helped Botswana go from being one of the world’s poorest countries to one of Africa’s wealthiest.

2. Jubilee, Russia

Produced 9,231,000 carats, worth $1,431 million

Belonging to ALROSA, the world’s top diamond miner by output in carats, the Jubilee mine (also known as Yubileinaya), has been in production since 1989. It’s among the world’s biggest diamond mines by area.

3. International, Russia

Produced 3,948,000 carats, worth $829 million

Also known as Internatsionalny, this underground mine has been in operations since 1999. ALROSA estimates the deposit will run out of diamonds by 2022.

4. Orapa, Botswana

Produced 7,931,000 carats, worth $753 million

The Orapa mine is the ninth largest diamond mine in the world by reserve and the world’s largest mine by area. It has been in production since 1971. It’s owned by Debswana, a joint venture of De Beers and the Botswana Government.

Currently Orapa is mining at a depth of 250 metres and is expected to reach 450 metres by 2026.

5. Debmarine, Namibia

Produced 1,169,000 carats, worth $585 million

De Beers’ Debmarine uses a fleet of five specialized marine mining vessels to screen material recovered from the ocean floor.

These deposits are then airlifted by helicopter for further processing on shore. It’s Namibia’s largest diamond producer, accounting for 70% of the country’s output of these stones.

6. Catoca, Angola

Produced 6,700,000 carats*, worth $570 million

This diamond mine is the world’s fourth largest. It’s owned by a consortium of international mining interests, with Endiama (the state mining company of Angola) having a majority stake.

* = Figure not officially confirmed

7. Nyurbinskaya, Russia

Produced 5,001,000 carats, worth $565 million

The Nyurba Mining and Processing Division (MPD) is one of the youngest enterprises of ALROSA. It operates at the Nakyn ore field, which includes the Nyurbinskya and Botuobinsky open-pits, and two same-name alluvial placers.

8. Diavik, Canada

Produced 6,658,000 carats, worth $539 million.

Operated by Rio Tinto, which owns 60% of the mine, Diavik began production in 2003 and has an annual output of some 6-7 million carats of predominantly large, white gem-quality diamonds. It’s Canada’s largest diamond mine in terms of carat production. Dominion Diamond owns the remaining 40%.

9. Ekati, Canada

Produced 5,200,000 carats, worth $463 million

The Ekati Diamond Mine (named after the Tlicho word meaning “fat lake”) is Canada’s first surface and underground diamond mine. Located about 300km north-east of Yellowknife, near Lac de Gras in Canada’s North-West Territories, is run by Dominion Diamond Corporation (DDC)

10. Mir, Russia

Produced 3,191,000 carats $463 million

Although open pit mining at this operation ended in 2004, ALROSA built a series of underground tunnels, which have continued to yield high-quality rough diamonds. The remaining pit is so huge it creates a vortex potentially strong enough to suck helicopters into its depth

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Henry Sapiecha

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