Good news for Botswana Diamonds

Botswana Diamonds has announced that a gravity survey has been completed over four high-grade geophysical targets that had good magnetic response in a previous survey undertaken by the company.

“Preliminary results from this gravity survey show that at least one of the four targets, which is located 6 km south of the existing KX36 diamond discovery, has an excellent gravity response like that of known kimberlites and similar in size to KX36. The survey on the KX36 size anomaly is being repeated and correlated with previous results for confirmation. Next steps will be a drilling plan.

The new kimberlites targets have great potential to upgrade the existing resources in the area, including at the Ghaghoo Mine, which is currently under care and maintenance and only 60 km away from the KX36 project.

The KX36 project is a 3.5 ha kimberlite pipe in the Kalahari. The pipe has resources of 17.9 Mt at 35 cpht and 6.7 Mt at 36 cpht at $65 /ct. The modelled grade range is 57-76 cpht at an estimated diamond value of up to $107/ct.

Botswana Diamonds Chairman, John Teeling, commented: “This is the first strong indication of additional kimberlites around the KX36 discovery. Kimberlites come in clusters, but extensive exploration has to date not been successful.

“The anomaly has a strong gravity signature which gives us confidence that when drilled, it will prove to be a kimberlite. The anomaly sits on a structure like all the other kimberlites in the Kalahari, which further increases confidence. It is early days but very good news”.

Source: miningreview

HB Antwerp Invests in Botswana’s Young Diamond Talent

HB Antwerp has announced a partnership with Botswana to foster a new generation of diamond talent.

It has signed a a five-year memorandum of understanding with the Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST).

They will jointly organize traineeships for Botswanan youth, offer scholarships for promising local talent, drive innovative projects backed by digital supply chains, and create job opportunities in the diamond sector.

The move comes as Botswana threatens to walk away from its long-standing sales agreement with De Beers, which is due for renewal at the end of June.

There has been media speculation that the Okavango Diamond Company (ODC), wholly owned by the Botswana government, was planning to sell its specials (+10.8-carats) to Belgian manufacturer HB Antwerp and to Canada-based Lucara and instead of De Beers.

HB Antwerp says it promotes respect for local communities, fair labor and pay, and investment in skills training and job placement opportunities for local workers.

Rafael Papismedov, its managing partner and strategy director, said: “Young people in Africa have incredible potential, but often do not have access to meaningful opportunities.

“We believe in the power of diamonds to catalyze positive change and look forward to leveraging this partnership to deliver on that potential for the Botswanan people.”

Source: idexonline

Botswana’s diamond trade is expected to depreciate due to reduced demand

Botswana diamond mining
Botswana diamond mining

Botswana’s finance ministry disclosed that the diamond trade in Botswana is set to fall back in 2023, due to reduced demand.
This is as opposed to 2022 when Botswana’s total mining production increased by 8.2%.
Botswana anticipates that the production of diamonds would fall by 1% in 2023, and growth in the diamond trade will decrease to 7%.
An official from Botswana’s finance ministry stated on Wednesday that Botswana anticipates its mining sector’s production to remain flat this year as the diamond business loses its luster as a result of a decline in consumer spending and reduced demand for diamond jewelry.

In 2022, the total mining production increased by 8.2%. Although Botswana is the continent’s biggest producer of diamonds, this year’s improvements in copper and coal will not make up for the fall in this commodity.

About the majority of Botswana’s diamonds are produced by Debswana, a joint venture between the government of Botswana and De Beers, a division of Anglo American Plc (AAL.L). In 2022, production increased by 8% to 24.1 million carats.

Trading in diamonds increased 41% in the last year, with Botswana also benefiting from Western consumers avoiding Russian stones as a result of its invasion of Ukraine.

Botswana anticipates that the production of diamonds would fall by 1% in 2023 and that growth in the diamond trade will decrease to 7% from 41% in 2018.

Botswana’s finance ministry senior policy advisor, Keith Jefferis expressed the same sentiments in a statement to the American-based news agency, Reuters.

He noted that the diamond trade would face a major setback during the year, due to a slowdown in consumer demand, particularly in the USA.

He stated, “We see the diamond sector having a bit of a tough year due to an expected slowdown in consumer demand particularly in the USA, because of pressure on real income and consumption.”

High demand for coal and anticipated increases in copper mine production will somewhat offset this.

The Motheo copper mine, owned by Sandfire Resources (SFR.AX), is scheduled to begin operations this year, while the Kalahari Copperbelt’s Khoemacau copper mine is ramping up production to reach its nominal capacity of 60,000 tonnes annually.

The two active coal mines in Botswana the state-owned Morupule and Minergy’s (MIN.BT) Masama mine saw record exports in 2017 and are now considering increasing output to keep up with the country’s high demand for coal internationally.

According to forecasts from the finance ministry, the government anticipates mining royalties to decrease from 6.1 billion pula ($3.41 billion) last year to 4,5 billion pula ($3.41 billion) in 2023. The amount of dividends owed to the state would likewise decrease, from 15 billion to 11,3 billion pesos, in 2022.

Source: africa.businessinsider

Botswana Has the World’s Two Richest Diamond Mines

Diamond mine, in Botswana
Diamond mine, in Botswana

A new list names the Jwaneng diamond mine, in Botswana, as the world’s richest diamond mine.

A new list by, quoted by IDEX Online, names the Jwaneng diamond mine, in Botswana, as the world’s richest diamond mine for the first three quarters of 2022. Jwaneng produced 10.3 million carats in 2022.

Orapa, also in Botswana, came second with 8 million carats. Both Jwaneng and Orapa are operated by Debswana, a partnership between De Beers and the government of Botswana. Jwaneng and Orapa were also listed as the two highest value diamond mines in the world, estimated at $1.25 billion and $976 million respectively, “based on average historic annualized prices of $121.5 per carat,” according to the report.

Alrrosa’s Udachny mine came third. Although Alrosa has not published production figures since the war with Ukraine, bases its conclusion on the mine’s 2021 production of 4.6 million carats. Fourth comes the Venetia mine in South Africa 4.6m carats, operated by De Beers. In fifth is Nyurba, in Russia, with 3.6 million carats, based on 2021 numbers.

Source: israelidiamond

Lucara Sales Fall Amid Lack of High-Value Diamonds

The Karowe diamond mine in Botswana.
Lucara Diamonds – Karowe Diamond Mine

Lucara Diamond Corp.’s sales dropped in the third quarter as the company supplied fewer large and expensive stones from its lucrative Karowe mine in Botswana.

Revenue fell 31% year on year to $49.9 million, while net profit slumped 86% to $1.8 million, Lucara reported Wednesday.

Sales of rough from Karowe declined 36% to $46.5 million, with volume down 15% at 99,301 carats and the average price falling 43% to $337 per carat. The remaining revenue came from sales of third-party goods on Lucara’s Clara online platform.

Management blamed a decrease in the number of high-value diamonds the company sold to HB Antwerp through the pair’s supply agreement. The Belgian manufacturer is contracted to buy all Karowe rough of 10.8 carats or more, with Lucara receiving a proportion of the final polished proceeds.

In the third quarter a year earlier, Lucara sold four pink diamonds and two white, type IIa stones — weighing 393.5 and 257.5 carats — to HB. As a result of the unfavorable comparison, revenue from the agreement plummeted 46% to $27.1 million.

“Despite the overall decrease in revenue recognized in [the third quarter], diamond-market fundamentals continued to support healthy prices as steady demand and some inventory shortages were reported,” Lucara said. Fluctuation in the availability of 10.8-carat production is expected, it added.

Output from Karowe slid 19% year on year to 78,879 carats for the quarter.


De Beers Raises Prices of Smaller Diamonds

Sorting a parcel of rough diamonds Gaborone, Botswana.

De Beers lifted prices of smaller rough at this week’s sight, its second consecutive increase, as the industry continued to express concerns about a perceived mismatch with polished.

Goods weighing less than 0.75 carats saw price hikes of around 5% at the February sale, while larger items were mostly stable, sightholders and industry insiders told Rapaport News this week.

The latest adjustments follow a strong US holiday season for retail and come amid robust demand in the polished sector while the industry restocks. Rough prices have rocketed in recent months, reflecting this appetite as well as supply shortages.

Prices at auctions and tenders have risen even more strongly than sight goods, with traders enjoying unprecedented premiums when reselling De Beers boxes on the secondary market.

However, manufacturers’ margins have suffered. This was a major point of discussion at the Dubai Diamond Conference, which took place Monday.

“There is still some buzz, but people are very cautious now because they’ve understood that prices have hit the ceiling and [De Beers] is facing resistance now with the new prices,” a sightholder said Tuesday on condition of anonymity. “There will be some stability and there has to be some mindfulness, because rough prices are outpacing polished prices so anyone who buys rough at those prices is not going to make a profit.”

The increases at the February sight followed sharper hikes in January, when rates jumped by up to 15% in the smallest categories and by 5% to 12% in larger sizes.

“What we try and do very hard at De Beers is price properly in accordance with demand,” De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver told Rapaport News on the sidelines of the Dubai event. This is based on expectations of how the final polished will sell when it becomes available two or three months later, he explained. “Our crystal ball is no better than anyone else’s, but it’s based on a lot of data at the time that we make these pricing decisions.”

China Sales ‘Average’

Meanwhile, sales in the Far East during the recent Chinese New Year were steady, producing figures broadly in line with last year, dealers reported. This came despite headwinds in the latter months of 2021, including fresh Covid-19 outbreaks, a real-estate crisis, and power shortages.

The unfavorable comparison with last year’s season of post-lockdown recovery also affected the numbers, while fewer consumers took trips within China — usually a driver of seasonal demand, Cleaver pointed out.

“There’s no question that people are not traveling as much between the big Chinese cities and coming into the big Chinese cities to buy as they might have been because of [Covid-19],” he noted, cautioning that the information was preliminary. “In a sense, it could have been a bit better, but the early data I’ve seen is that it’s been an average to reasonable New Year.”

However, store openings in the mainland’s tier 3 and 4 cities are progressing well, he said.

“I don’t think there’s any reason to think that will slow down, and our clients tell us that’s continuing to happen,” the executive added.

The February sight, the second sale of the year, began on Monday and ends Friday.


Surging Diamond Demand Helps Botswana Trader Post Record Sales

Botswana Diamond Mine

Botswana’s state-run diamond trader reported record revenue last year with sales surging almost five fold after U.S. imports recovered from a Covid-19 induced slowdown.

Okavango Diamond Company sold $963 million of rough diamonds last year, said Dennis Tlaang, a company spokesman. The revenue was the most since the company began operations in 2012, he said.

“The demand for natural rough diamonds remained strong throughout 2021 driven primarily by positive market sentiment in key markets such as the United States,” Tlaang said.

Sales may rise further this year after De Beers, the world’s biggest producer of the stones, pushed through one of its most aggressive diamond price increases in recent years. Okavango also got higher than normal prices in the sole auction it held this year, Tlaang said.

De Beers Implements Big Diamond Price Hike as Demand Runs Hot. A Buying Frenzy in Cheap and Tiny Diamonds Sends Prices Soaring. Diamond Sold for $12 Million in Cryptocurrency at Sotheby’s. “We believe this is a good indicator of the market dynamics of 2022, at least for the first half of the year,” he said. “The company will continue to drive customer participation by marketing its rough diamond assortment in key markets such as Antwerp and Dubai.”

Under a 2011 agreement between De Beers and the government of Botswana, Okavango purchases 25% of the nation’s annual production for independent marketing, while the balance is sold through the De Beers’ trading network.

Source: bloomberg

Lucara’s 62-Carat Fancy Pink ‘Boitumelo’

62.7-carat fancy pink diamond “Boitumelo” in Botswana

Lucara keeps raking in the big diamond finds, this time recovering a 62.7-carat fancy pink diamond from its Karowe mine in Botswana.

It is the largest fancy pink gem to found in Botswana, according to the diamond miner, and one of the largest rough pink diamonds on record in the world.

The stone has been named “Boitumelo,” which means joys in Setswana.

Measuring 26 x 17 x 16 mm, it is described as a high-quality fancy pink Type IIa gem.

Lucara uncovered it from the direct ore milling at the EM/PK(S) unit of the South Lobe, the site of many of its biggest finds.

The company said a 22.21-carat fancy pink gem of similar quality was found during the same production period, as were two more pink gems of similar color weighing 11.17 carats and 5.05 carats.

Asked if those additional small pink diamonds could’ve broken off from the same piece as the 62.7-carat diamond, a company spokesperson said: “As the diamonds all came from a similar production period it may be possible, but we cannot confirm this at this time. Further detailed analysis needs to be carried out to confirm if they did indeed originally stem from one diamond.”

Regarding the find, CEO Eira Thomas said, “Lucara is delighted to announce another historic diamond with the recovery of the Boitumelo, and very pleased to demonstrate the continued potential for large, colored diamonds from the South Lobe production.

“These remarkable pink diamonds join a collection of significant diamond recoveries in 2021 produced from the EM/PK(S), which forms a key economic driver for the proposed underground mine at Karowe.”

Source: Brecken Branstrator nationaljeweler

Botswana Diamonds acquires Sekaka from embattled Petra

Botswana Diamonds

Botswana Diamonds (LON:BOD) said on Monday it had completed the acquisition of Sekaka, the exploration vehicle that belonged to embattled rival Petra Diamonds (LON:PDL) and which held three prospecting licenses in the country’s Central Kalahari Game Reserve.

In one of its licenses, Sekaka had singled out the KX36 kimberlite pipe, which is situated about 70 km from Gem Diamonds’ Ghaghoo mine, and 260 km north-west of Botswana’s capital Gaborone.

Sekaka also had a recently built, fit-for-purpose bulk sampling plant on-site that includes crushing, scrubbing, dense media separation circuits and X-ray recovery modules within a secured area.

The acquisition includes an extensive database, built up over 15 years of exploration.

Botswana Diamonds believes the information contained in the database will provide substantial support to its future kimberlite exploration activities in the mining-dependent country, the world’s second-largest diamond producer.

“We are delighted that this acquisition has now closed. This paves the way to explore commercial development options for KX36 and begin to evaluate the extensive database in conjunction with ours to discover more kimberlites in prime diamond real estate,” chairperson John Teeling said in a media statement.

Diamond exports from the southern African nation dropped 42% to $1.49 billion in the first nine months of this year as production fell 29% to 12.3 million carats due to covid-related restrictions.

Botswana’s mining sector provides a fifth of the country’s GDP and 80% of its foreign exchange earnings.

Mounting woes
Petra Diamonds, the former owner of Sekaka, has been struggling for over two years. Its weak financial position pushed it to shed non-core assets and put itself up for sale in June.

The company reversed the decision in October, opting instead for a debt-for-equity restructuring. The deal would leave existing shareholders with just 9% of the company.

Petra is also dealing with allegations of human rights abuses at its Williamson mine in Tanzania, resulting from the actions of its security guards.

It recently reported a 36% fall in revenue and a net loss of $223 million (168.7 million pounds) for the year ended June 30, as the coronavirus pandemic deepened the company’s financial woes.


Botswana Diamonds Shares Jump On Licence Extension

Botswana diamonds

Shares in Botswana Diamonds PLC jumped Thursday after it extended two “strategic” diamond licences for further two years, as it considered forming a joint venture to develop the projects.

Shares in Botswana Diamonds were 9.9% higher at 0.54 pence in London on Thursday.

Botswana Diamonds – through its wholly-owned Sunland Minerals Ltd subsidiary – extended the Prospecting Licences PL232 and PL235 in Botswana to the end of September 2021.

The firm explained the “key” licences were “strategically located” in the centre of the Kalahari Desert in Botswana, covering 500 square kilometres. Botswana Diamonds has already identified “prospective drill ready targets” following “intensive” work at the sites.

Botswana Diamonds said it was “already in extended discussions” with a “major” diamond producer regarding the formation of a joint venture for the next phase of the work on the licences.

Source: morningstar