Gem Diamonds finds sixth 100+ carat stone in 2024

Africa focused miner Gem Diamonds has unearthed a 212.9 carat Type II white diamond at its prolific Letšeng mine in Lesotho, less than a month after a previous major find.

The diamond, recovered on May 28th, is the sixth greater than 100-carat precious stone recovered this year at the operation, the company said.

Type IIa diamonds are the most valued and collectable precious gemstones, as they contain either very little or no nitrogen atoms in their crystal structure. Boart diamonds are stones of low quality that are used in powder form as an abrasive.

The Letšeng mine is one of the world’s ten largest diamond operations by revenue. At 3,100 metres (10,000 feet) above sea level, it is also one of the world’s most elevated diamond mines.

Diamond miners are going through a rough patch as US and Chinese demand for diamond jewellery continues to be weak and the popularity of cheaper laboratory grown diamonds continues to rise.

In 2015, man-made diamonds had barely made an appearance as a competitor to natural diamonds. By last year, these stones accounted for more than 10% of the global diamond jewelry market, according to industry specialist Paul Zimnisky.

The market values of small to medium diamond mining companies, including Canada’s Lucara (TSX: LUC), South Africa’s Petra (LON: PDL), and Gem Diamonds itself, are around $100 million or less. This is only about a third or a fourth of the price the large stones they aim to find may be worth.

Source: Mining.com

Priyanka Chopra’s $43M Necklace Is Literally Straight Out Of A Museum

Earlier this week, Priyanka Chopra attended Bulglari’s 140th anniversary event in Rome. And as a global brand ambassador, of course, she was totally decked out in diamonds.

Alongside celebrity supporters like Anne Hathaway, Chopra wore a dazzling piece from the brand’s “Aeterna High Jewelry” collection. With seven massive stones affixed to a unique, wavy choker, Chopra’s necklace was a hero piece for sure. But what made the design so special is that it’s one of the most precious (and expensive) designs the brand has ever created — at a cool 43 million dollars.

Priyanka’s Dazzling Diamonds
According to Bulgari, the lavish necklace took “over 2,800 hours to complete.” Made up of 140 carats worth of diamonds, the necklace — dubbed the Serpenti Aertena — retails for a whopping 43 million dollars. The statement choker featured pear-shaped drop diamonds, the largest sitting front and center.

The intricate design was specially designed for the occasion, with its carat count symbolizing the brand’s 140 year anniversary. The entire collection is so ornate, it was unveiled at a museum — it truly doesn’t get much more iconic than that.

Paying the diamonds their due, Chopra went for a fairly simple off-the-shoulder gown by designer Del Core. A fitting choice for the fancy occasion, her custom look featured a cape-inspired detail and a peplum waist. The sweetheart neckline lent itself nicely to the accessory du jour.

Source: Bustle

Botswana Diamonds expands its land holdings in the Kalahari

Diamond exploration company Botswana Diamonds has been granted four prospecting licences – covering just under 2 332 km2 – in the Kalahari of Botswana.

The prospecting licences are in the same general area as Gem Diamonds’ Ghaghoo mine, as well as Botswana Diamonds’ own KX36 project.

“I am pleased that we have been awarded these prospecting licences in the Kalahari of Botswana, which we believe will be the next major diamond-producing area in the country.

“Exploration is a long game, particularly diamond exploration, and we believe the industry is going through a structural change which will see the natural product, particularly from Botswana, find its premium niche in world markets,” chairperson John Teeling comments.

Source: Miningweekly

Past producing yellow diamonds mine in Australia set to reopen

Australia’s Gibb River Diamonds is getting closer to restarting the mothballed Ellendale diamond mine in West Kimberley after being granted three mining leases that are key for the project.

The permits mark a significant step in reviving production at Ellendale, which was a major diamond producing mine. The operation was particularly know for being a source of fancy yellow diamonds, being responsible for more than 50% of the annual world’s supply until it was shut down in 2015.

As part as the reopening steps, Gibb River said it is scheduled to conduct a heritage clearance survey in the first week of June. The company is also studying financing options for the project, including debt, equity, earn-in partner, joint venture partner, a North Australian Infrastructure Fund (NAIF) partnership, or other government funding schemes available.

The exploration and development company became Ellendale’s sole owner in March last year, after acquiring the project from Burgundy Diamonds.

Shares in the company soared on the news, closing 48% higher at 37 Australian cents each. This leaves Gibb River Diamonds with a market capitalization of A$6.52 million ($4.4m).

Source: Mining.com

De Beers Is Eager To Go It Alone As Anglo American Divests Its Diamond Holdings

Anglo American, the $30.7 billion British multinational mining company, just announced plans to divest De Beers, its diamond mining and jewelry subsidiary. Ango American holds an 85% interest in De Beers and the government of Botswana owns the minority share.

“Anglo American is now exploring the full range of options to separate the business in order to set it up for success in unlocking full value, “ Anglo American CEO Duncan Wanblad said in a presentation earlier this week. “This will give both Anglo American and De Beers a new level of strategic flexibility to maximize value for both company’s shareholders.”

Anglo American is fighting a takeover bid from BHP Group, reported by Reuters to be the world’s largest mining company. In a move to shore up the company’s overall value, Anglo American will focus on its cooper, premium iron ore and crop nutrients businesses. Also slated to be divested is its Anglo American Platinum business, both of which will bring profound changes to the roughly $300 billion global jewelry industry.

Advising that Anglo American is considering a number of options for De Beers, be it a sale or IPO, and that it is still working through logistics with Botswana, Wanblad said, “It is a great business and it has fantastic assets and it has an exceptional brands. And therefore on that basis, it really deserves to be together on that set of criteria. How we do this is going to be a journey.”

De Beers CEO Al Cook is more than ready for the next phase of that journey. “For 124 of our 136 years of existence, Anglo American didn’t own the majority of De Beers,” he shared in an exclusive interview from Botswana. Anglo American acquired its majority stake in 2011.

Source: Forbes

Lucapa to sell majority stake in Lesotho diamond mine

Australia’s Lucapa Diamond (ASX: LOM) has put its 70% stake in the Mothae mine in Lesotho up for sale to focus on its core assets and is discussing options for the 30% held by the country’s government.

The diamond miner’s board said it was “considering all options for the divestment” and finalizing a data room for interested parties.

“The company’s collaboration with the Lesotho government on the Mothae diamond mine has been rewarding and our management have worked exceptionally well to optimize the plant to recover large diamonds,” Brown noted, adding Lucapa expects there will be “significant interest” from those within the diamond industry and on a wider scale.

Production at Mothae, which the Perth-based company acquired in early 2017, began commercial operations almost six years ago. The open pit mine is known to produce large, high-value diamonds, which makes the operation the world’s second highest-dollar-per-carat kimberlite diamond mine.

According to Lucapa’s December 2023 figures, the mine has 180,000 carats of indicated resources and 960,000 carats of inferred resources, with a calculated value of $606 per carat.

Lucapa finds another +100ct diamond at Lesotho mine
A 101 carat D-colour Type IIa white diamond found at Mothae. (Image courtesy of Lucapa Diamond.)
Mothae is located only 5km from Gem Diamonds’ (LON:GEMD) Letšeng, the world’s highest dollar-per-carat kimberlite diamond mine.

Lucapa also has a 40% stake in the prolific Lulo mine in Angola and is involved in exploration projects in Angola, Australia and Botswana.

Diamond miners have faced a number of significant challenges in recent years, including an excess of stockpiles that has forced top producers to decrease production and lower prices.

Source: mining.com

De Beers progresses diamond traceability, emissions reduction targets

As part of efforts to provide increased provenance across the diamond industry, De Beers plans to bring the first non-De Beers Group goods onto its Tracr platform this year.

The Tracr platform uses blockchain, AI, the Internet of Things and advanced security and privacy technology to track a diamond’s journey from where it is mined and throughout the value chain, providing consumers tamper-proof assurance of where the diamond comes from.

“Our leadership in diamond transparency and traceability continued throughout 2023, underpinned by leading technologies, so that we can increasingly connect consumers with the provenance of their natural diamond and all the benefits it has delivered along its journey,” De Beers CEO Al Cook says in an update to shareholders on the group’s ‘Building Forever’ sustainability goals.

In its ‘Building Forever 2023 Sustainability Report’, published on May 8, De Beers reflects on the sustainability goals it has achieved.

This includes having engaged 5 000 women and girls in science, technology, engineering and mathematics – two years ahead of schedule.

Further, De Beers has agreed to establish a flagship Diamonds for Development Fund, in Botswana; progress key renewable energy projects in support of its emission reduction targets; and scale the development of Tracr.

De Beers reports that it is now registering more than two-thirds of its global production by value on the platform, with 1.5-million individual diamonds registered on the platform during 2023, bringing the total registered on Tracr to two million.

De Beers also opened up the platform to the wider industry, with a number of prominent marketplaces and laboratories, including the Gemological Institute of America and Gemological Science International having joined the platform.

Further, De Beers announced a collaboration with diamond traceability technology company Sarine to focus on recording technologically assured, rough-to-polished diamond traceability, without the need for further physical verification, the diamond miner notes in its sustainability report.

“Tracr and Sarine technology is open to users across the industry and will focus on making digital access to information on diamonds available to Group of 7 officials,” the report states.

In addition, De Beers also launched a “substantially uplifted” Pipeline Integrity (PI) standard, that includes higher expectations and a new melee supplement. The PI standard sets the key criteria for demonstrating segregation and traceability of eligible diamonds from non-eligible diamonds.

“It assesses each entity in the chain of custody, from the point of rough purchase through to the polished sorting office, to help ensure the management systems, policies and procedures are in place to segregate and reconcile eligible diamonds from non-eligible diamonds,” De Beers explains.

In 2023, the group expanded the scope of participants in the PI programme to Tracr participants involved in the handling or the manufacturing process who register polished eligible diamonds on the platform.

This expansion in scope resulted in a 16% increase in the number of entities required to participate in PI, compared with 2022.

Each entity participating in the PI programme must conduct an annual self-assessment and undergo a third-party assessment by SGS – De Beers’ chosen external verifier.

Meanwhile, De Beers is also progressing renewable-energy projects at its operations as part of its emissions reduction efforts.

“We continue our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint in line with our recently validated science-based emission reduction targets and are progressing investments in renewable energy to power our operations,” Cook says.

De Beers has entered into an agreement with Envusa Energy – a joint venture between its parent company Anglo American and EDF Renewables – to wheel 48 MW of wind and solar generated electricity to the Venetia mine, in Limpopo, South Africa, from 2025.

The diamond miner has also completed a prefeasibility study into a 50 MW on-site solar plant to be built at Venetia. A feasibility study into the project is under way and expected to be completed by mid-2025.

Further, De Beers has progressed plans for the development of a 34 MW wind farm at subsidiary Namdeb’s land-based operations, in Namibia. A feasibility study is under way.

In Botswana, Debswana is exploring renewable energy supply options to be developed in partnership with the Botswana Power Corporation or independent power producers.

It also held an inaugural Scope 3 supplier summit, mandating carbon reporting for the company’s sightholders and securing commitments with key suppliers to work on aligned greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction roadmaps.

De Beers has set a target of achieving a 42% decrease in its absolute Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions, as well as a 25% decrease in its absolute Scope 3 GHG emissions by 2030, with 2021 set as the baseline year.

Source: Miningweekly

Passenger Caught with $84,000 of Gold Inside Body

A passenger at an airport in India was caught with almost 1kg (2.2lbs) of gold, most of it concealed inside their body.

They were intercepted at Bir Tikendrajit International Airport, Imphal, in the northeastern state of Manipur, after a specific tip-off.

Customs officers recovered one packet of gold, in a paste form, within the airport complex, and found two more hidden inside the passenger’s body after a thorough examination.

The gold packets were shaped like eggs, wrapped in rubber sheaths and were found hidden inside the passenger’s rectum.

The passenger has not been identified, and Customs did not say where they’d traveled from.

The total weight of the gold was 972.28 grams, with a market value of Rs 70,31,601 ($84,000).

Source: IDEX

Russia’s Alrosa says output stable amid Western sanctions

Russian diamond miner Alrosa has no plans to reduce production amid tougher Western sanctions, its chief executive Pavel Marinychev said on Thursday.
The Russian finance ministry said last month that Russia will regularly buy diamonds from the sanctions-hit producer through a state fund, suggesting that Western restrictions on the country’s diamond exports may be having some impact.
Group of Seven (G7) countries banned direct imports of Russian diamonds in January. A European Union and G7 ban on imports of Russia-origin diamonds via third countries came into effect last month.

Source: Reuters

IDEX Price Report for 1 May: Prices Show Signs of Stabilizing

A diamond held by dop is polished on rotating automatic cast iron lap

Prices showed signs of stabilizing during April, with an even mix of increases and decreases in many sizes, especially fancy cuts. Overall there were more clusters of price rises than we have seen of late.

It’s too early to positively identify a clear upward trend, but the “end of the lab grown boom” is arguably having an impact. Lab grown prices are now so low – in some case just 10 percent of natural – that many jewelers are opting not to stock them in inventory and are only buying them on consignment.

In addition the G7 sanctions, in place since 1 March, are now starting to bite, and to slowly push up prices.

They have effectively restored the De Beers monopoly, although its rough production is down by almost a quarter so far this year (as is Rio Tinto’s) and rough sales remain sluggish (down 18 per cent on last year). Meanwhile polished exports from India fell by 27 per cent during March to $1.2bn

Highlighted changes

Rounds

1.00-1.24 ct. D-F / VVS2-VS1 +4-5%, F-I / IF-VVS1 -1-7%

2.00-2.99 ct. D-G / VVS2-VS2 +2.5-5%, G-N / IF-VVS1 -2-5%

4.00-4.99 ct. E-I / VS1-2 +1-4%, K-M / VS2-SI1 -1-2%

Fancy Cuts

1.25-1.49 ct. D-I / VVS1-SI1 -1-6.5%

1.50-1.99 ct. D-E / VVS1-VS2 +1-5%, I-J / IF-VS2 -4.5-5.5%

2.00-2.99 ct. D-H / VVS2-VS2 +2.5-3%, H-N / IF-VVS1 -2-5%

Source: IDEX