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 miningintelligence.com, 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, miningintelligence.com 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

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 Recovers 1,174 Carat Diamond from the Karowe Mine in Botswana

1,174.76 carat rough diamond

Lucara Diamond Corp. is pleased to announce the recovery of a 1,174.76 carat diamond from its 100% owned Karowe Diamond Mine located in Botswana.

The diamond, measuring 77x55x33mm, is described as a clivage gem of variable quality with significant domains of high-quality white gem material, and was recovered from direct milling of ore sourced from the EM/PK(S) unit of the South Lobe.

The 1,174 carat diamond represents the third +1,000 carat diamond recovered from the South Lobe of the AK6 kimberlite since 2015 including the 1,758 carat Sewelô and 1,109 carat Lesedi La Rona.

The 1,174.76 carat diamond was recovered in the Mega Diamond Recovery XRT circuit. On the same production day, several other diamonds of similar appearance (471 carat, 218 carat, 159 carat) were recovered at the main XRT circuit, indicating the 1,174 diamond was part of a larger diamond with an estimated weight of > 2000 carats.

The MDR is positioned after the primary crusher, ahead of the autogenous mill, and is the first opportunity for diamond recovery within the circuit.

Lucara Recovers 470 Carat Diamond from the Karowe Mine in Botswana

470 carat diamond recovered from the Karowe Mine in Botswana

Lucara Diamond Corp. is pleased to announce the recovery of a 470 carat top light
brown clivage diamond from its 100% owned Karowe Diamond Mine located in Botswana.

The diamond, measuring 49x42x26mm, was recovered from direct milling of ore sourced from the EM/PK(S) unit of the
South Lobe. The 470 carat recovery forms a notable contribution to a series of top quality gem and clivage quality
diamond recoveries during a recent production run, including an additional 5 diamonds greater than 100 carats
(265ct, 183ct, 161ct, 116ct, 106ct) and 13 diamonds between 50 and 100 carats in weight.

The May production run, dominated by EM/PK(S) ore, produced diamonds greater than 10.8 carat in weight accounting for 12.7% weight percent of total production, exceeding resource expectations. Continued strong resource performance and recovery of large diamonds reinforces the significance of the EM/PK(S) as an important economic driver for the proposed underground mine at Karowe.


The 470 carat diamond was recovered in the Coarse XRT circuit and represents the third +300 carat diamond
recovered to date in 2021. Year to date, Karowe has produced 10 diamonds greater than 100 carats including 6
diamonds greater than 200 carats, including the 341 carat (link to press release) and 378 carat (link to press release)
top white diamonds recovered in January 2021.

Lucara Secures $220M in Financing to Take Mine Underground

Karowe Mine in Botswana
Karowe Mine in Botswana 

Lucara Diamond Corp. said it has secured $220 million in financing to help take the Karowe Mine in Botswana underground and extend its life by about 20 years.

Karowe is responsible for producing some of the most significant diamonds recovered in recent years, including the 1,109-carat “Lesedi La Rona,” which Graff bought for $53 million, and a 1,758-carat diamond that Louis Vuitton is turning into jewelry.

The credit-approved senior debt facilities include two tranches: $170 million to go toward the development of the underground mine and $50 million to support the ongoing operation of the open pit.

The underground expansion has an estimated capital cost of $514 million and is expected to take five years. The balance of development capital for the project is expected to come from cash flow from the mine’s ongoing open-pit operations.

In a statement announcing the financing, Lucara President and CEO Eira Thomas called securing the financing “an important achievement for Lucara and a strong endorsement of our underground expansion plans.”
She said the loans will supplement the cash flow from the open-pit portion of Karowe for the next five years and will extend the life of the mine from 2025 to at least 2040.

The five lenders on the $220 million financing facility for Lucara are: ING Bank N.V., Natixis, the London branch of Societe Generale, Africa Finance Corp., and Afreximbank. Thomas described them as having “significant mining and metals track records and experience in Africa.”

Closing on the facilities is subject to completion of definitive documentation and the satisfaction of certain terms and conditions, including Know Your Customer (KYC) checks.

The target closing date for the financing package is mid-2021, with financing expected to be in place by the second half of the year.

Lucara made the financing announcement the day before it released its first-quarter 2021 results.

Revenues totaled $53.1 million, or $579 per carat sold, for the miner in Q1. Net income was $3.4 million.

That is a significant improvement over Q1 2020, when the onset of the pandemic limited sales to $34.1 million and caused Lucara to record a loss of $3.2 million.

First-quarter 2021 results also are up when compared with 2019, when Lucara reported revenues of $48.7 million, or $512 per carat sold. Net income for the latter, however, was higher at $7.4 million.

The company said overall, the diamond market started 2021 in its healthiest position in five years following strong holiday seasons in the United States and China, and careful rough supply management by producers, which has helped to recalibrate polished inventories.

Source: nationaljeweler