India Trade Urged to Freeze Rough Imports

Rough diamond

India’s leading diamond-trade organizations have called on members to stop importing rough for at least a month to prevent an oversupply and ensure banks maintain their credit to the sector.

Companies should consider pausing rough imports from May 15 for a minimum of 30 days, according to a letter from the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) and four other industry bodies, seen by Rapaport News.

The move — which would be voluntary on the part of the importers — would help the trade recover from the COVID-19 crisis by avoiding a flood of rough entering the pipeline, the letter explained. It would also show lenders that the trade is willing to minimize its debts, thereby dissuading them from slashing credit.

“Such import stoppage will help the industry face the challenge that has arisen out of turmoil in the global gems and jewelry market,” the groups said in their plea to the trade Wednesday. It was signed by heads of the GJEPC, the Bharat Diamond Bourse in Mumbai, the Mumbai Diamond Merchants Association, the Surat Diamond Bourse, and the Surat Diamond Association.

India’s polishing sector and diamond trade are shut until May 3 at the earliest due to a nationwide lockdown aimed at containing the coronavirus. As it stands, any rough that enters India would remain in inventory until business reopens. Meanwhile, closures of retail and trading centers around the world have obliterated polished demand, putting severe pressure on the Indian industry.

The groups that signed the letter have met with leading diamond exporters and other prominent trade members to explore steps to minimize the impact of the downturn. They have also written to the Indian government to inform it of the “precarious” state of the country’s gem and jewelry industry, they said. The GJEPC and the trade will review the matter in the second week of June to decide if further action is necessary.


Gem Diamonds Retrieves Another Five Big Stones

GEM diamonds

Gem Diamonds has recovered five large, high-quality stones at its Letšeng mine in Lesotho, continuing a strong first quarter for the company’s production.

The company unearthed four white diamonds weighing 88, 56, 53 and 33 carats between February 28 and March 3. It also found a “top-quality” 13-carat pink diamond.

Those are in addition to the recovery of a 114-carat stone the miner reported last week. It found a 183-carat, white, type IIa diamond last month.

The miner is ahead of where it was this time last year in terms of its large-stone recoveries. In 2019, Gem Diamonds didn’t find any stones over 100 carats until late March. During that year, the company unearthed a 13.33-carat pink diamond similar to the one it found last week. That stone sold to Graff for $8.8 million, fetching a record average price of $656,933 per carat for Gem Diamonds.

While the recovery of large stones bodes well for the company, it has had to cancel a rough tender that was set to take place in Israel from March 8 to 12 due to the coronavirus, the Israel Diamond Exchange reported. Its Belgium auction will proceed as planned.


De Beers Sales Slip to $440M

De Beers Sight

De Beers recorded its lowest-value sales cycle this year as weak Indian demand prompted it to drop prices of cheaper goods.

Proceeds fell to $440 million in November as the miner reduced prices by high-single-digit percentages for rough diamonds costing $100 per carat or less, sightholders said last week. The Indian manufacturing sector has struggled with thinning profit margins due to relatively high rough prices and the weak rupee, while tighter bank lending has further contributed to a decline in demand. November is also seasonally slow as factories close for the Diwali festival.

Proceeds from the ninth sales cycle fell 6% compared with the equivalent period a year ago, and were down 9% versus the $482 million it garnered in October, De Beers reported Tuesday.

“As the industry’s focus turns towards the key end-of-year retail selling season, rough-diamond sales continued to be in line with expectation during the ninth cycle of the year,” said De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver. “While demand for smaller, lower-quality rough diamonds continues to see some challenges, the latest cycle saw some signs of improvement in this area as factories in India begin to reopen after Diwali.”

Rough-diamond sales came to $4.85 billion for the first nine cycles of the year, in line with a year ago, according to Rapaport calculations. The company offers its rough goods at 10 sales cycles across the year, mainly at sights in Gaborone, Botswana. Its sales figures also include auction proceeds.

Image: A De Beers sightholder examines a parcel of rough diamonds. (Kieran Doherty/De Beers)


Diavik ‘Stars Of The Arctic’ Provide Rough Diamond Tender Sparkle

Arctic Star Rough Diamond

Rio Tinto and Dominion Diamond Mines have revealed three of the finest large rough diamonds from their Canadian diamond mine that will be tendered to diamond specialists from around the world.

Collectively known as The Diavik Stars of the Arctic, the three rough diamonds showcase a rare combination of size, quality and color from the Diavik diamond mine in the remote Northwest Territories of Canada, 220 kilometers south of the Arctic Circle, the miner said in a statement.

The Diavik Stars of the Arctic will headline Rio Tinto’s forthcoming “Specials” Tender, which showcases rough diamonds greater than 10.8 carats. Taking their inspiration from constellations across the night skies of the North.

The Diavik Stars of the Arctic comprised of the, Vega of the Arctic, 177.71 carats, one of the largest and most valuable gem quality rough diamonds ever produced in Canada , Altair of the Arctic, 59.10 carats, a white gem quality rough diamond Capella of the Actic , 24.82 carats, a yellow diamond

Diavik Diamond Mines president and chief operating officer Patrick Boitumelo said, “Diavik diamonds are over two billion years old and it has taken 15 years of production to unearth these extraordinary diamonds, underscoring the ongoing importance of the Diavik ore body in the context of the global diamond industry.”

The Diavik Diamond Mine owned by Rio Tinto 60 per cent and joint venture partner Dominion Diamond Mines (40%) began production in 2003 and has been a fully underground mining operation since 2012. It recently opened its fourth pipe, the A21 pipe, which will provide an important source of incremental production.

The Diavik mine produces predominantly gem quality diamonds destined for high end jewelry in all major consumer markets around the world. The discovery of Lot 3, Capella of the Arctic, a large yellow diamond is very rare, with the mine on average producing only five of these diamonds each year, in effect less than 0.001% of annual production.

The Diavik Stars of the Arctic will be showcased in Antwerp and Israel to large diamond specialists from around the world before bids close on October 25.

Source: IDEX Online