Diamond Top Stories

Lucara bets on diamond market recovery, plans mine expansion

The company has earmarked $53 million for early work on…

Tomra sorter boosts Lucara’s exceptional finds

Lucara’s success at the Karowe mine continues, most recently with…

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The king of really big diamonds heads to China

The New York Times profiles Laurence Graff, whom the paper calls perhaps the biggest dealer in seriously big stones. In 2008, Graff Diamonds turned a pretax profit of $77 million on sales of $538 million, according to its chief financial officer, Nick Paine. In 2009, sales dropped to $432 million, and pretax profits to $62 million. Last year, sales were virtually flat, but pretax profits jumped to $86 million, mostly because of sales of smaller pieces with higher mark-ups. Which raises the question of how large his inventory of large stones has become.

Zimbabwe mining sector in $1bn deal with development banks

The Zimbabwe mining industry is expected to conclude a US$1 billion revolving facility at a number of African development banks to recapitalize mining firms as it emerges from a decade of hyperinflation, international sanctions and political turmoil that all but ground the sector to a halt. The mining industry, rich in precious metals and diamonds, made up roughly 20% of Zimbabwe's GDP and at $1.7bn 65% of all exports last year according to government statistics. This figure is set to increase dramatically particularly if the country receives approval to restart diamond exports currently under an international ban.

Russia muscles in on Zimbabwe’s $5bn diamond stockpile

SW Radio Africa news reports India has raised concerns as Russia is set to join China in moves to control diamond mining in Zimbabwe, with the Federation’s state diamond group Gokhran seeking a license to mine at the controversial Chiadzwa fields. China already has two companies operating there in partnership with Zimbabwe’s state diamond firm. Zimbabwe is set to become the world's leading producer, with an expected volume of 40m carats per year worth some $2bn annually from the rich deposits in Chiadzwa and Marange. The troubled country, emerging from years of hyperinflation and political turmoil, is however barred from selling diamonds because of alleged human rights violations and has built up a stockpile worth $4bn–$5bn.

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Vaaldiam stock near all time low after loss more than triples and Brazil mine ops suspended

Vaaldiam Mining net loss more than tripled in the first quarter to $7.6m after suspending operations at the Duas Barras diamond mine in Brazil. By close of trade on Wednesday shares in the company had fallen 21%, close to an all-time low leaving it with a market capitalization of a paltry $12m, a far cry from the $150m-plus valuation it commanded a decade ago. Vaaldiam said it will now focus on the development of the Brauna mine in Brazil after it paid $6.5m to increase its stake in the project to 51% in March. It has two other diamond mines in the country that are on care and maintenance.

De Beers Canada and Mountain Province Diamonds Provide Gahcho Kue Project Update

Gahcho Kué JV partners De Beers Canada Inc. (51%) and Mountain Province Diamonds Inc. (49%) (TSX: MPV) (NYSE AMEX: MDM) today announced that they have:
  • Approved the Gahcho Kué feasibility study with agreed revisions and clarifications;
  • Approved the execution of the necessary development work for the Gahcho Kué project; and
  • Mandated the Gahcho Kué project operator to prepare a plan and budget for the development of the Gahcho Kué mine.
  • The plan and budget, once approved by the JV partners, will serve as the basis for a final investment decision, which is expected to be made once the partners have clarity on the progress of the environmental review currently underway.

Jewellers provide support as gold prices bounce

Gold rebounded on Tuesday after posting its biggest one-day loss in a month in the previous session on growing worries about another global economic downturn, but a weaker U.S. dollar and bargain hunting by jewellers offered support. While signs of a cooling Chinese economy could weigh on industrial metals, dealers expect no change in China's appetite for bullion. Investors were also awaiting a trail of U.S. data later in the day which could set the tone for commodities.

Stornoway announces 56% increase in Renard diamond price estimate

Stornoway Diamond Corporation (TSX:SWY) is pleased to announce the results of a recent diamond valuation exercise undertaken in support of the ongoing feasibility study at the Renard Diamond Project, Stornoway's 100% owned flagship project located in north central Québec. The diamond valuation was performed under the supervision of WWW International Diamond Consultants Ltd. ("WWW") in Antwerp, Belgium between May 9th-13th, 2011.

Winnipeg Free Press: Harry Winston expects dazzling diamond sales as more millionaires emerge

Winnipeg Free Press reports: Harry Winston Diamond Corp. (TSX:HW) expects sales of its luxury jewelry and timepieces to reach $1 billion per year in the next decade as the number of wealthy individuals continues to climb. "There is an enormous concentration of wealth around the world," Frederic De Narp, head of Harry Winston's retail segment, said at the company's annual general meeting Thursday.

Bloomberg: De Beers considers expansion of its Voorspoed Mine as diamond prices climb

Bloomberg reports: De Beers, the world’s largest diamond producer, is considering an expansion of its South African Voorspoed mine to extend the life of the operation by as much as eight years as prices for the gems climb. De Beers will complete a study this year on a proposed expansion that would prolong the mine’s life to “2026 or 2028,” rather than 2020 as currently planned, Mine Manager Mpumi Zikalala said today in an interview at the site near Kroonstad. It’s too early to estimate the cost of the project, which may include an underground section, she said.