86 posts categorized "Diamond Mining"

Chunk That Broke Off 1,109-Carat Diamond Sells for $17M

 Vancouver, British Columbia--A 373.72-carat rough diamond that once was part of the second largest piece of rough ever found sold for $17.5 million last week, Lucara Diamond Corp. reported.

373.72 rough diamondThe diamond was one of 15 single-stone lots offered at the diamond mining company’s first “exceptional” stone tender of the year.

Graff Diamonds purchased the stone, posting a photo of the rough on its Instagram account over the weekend.

Lucara found the 374-carat diamond in November 2015at its Karowe mine in Botswana at the same time it discovered the record-setting, 1,111-carat diamond (now 1,109 carats) that would come to be known as Lesedi la Rona. 

CEO William Lamb said that had the smaller, 374-carat piece of rough not broken off the main stone, the diamond would have weighed almost 1,500 carats. But the huge rough diamond likely would have been crushed in the company’s recovery plant, which isn’t designed to handle stones of that size.

“If the 374-carat stone was still attached to the Lesedi, the stone would have been larger in two dimensions than the largest screen (sieve) used in the plant to separate material into different sizes,” he explained. “The original stone would have been too large to pass through the screen and the whole stone would have ended up in the crusher, where it would have been broken into a lot more pieces.”

He added that Lucara is currently in the process of upgrading its plant, an upgrade called mega diamond recovery or MDR, which will address this by recovering diamonds up to 5,000 carats right at the front of the process facility.

Also recovered from that fortuitous haul was an 812.77-carat diamond that sold for $63.1 million--more than $77,000 per carat--in May 2016, setting a new world record for a rough diamond.
 
The 374-carat diamond was the top lot in the Lucara’s tender, which was 100 percent sold by lot.

The sale, which contained rough diamond ranging from 374 to 29.9 carats in size, totaled $54.8 million, or $31,010 per carat.

Lucara said there were seven diamonds that sold for more than $2 million each. Of those, three diamonds topped $4 million.

182 carat rough diamondThis includes the 374-carat diamond and the auction’s second highest-grossing lot, a 182.47-carat diamond that sold for $6.3 million.

Since it started mining at Karowe in 2012, Lucara has gotten more than $1 million for each of 145 rough diamonds.

Its biggest find remains unsold, however.

Lesedi-la-Rona rough diamondThe 1,109-carat Lesedi la Rona went up for public auction at Sotheby’s but nobody met the $70 million reserve price.

At the end of 2016, Lamb told National Jeweler that the rough diamond likely would be put up for sale again in 2017 but through a sealed bid tender, perhaps, and not a public auction.

When asked about the diamond on Monday, Lamb said: “We continue to speak to a number of people within the sector regarding the sale of the stone, as well as looking at options to partner to polish the stone or even polish it without a partner … We are looking at all options and hope to make a decision soon.”
 
 
By Michelle Graff

Countries That Produce the Most Diamonds

Despite a market that accounts for more than a third of global demand for the gemstone, the U.S. does not have any significant natural diamond resources within its geographical borders. Instead, Russia supplied about a third of the total carats mined in 2015.

Diamond production levels have remained steady in recent years, but industry analysts have predicted a dip in demand due in part to shifting preferences among millennials. The generation is getting married later, if at all, and has unique preferences.

In October, the Diamond Producers Association – a group of seven major diamond retailers, including De Beers and Canada's Lucara – launched an advertising campaign targeting millennial consumers called "Real Is Rare." The industry organization, founded in 2015, even got celebrity Nick Cannon involved.

Diamond-mines-map

But diamonds may not be as rare as the trade organization makes them out to be. After a drop in production between 2008 and 2009, more than 120 million carats of diamond have been produced each year by a handful of countries, largely concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa. According to the U.S. Department of the Interior, there are also "substantial" reserves of the gemstone around the world.

 

Here are the countries that produced the most diamonds in 2015, according to the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, a collaboration among government and industry organizations.

Country Diamond Production in 2015 (in carats) Average Value Per Carat
Russia 41.9 million $101
Botswana 20.8 million $144
Dem. Rep. of Congo 16.0 million $8
Australia 13.6 million $23
Canada 11.7 million $144
Angola 9.0 million $131
South Africa 7.2 million $193
Zimbabwe 3.5 million $50
Namibia 2.1 million $591
Sierra Leone 500,000 $309
 

Two Large Rough Diamonds Found in Lesotho

New York--Two large diamonds have been uncovered in Africa in as many weeks, putting an end to the drought of big diamond finds the industry seems to have been experiencing.
Lesotho diamonds
Gem Diamonds uncovered the 114-carat D color, Type II rough diamond on the left at Letšeng while Firestone Diamonds found the 110-carat light yellow rough diamond at right at its Liqhobong project.

Mining company Gem Diamonds Ltd. announced the recovery of a 114-carat rough diamond from its Letšeng mine in Lesotho on Friday.

The company described it as a D color, Type II diamond of “exceptional quality.”

The Letšeng mine is known for producing large, high-quality white diamonds, selling at an average price of $2,000 per carat, according to Bloomberg, which is the highest in the industry.

It is the deposit responsible for producing the 357-carat chunk of rough that was cut into the 118.78-carat “Graff Venus,” the world’s largest flawless heart-shaped diamond.

Since Gem Diamonds acquired Letšeng in 2006, the mine has produced four of the 20 largest gem-quality white diamonds ever recorded, though last year it only recovered five stones bigger than 100 carats, less than half what it found the year prior.

The news of Gem’s find came on the heels of another big diamond find from a rival miner in Lesotho, a small kingdom within a country that’s located in the southeastern portion of South Africa.

On April 5, Firestone Diamonds said it had unearthed a 110-carat diamond, its biggest discovery so far, at its new mine in Lesotho.

The light yellow stone was discovered at the Liqhobong project, confirming its beliefs that the deposit has the potential for large diamonds, the company said.

Firestone has spent $185 million to build up the mine, which just began production in October.

In addition to its Liqhobong mine in Lesotho, Firestone also owns and operates the BK11 kimberlite mine in northern Botswana.

via www.nationaljeweler.com


Inside Russia’s Diamond Mines

 

Mirny diamond mineIn the far north-east of Russia, a whole town of people dedicates their working lives to finding diamonds. Russia is the world's largest producer of diamonds by volume and Mirny is its ‘diamond capital'. 

Mirny is so remote that the people here refer to the rest of Russia as ‘the mainland.'

Located in Russia's far northeast, 4,000 km from Moscow, the main route in and out is via aircraft. In winter, when temperatures can drop to below -50 degrees centigrade, ice roads appear allowing supplies to be brought in overland. 

The town itself is built around a giant hole in the ground. It is probably Mirny's most distinguishing feature. Diamonds were discovered here in the 1950s and as the diamond mine grew, so did the town around it. The city has primarily been financed from the proceeds of the quarry - which grew to be 1.2km wide and 525m deep.

It is a remote, inhospitable place. Until June this year there was still snow on the ground. "In Mirny, for ten months of the year, it is winter."

The attraction here is definitely not the climate or the location, but the higher wages which attract people from other Russian regions and former Soviet states.

Click here to read the entire article with photos and video of life at Russia's diamond mines.


The Most Expensive Hole in the World

Mir mine photoWith an expected value of £13billion (over $17 billion), this could be the most expensive hole in the world.

Dubbed 'Diamond City', Mir mine in eastern Siberia is so huge it creates a vortex potentially strong enough to suck helicopters into its depths.

At 1,722-feet-deep and with a diameter of nearly one mile, the crater makes it look like the nearby town of Mirny has been struck by a meteorite.

Check out the full article with other great photos and videos showing this exceptional diamond mine.

 




De Beers' Gahcho Kue mine comes online, producing its first diamonds - North - CBC News

$1B mine on track to begin commercial production in 1st quarter of 2017

By Guy Quenneville, CBC News Posted: Aug 03, 2016 1:28 PM CTLast Updated: Aug 03, 2016 1:28 PM CT

1-of-3-open-pits-at-gahcho-kue-diamond-mine-august-2016

De Beers and Mountain Province Diamonds have started producing diamonds at their Gahcho Kue mine in the Northwest Territories.

While the mine isn't expected to reach a commercial level of production until the first quarter of 2017, Gahcho Kue has made the significant move from construction and commissioning to, as De Beers spokesperson Tom Ormsby put it, "actually putting some ore in the plant."

"Everything is now working," said Ormsby, adding that the $1-billion project remains on budget and slightly ahead of its timeline.

Production had long been expected to begin in late 2016.

2nd N.W.T. project for De Beers

Gahcho Kue, located 280 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife, is De Beers' second diamond mine in the N.W.T. after Snap Lake, and its third project in Canada. (The company also operates the Victor mine in Northern Ontario.)

The company shut down production at Snap Lake in December, laying off 434 workers. De Beers is now preparing to flood the mine's underground workings, unless it can find a buyer for that mine.

More than 100 former Snap Lake workers are now working at Gahcho Kue. At Snap Lake, around 75 workers continue to prepare the mine for flooding.

Ormsby was unsure whether more former Snap Lake workers could transition to the new mine.

He said that while Snap Lake was an underground mine, Gahcho Kue's three deposits will be mined in the more traditional (and technically less complicated) open-pit style, which requires a different (and not always transferable) set of skills.

Grand opening coming soon

Gahcho Kue is expected to have a steady workforce of around 500 people, said Ormsby.  

De Beers and Mountain Province — which owns a 49-per-cent stake in Gahcho Kue — plan to hold an official grand opening "in the next couple months," said Ormsby.

via www.cbc.ca


Cora International to Unveil Blue Moon Diamond in Los Angeles - JCK

By Logan Sachon, Social Media Journalist

Posted on September 4, 2014
 
The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County will host the unveiling of Cora International’s Blue Moon Diamond on Sept. 13.

The diamond will be on display at the museum until Jan. 6, 2015. 

12 ct Blue Moon DiamondThe 12 ct. stone is owned by Cora International, the diamond-cutting company. It purchased the 29.6 ct. rough stone from Petra Diamonds in February for $25.6 million and have since cut it down.

29.62-rough-blue-diamondThe diamond was unearthed by Petra in January from the Cullinan mine in South Africa. 

 

via www.jckonline.com


Will rare pink diamond auction sparkle for investors? - Telegraph

Will rare pink diamond auction sparkle for investors?

Pink diamond tender comes as wealthy Asian buyers spur rise in the precious stones

Red diamondsRio Tinto, the world's second-largest mining company, has launched its latest rare pink diamond auction in Australia as prices for the most sought after of precious gems stones are expected to surge. The 2014 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender collection which is going under the hammer comprises 55 diamonds, including 51 pink and purplish red diamonds and four Fancy Red diamonds.
 
Only 13 Fancy Red diamonds have been included in the annual tender in the last 30 years.
 
Diamonds are becoming an increasingly rare item as fewer mines remain in operation and new discoveries dwindle. According to Petra Diamonds there are only around 30 operational diamond mines still working around the world. De Beers estimates there is only a 1pc chance of finding a profitable diamond mine.
 
Rio Tinto controls the market for pink diamonds from the Argyle mine in Australia. Around 65pc of the world's diamond supplies come from the Cullinan mine in South Africa. Jean-Marc Lieberherr, Rio Tinto Diamonds managing director said: "Decades ago, no one would have believed that Australia held the secret of diamonds, let alone virtually the world's entire source of rare pink and red diamonds.
 
"The pinnacle of the production from Rio Tinto's Argyle mine, the annual pink tender diamonds are now celebrated internationally as amongst the rarest and most valuable diamonds in the world. We have seen and continue to see sustained demand and price growth for Argyle pink diamonds.
 
" Investors have until October 8 to submit bids for the diamonds, which will be showcased in New York, Sydney, Perth and Hong Kong.
 
According to Rio Tinto, the market for pink diamonds is quite separate to white diamonds, and due to their rarity, pink diamonds typically command prices far in excess of white diamonds. The world's biggest certified diamond is the 3,106-carat Cullinan, found at the mine near Pretoria in 1905. It was cut to form the Great Star of Africa and the Lesser Star of Africa, set in the Crown Jewels of Britain. However, most of the new demand for diamonds is now coming from the Asian market.
 
In 2000, the whole of Asia made up 8pc of global diamond jewellery sales, while in 2012 China and Hong Kong alone made up 13pc, with the expectation that this will rise to 18pc by 2017. Bain's 2013 diamond report found that the stones have strong spiritual resonance in China, where diamonds are associated with eternity and high status. And the country's affluent middle class is predicted to grow by 60pc, or 200m, to a total of more than 500m over the next six years..

via www.telegraph.co.uk

 


122.52 Carat Blue Diamond Found at Cullinan - JCK

122.52 Carat Blue Diamond Found at Cullinan

 
1.22.52 ct blue diamond-1

Blue diamonds are ultrarare, as are stones weighing more than 100 cts.—making this, as Petra puts it, a “truly significant find.”  “It’s virtually unheard of to have a blue of over 100 carats,” says spokesperson Cathy Malins.

However, it’s not clear whether this will stand as the largest piece of blue rough ever found. One reference source says that a 620.14 ct. light blue stone was recovered in South Africa in 1984. Beyond that, there is no official record of the size of the rough was that produced the world’s most famous blue, the 45 ct. Hope, but it is estimated at 112 cts. 

1.22.52 ct blue diamond-2A statement from Petra did not comment on the color or clarity of the stone, saying it will require “further analysis in order to assess its potential value.” But an analyst told Reuters he believes it could set a new benchmark for the highest recorded price of a piece of rough when it’s sold later this year—besting Petra’s previous champ: the Feb. 2010 sale of a 507 ct. white stone for $35.3 million.

Thomas Gelb, educational director of the Natural Color Diamond Association, believes the stone has the potential to become a sizable piece of polished—possibly the largest blue stone ever.

“Given that it is from the Cullinan mine it is very likely a type IIb boron-rich diamond,” he says. “Type IIb diamonds are generally less likely to cleave or fracture during cutting and very frequently have few internal inclusions.”

The find occurs as the market for fancy colored gems continues to sizzle. Last month the 13.22 ct. fancy-vivid Winston Blue fetched $23.8 million at Christie’s, setting a new record for a blue diamond of $1.8 million a carat. A Petra statement noted: “This sets apart blue diamonds as one of the most highly concentrated forms of wealth known to man.” 

The Cullinan mine—which Petra purchased from De Beers in 2008—has produced a number of significant blue stones, including a 39.9 ct. diamond, which sold for $8.8 million ($220,551 per ct.) in 2008; a 26.6 ct. diamond, which was eventually polished into the 7 ct. fancy-vivid blue Star of Josephine; and a 25.5 ct. diamond, which sold for $16.9 million ($663,144 per ct.) in 2013.

 

via www.jckonline.com


Analyzing the world's 50 largest diamond mines | Resource Investor

Based on the analysis below, 135 million carats of rough diamonds, valued at $17.8 billion, will be mined in 2014, which would represent an increase of approximately 3% over 2013 estimates. The 50 mines itemized below are estimated to account for 90% of global rough diamond supply in 2014, with the balance coming from private or small-scale operations, where production data is unreliable or not available at all.

Image 1: Rough diamonds at the Mirny Sorting Center, Republic of Sakha, Russia. Source: ALROSA.

The Marange diamond fields, a 300 square-mile alluvial deposit in Zimbabwe, was ranked the worlds largest source of diamonds in 2013 in terms of total carats produced, estimated to have produced almost 17 million carats or 13% of global supply. However, It appears that 2013 production levels will not be sustained in 2014 as grades have decreased and easily minable loose gravel has been rapidly depleted leaving more difficult-to-mine conglomerate stone. While Marange is a relatively new project with formal mining commencing only 5 years ago, alluvial projects like Marange tend to have a much shorter life span than open-pit or underground diamond mines, as the economic resource is limited to the easily accessible surface stones; mining deeper solid conglomerate rock is not economic in a lot of cases. None of the 7 private companies operating in Marange provide specific production guidance, but representatives of the companies have publically expressed frustration with decreased operating economics resulting from depleted resource. In 2014, Marange production is estimated to drop to 8-12 million carats or less.

Image 2: Orapa processing plant 2. Source: De Beers Group.

In 2013, Botswana’s Orapa mine was the worlds largest diamond mine in terms of total value of carats produced. In 2014 Orapa is again estimated to be the worlds largest by value estimated to produce $1.9 billion worth of diamonds. In 2014, the Orapa mine is also estimated to be the worlds largest in terms of carats produced with 12.9 million carats. De Beers’ and Botswana’s joint venture portfolio, Debswana, realized a 17% increase in production in Q4 2013, highlighted by higher grades realized at Orapa and the Orapa One processing plant resuming operations following unplanned maintenance in Q3 2013.

Australia’s Argyle mine, known as the worlds largest producer of fancy colored diamonds, including elusive pink and red diamonds, is estimated to produce 12.6 million carats in 2014, making it the second largest diamond mine in the world in terms of carats produced. While Argyle has a history of producing some of the most precious colored diamonds in world, unpopular brown diamonds, most of which are classified as industrial quality, account for the majority of Argyle’s production making the mine’s average carat value produced among the lowest in the world.

Image 3: ALROSA’s Mir mine. Source ALROSA.

The Russian government-run super-major ALROSA has 9 primary diamond mines, 10 alluvial mines, and 2 mines in development, accounting for approximately 95% of all Russian diamond production. ALROSA’s mines represent 8 out of the top 15 largest producing diamond mines in the world in terms of carats produced. ALROSA’s Jubilee and Nyurbinskaya mines are both estimated to produce over 9 million carats in 2014 making them the fourth and fifth largest projects in the world according to 2014 projections.

Jwaneng, the second largest diamond mine in Botswana, is nearing completion of the Cut-8 expansion, which will extend the mine life to at least 2025. Cut-8 will provide access to approximately 95 million carats of high quality diamonds, making Jwaneng the most valuable diamond reserve in the world. Jwaneng successfully recovered from a slope failure in Q2 2012, and is estimated to produce over 9 million carats of diamonds worth $1.3 billion in 2014.

Image 4: The Jwaneng mine, Botswana. Source: Debswana.

Venetia, South Africa’s largest diamond mine, realized a production increase of 57% in Q3 2013, on higher volumes and grades following recovery from flooding earlier in the year. A plan to convert Venetia to an underground mine received environmental approval in October 2013 and the project build is scheduled to commence shortly, which will increase the mine life beyond 2040. Venetia is estimated to produce over 3.5 million carats in 2014 with production valued at over $500 million.

 

Lesotho, a landlocked country within South Africa, is home to the Letseng mine, which has a history of consistently producing the most valuable diamonds in the world on an average per-carat basis. Letseng is estimated to produce only 110,000 carats in 2014, but the average price of carat produced is estimated to be around $2,200, which is significant considering the global average price per-carat of rough produced is around $130.

Image 5: The Leseli La Letšeng is a 478 carat D color diamond that was recovered from Gem Diamond’s Letšeng mine in September 2008. It was sold via tender in Antwerp in November 2008 for $18 million. Source: Gem Diamonds Ltd.

2014 will mark the first full year of production at Russia’s Grib mine. Estimated to produce 4 million carats annually once fully ramped up, Grib has a reserve of approximately 75 million carats and a mine life of approximately 20 years. Currently owned by Russian oil-major LUKoil, the company has publicly expressed interest is selling the asset, which lies outside of the oil company’s core strategy.

Botswana’s Ghaghoo mine is expected to commence production in the second half of 2014. Once production is fully ramped up, Ghaghoo is estimated to produce 750,000 carats annually worth an estimated $200 per carat.

Image 6: Ghaghoo development. Source: Gem Diamonds Ltd.

The most anticipated diamond development project in the world, Canada’s Gahcho Kué, continues to move forward as permitting is expected to be approved in the second half of 2014, with mechanical completion of the processing plant and cold commissioning anticipated to start as early as 2015. Once fully ramped up, Gahcho Kué is estimated to produce 5 million carats of diamonds annually worth an estimated $185 per carat.

Top diamond mine chart


Figure 1: Global ranking of diamond mines by estimated 2014 production in terms of carats and dollar value.

via www.resourceinvestor.com