De Beers to Shut Victor Mine in 2019

Victor Mine

VICTOR MINE TO COMPLETE MINING AND PRODUCTION ACTIVITIES IN Q1 2019

De Beers Group today announced that its Victor mine in northern Ontario, Canada, will complete mining and production activities in the first quarter of 2019, once the current open pit is depleted and in line with the original feasibility study and current mine plan.

Production at Victor mine commenced in July 2008. The mine was forecast to produce six million carats during its mine life and has already exceeded these projections, producing approximately seven million carats to date, and it will continue to operate at full production throughout its remaining life.

The Victor mine team has been recognised for its exemplary performance throughout the life of the operation, with the mine being named International Mine of the Year in 2009 and twice receiving the John T. Ryan National Award for the safest mine in Canada, in 2015 and 2016.

De Beers developed a detailed mine closure plan before Victor mine opened and progressive reclamation work has already been taking place at the mine for several years. To date, this has included the planting of more than 200,000 tree saplings and willow stakes that were harvested and grown locally through a community youth work programme.

Once the mine pit has been depleted in 2019, the demolition and environmental monitoring phase is expected to take three to five years. De Beers is working closely with community partners to create opportunities for employment and awarding contracts that will be required during this phase.

Kim Truter, Chief Executive, De Beers Canada, said: “Victor mine has made a significant contribution to De Beers and to Canada, and the Victor mine team has consistently delivered the highest standards of performance and safety. While we are focused on continuing to maintain production for the duration of operations, we are also planning responsibly for Victor mine’s closure in line with the agreed mine plan and our commitment to leaving a positive legacy.”

De Beers has been operating in Canada since it carried out its first exploration programme in 1961. The Victor kimberlite cluster discovery in 1987 by De Beers Exploration was the first economic diamond discovery in Canada. In 2016, De Beers with its joint venture partner, Mountain Province Diamonds, opened the Gahcho Kué diamond mine in Canada’s Northwest Territories, the largest new diamond mine to open in more than a decade.

 

Victor Mine is a remote fly-in – fly-out mine located in the James Bay Lowlands of Northern Ontario, approximately 90km west of the coastal community of Attawapiskat First Nation. Victor Mine is an open pit mine and Ontario’s first diamond mine.

VICTOR MINE

Location: 52° 49’ 15” latitude, 83° 53’ 00” longitude, approximately 90 kilometres west of the First Nation community of Attawapiskat in northeastern Ontario

Mine Area: Victor kimberlite has a surface area of 15 hectares

VICTOR MINE OVERVIEW

Victor Mine is located in the James Bay Lowlands of northern Ontario, approximately 90 km west of the coastal community of Attawapiskat First Nation. It is Ontario’s first diamond mine and the second in Canada for De Beers.

The Victor Mine is an open-pit mine and is one of 18 kimberlite pipes discovered on the property, 16 of which are diamondiferous.

Construction of the Victor Mine began in February 2006 after receiving all necessary approvals from provincial and federal governments.

Approximately $1 billion was spent on construction of the mine, with approximately C$167 million spent with Aboriginal businesses or joint venture partners. It is also estimated that De Beers will contribute C$6.7 billion cumulative GDP impact for all of Ontario during the life of the Victor Mine.

The Victor Mine reached commercial production in 2008 (six months ahead of schedule) and the Official Mine Opening took place in July 2008. The mine will complete mining and processing activities in Q1 2019, then move into the formal closure phase.

In October 2009, the Victor Mine was voted “Mine of the Year” by the readers of the international trade publication Mining Magazine.

De Beers is committed to sustainable development in local communities. The Victor Mine has signed four community agreements for the Victor Mine including:

  • an Impact Benefit Agreement (IBA) with the Attawapiskat First Nation (November 2005),
  • a Working Relationship Agreement with the Taykwa Tagamou Nation (May 2005),
  • an Impact Benefit Agreement (IBA) with Moose Cree First Nation (September 2007) and
  • an Impact Benefit Agreement (IBA) with Kashechewan and Fort Albany First Nation (February 2009)

Sierra Leone to sell 709-carat diamond in Rapaport NY auction

Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone said on Tuesday it plans to auction off a massive 709-carat Peace Diamond at Rapaport December sale in New York, aiming to make a clean break with the “blood diamonds” of its past.

The stone, which was unearthed in March, is the largest discovered in Sierra Leone in almost a half-century and is between the 10th and 15th largest ever found worldwide, experts say.

Sierra Leone authorities told reporters that the massive gem will go up for sale on December 4 at Rapaport Auctions, which specialises in the diamond trade.

The government has pledged to be transparent in the stone’s sale, mindful of the history of cross-border diamond trafficking that fuelled Sierra Leone’s civil war from 1991-2002.

Such “blood diamonds” were often found by enslaved members of the population, who were killed or maimed by rebel groups if they refused to dig.

The 709-carat behemoth was discovered by Emmanuel Momoh, an Evangelical pastor who is also one of hundreds of so-called artisanal miners in Kono, Sierra Leone’s key mining district.

Momoh said he hoped the sale would “improve the lives of the people by providing water, electricity, schools, health facilities, roads and bridges” in the Kono region.

The state expects to collect 15 percent of the sale’s proceeds and a 30% income tax.

Sierra Leone had initially looked to sell the diamond at home but the best offer the country received was $7.7 million in April, which the government deemed insufficient.

It then decided to sell abroad. The rough stone was shown in Israel on Monday and Tuesday and will be on display in the Belgian city of Antwerp – one of the world capitals for diamond trading – from October 30 to November 10.

The diamond – known under its official name as the “diamond of peace” – will then be shown at the United Nations in New York, authorities said.

“We are grateful to the pastor for transferring the diamond to the government rather than smuggling it abroad,” presidency spokesman Abdulai Bayratay said.

Conflicts and controversy surrounding “blood diamonds” led the international community to enact a process known as “Kimberley” in 2003, which certifies diamonds as “conflict-free”.

My Fair Diamond

my fair diamond

My Fair Diamond: African Development Jewelry, Made in Antwerp

My Fair Diamond – MFD-A5-FR In 2015, CAP Conseil, a sustainable development consultancy based in Belgium, presented the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) an idea for a fully ethical and traceable diamond jewelry project from small-scale origin. Two years later, the first MY FAIR DIAMOND collection has become a reality.

Its diamonds meet stringent ethical, transparency and external verification standards. They also promote the development and safeguarding of local traditional expertise. This approach goes much further than the ‘conflict-free’ certification upheld by the Kimberley Process: the ambition is to create economic, social and environmental added-value all along the chain. This pushes the ‘ethical’ status of diamonds one step higher, to a level of actively creating a positive impact. Each piece in the MY FAIR DIAMOND collection is the result of a close collaboration between miners, craftsmen, jewelers and designers. The Diamond Loupe sat down with one of its founders, Marie d’Huart, on the sidelines of the “Diamonds and Innovation” conference during the Antwerp Summer University.

The Diamond Loupe: Let’s just jump into it. What is your objective for this project?

Marie d’Huart, MFD: Increasing the level of socio-economic development for artisanal diamond miners in Africa through a new approach to sustainable luxury. That’s the bottom line. The diamonds we source are development diamonds and the jewelry we produce and sell is sustainable jewelry. This is not to say we are a philanthropy company, but we are also not greedy. And we are not in a hurry, which is also really crucial at this early stage. It takes time to set up a structure where you can provide full disclosure of the entire supply chain for a piece of jewelry, building relationships of trust step by step along the way. It is an ethical goal, and transparency is the means, as well as the proof, of realizing this goal.

TDL: You were one of the founders of CAP conseil (CAP) 15 years ago in Belgium. Tell us how your jewelry project got off the ground in Antwerp.

MFD: It actually started off as a friendly bet. CAP was enlisted to advise AWDC on their sustainability report and the actual promotion of sustainability in the Antwerp diamond industry. Our talks with AWDC drifted to the feasibility of creating a truly ethical mine-to-finger initiative without any compromises, one that genuinely benefitted artisanal miners in a sustainable way.

We thought it could be done, and we went ahead, backed by the support from AWDC right from the beginning. Antwerp wishes to position itself differently as a diamond hub, to create a space for small, sustainable initiatives in an intensely competitive environment. Still, AWDC appreciates they represent businesses that are used to a certain degree of discretion, while serving a consumer landscape that demands transparency. They want to move the process along in the direction of transparency and traceability, but it’s a difficult balance.

“You don’t want to wear problems. That’s why you value transparency.”

TDL: What are some of the difficulties of striking this balance?

MFD: There are many, but the key issue is the simple fact that, currently, there is an expectation gap between what the trade can offer, and what people want, which is ethics and transparency all along the supply chain. We see it this way: We’re in the luxury business. If you, as a consumer, want to be proud of what you wear, you want to know what you are wearing. Most artisanal mines are probably okay, but it is difficult to get this information; people just don’t know, so all of the diamonds seem suspicious, whether that is legitimate concern or not. You don’t want to wear problems. Our goal is to provide true reassurance.

Of course, I’m not talking about the big companies that source their diamonds from industrial mines. Maybe they can’t say exactly which mine your diamond is from, but it should be a modern and legitimate one. I’m talking about sourcing from small producers. The typical way things are done in most diamond trading places is that parcels of diamonds are gathered from a wide range of mines, industrial and small scale, containing traceable and untraceable goods. Why? Because retailers typically want 2,500 of the same exact stones for their latest collection. It is impossible to source this from one mine, but this also makes it difficult to trace the origin of each stone.

So we asked: how do we make artisanal goods ethical, positive and traceable? With My Fair Diamond, we go buy directly at the mine. If you want the GPS coordinates of the mine your diamond comes from, you got it. All our actors are known and named. Here is the mine, here are the miners, the cutter, the designer, the goldsmith. We show their faces. But this is only possible if you control the whole process, and build trust among all actors. Our business model is niche, and each piece of jewelry is pretty unique.

“If it works for bananas, it can work for diamonds.”

TDL: Our readers will think: “This is great, but is the model scalable?”

MFD: It starts by formalizing. Getting the miners out of the informal economy, as that is where they are vulnerable and the basis for encouraging official trade. And we don’t mean just selecting low-risk zones where small mines operate in peace, but going into higher-risk zones and transforming them to give them direct access to a demanding international market. This would be the real goal. But sticking with your question, it really comes down to being competitive and growing in scale. If it works for bananas, it can work for diamonds.

There is no reason why all ethically produced diamonds would not be bought at a higher value on the market by responsible traders or brands. The people we work with rely on feeding their families by mining and selling diamonds. We are just a small initiative – this is our first jewelry collection – so we are limited in the number of diamonds we buy from them. This means that when we leave with our parcel of goods, the first guy who arrives on a motorcycle with a fist full of cash will get the next parcel of goods, without caring whether they have been produced in better conditions than the mine next door. This doesn’t make those diamonds ‘bloody’, but forget about transparency and added-value at that point.

This is why the whole thing has to grow – not just My Fair Diamond, but our model. We are confident, based on our research, that people expect and are willing to pay a little bit more for an ethical jewel. We believe we have a powerful message, and we see that people feel proud to contribute to our objective. Our target, ideally, is to sell at market price.

TDL: Isn’t that another major issue all on its own? Market price?

MFD: It is one of the most difficult issues. Paying a fair price to all. Finding the truth between miners, sellers, dealers, and so on, and reconstructing the real cost of an ethical diamond jewel. Who “deserves” how much in sustainable luxury? The hardest worker at the mine? The license holder? Branding and marketing? So, pricing is a real issue.

We pay miners and cutters what we believe is a fair price. Our diamonds are more expensive than your average diamond. And even then, they are affordable because our supply chain is so short. Because of our ethical guarantee, some people will pay a higher price. But you know, maybe the higher price of our rough is actually the correct price. Maybe it’s the price lists that are unrealistic. In any event, one thing is for sure: the key to finding a fair deal is building capacity for diggers to enable them to know what their goods are worth. Lacking that knowledge, unscrupulous dealers can come along and really take advantage of this obscure situation. In our own small way we are trying to fix that, and we hope – perhaps with the help of the Diamond Development Initiative – that others will follow.

See the people and places behind My Fair Diamond.
—–
THE MINE
The first diamonds come from artisanal mines in the Koidu region, in the east of Sierra Leone (Farandu, Boroma,…), which are among the first certified “ethical” according to the Maendeleo Standards of the NGO DDI, Diamond Development Initiative. This guarantees respect for human rights, decent work, health, safety and environmental protection. Sales of the diamonds directly benefit the miners, their families and their community. With the ‘conflict-free’ Kimberley certificate, the diamonds are shipped from Sierra Leone in sealed packaging.

THE SELECTION
The Maendeleo diamonds arrive in Antwerp after being carefully selected by Nicole Despiegelaere, an internationally recognised expert in her field who has spent her entire career assessing rough diamonds for one of the world’s biggest mining companies.

THE CUT
The rough diamonds are handed over to Pieter Bombeke, a master diamond cutter in Antwerp with more than 40 years’ experience. Pieter is also known as ‘the diamond artist’ who designs pure carbon into outstanding works of art. He personally cuts all the Maendeleo diamonds. He even travelled to Sierra Leone to meet with the miners. Once cut, each diamond over 0.10 carat is identified by the HRD Antwerp diamond lab and laser engraved with a unique number according to the MFD traceability system. Added proof of its traceability!

THE DESIGN
Next comes the creative part. Antwerp designer and goldsmith, Nedda El-Asmar, created several unique ring designs using the diamonds provided, with her business partner, Erik Indekeu, who conceived the drawings. They work for big names and teach at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp. Their motto, ‘A world of seemingly simple shapes’, perfectly describes their designs.

THE PRODUCTION
The pieces are produced entirely in Antwerp by reputed goldsmiths and setters who transform the drawings into 3D models cast in Fairmined-certified gold from Peru: Rayjo (3D casting), Tesouro (goldsmith), and Luc Ceulemans (creator of iconic works such as the diamond racket). To respect the spirit of the project and avoid an environmentally damaging practice, the gold has not been rhodium plated. This gives the jewels a distinctive colour. The finished pieces are stamped with the MY FAIR DIAMOND hallmark.

CAR Diamonds, New Price List

CAR Diamonds

New Price List for CAR Diamonds To Reflect Market, Remedy Undervalued Exports

The Bureau d’Évaluation et de Contrôle de Diamant et d’Or (BECDOR) in the Central African Republic, which oversees the country’s production and trade of diamond and gold, maintains a database and assesses the value of diamond parcels that are to be exported from the country, has just set up a new price list – defining mineral prices between government and traders.

The new price list for these mineral resources is designed to enable the State to have enough financial resources to meet its obligations, reports APA News (Agence de Presse Africaine).

This price list was set up thanks to USAID, a US development organization, together with experts and other stakeholders of the mining industry in CAR that gathered this Saturday in Bangui.

The country is rich in mineral resources, but is exploiting its diamond and gold in a traditional or artisanal way; CAR lacks a state structure capable of ensuring the smooth running of commercial activities relative to these minerals.

The experts declared the price list serving as the basis for taxation of these mineral resources outdated because of the increase in the price of diamond and gold on the world market. As a result, the State’s export taxes do not reflect the real prices of diamonds or gold, leading a shortfall in needed revenue for the State.

As a result of this situation, fraud is in full swing in the mining sector, APA states, since the price of mineral resources at present does not correspond to market reality – so dealers and exporters are able to under-declare the value of their goods.

The introduction of a new price list is designed to contribute to the reorganization of the mining sector in order to attract more investors and avoid fraudulent exports.

Given the conflict the country is going through, the Kimberley Process has forbidden the CAR to export diamonds from the north. Only those from the western regions are allowed to be sold. These KP measures are justified by the fact that diamonds in eastern CAR, under the control of armed movements, are suspected of fueling the war in the CAR.

Original Article:

Centrafrique-Ressources-Vente

RCA : l’Etat réorganise l’exportation du diamant

APA-Bangui (Centrafrique) –

Le bureau d’évaluation et de contrôle de diamants et or (BECDOR), organisme chargé de l’exportation des minéraux en Centrafrique, vient de mettre en place une nouvelle mercuriale (liste des prix) de ces ressources minérales afin de permettre à l’Etat d’avoir des ressources financières importantes pour faire face à ses obligations.

Cette mercuriale a été mise en place grâce à l’USAID, une organisation américaine de développement qui a réuni ce samedi à Bangui, les experts et autres intervenants du secteur minier en RCA.

Pays riche en ressources minérales mais qui exploite son diamant et son or de manière artisanale, la RCA manque d’une structure étatique capable de veiller sur la bonne marche des activités commerciales relatives à ces minéraux.

La mercuriale qui servait de taxation de ces ressources minérales a été déclarée dépassée par les experts à cause de l’augmentation du prix du diamant et or sur le marché mondial.

Ainsi les taxes à l’exportation pratiquée par l’Etat ne reflètent pas les réalités du prix du diamant ou or en hausse. Cette situation constituait un manque à gagner pour l’Etat.

Conséquence de cette situation, la fraude bat son plein dans le secteur minier puisque le prix pratiqué sur les ressources minérales empruntant la voie normale ne répond pas à la réalité dans le monde et les producteurs véreux se multiplient.

La mise en place d’une nouvelle mercuriale contribue à la réorganisation du secteur minier en vue d’attirer plus d’investisseurs et d’éviter les exportations frauduleuses.

En effet avec le conflit que le pays traverse le processus de Kimberley a interdit à la RCA d’exporter les pierres précieuses de sa partie septentrionale. Seules celles des régions occidentales sont autorisées à la vente.

Ces mesures du processus de Kimberley se justifient par le fait que les diamants de l’est de la RCA, sous contrôle des mouvements armés, sont soupçonnés d’alimenter la guerre en RCA. En d’autres termes des diamants de sang.

Jewellex 2017

Jewllex

Jewellex Africa is the premier trade fair of the South African jewellery industry and has been hosted by the Jewellery Council of South Africa for over 40 years.

This is the time when new merchandise lines and the most exclusive and extensive product ranges of watches, clocks, fine jewellery, pearls and precious stones, jewellery packaging, machinery, accessories and services available is offered to the local and international retail and wholesale jewellery industry.

This three-day event attracts exhibitors from inside South Africa, as well as from the African states and international countries.

One of the main objectives of Jewellex is to become the trading hub of Africa and thereby offering international countries an opportunity to see what ‘Africa’ has to offer under one roof. It further aims to provide a secure trade platform for product distribution into and out of Africa.

 Jewellex Africa 2017 will be taking place at the Sandton Convention Centre from 8th to 10th October.

 Special Hotel Rates

Block bookings for accommodation have been secured at various hotels in close proximity to Sandton Convention Centre in Sandton, Johannesburg.

Cocktail Function

Jewellex is not all work. A Cocktail Function is an ideal opportunity to network and socialise with industry colleagues and friends. The event will be taking place on Monday, 9th October. An invitation will be circulated in due course.

Invitation

All members of the trade are invited to attend the exhibition.

All visitors will be required to pre-register online.

Non-members of the Jewellery Council will be required to upload a valid business card and an ID document and will be vetted by the Council.

Members of the Jewellery Council of SA and Diamond Dealers Club of SA, will not be required to upload any documents. Having an invitation from an exhibitor or the organisers does not ensure automatic entrance into the show.

Jewellex is a trade exhibition and does not support trade with end users / private individuals./

Contact:

Lorna Lloyd – CEO

Elsa da Silva – PA

Jewellex
Jewellex Africa is a 3 day event being held from 8th October to the 10th October 2017 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa. This event showcases product from Jewelry, Education, gift, Gems & Jewelry industry.

GIA will be exhibiting at Jewellex Africa 2017 in stand DP21. Learn more about GIA gemological education, GIA GemKids®, laboratory services in Johannesburg, the GIA Retailer Support Program and new professional instruments for the gem and jewelry market. GIA representatives will be available to help you at the stand.

Email: jewellex@jewellery.org.za / elsad@jewellery.org.za

Tel: +27 11 484-5528

Facebook: www.facebook.com/myjewellex

Largest Diamond on Auction Internally Flawless – D – 163 Ct

Diamond Auction

 Largest Diamond Ever on auction Internally Flawless – D – 163 Ct

Introducing the Art of De Grisogono by offering the largest diamond flawless D-colour diamond ever to come to auction – de GRISOGONO and Christie’s

An e emerald shape fancy cut diamond mined  by Lucapa Diamonds and cut from a 404 carat rough diamond stone – the largest diamond ever recovered in Angola – isl going under the hammer come 14 November 2017 at Christie’s in Geneva.

Set into an asymmetric necklace designed by de GRISOGONO, this 163.41 carat, flawless D-colour emerald-cut diamond is the largest ever to come to auction

In February 2016, Lucapa Diamond Company announced the discovery of the biggest recorded diamond in Angola, confirmed as a Type IIa D-color gem-quality stone. The 404-carat diamond from the Perth-based company’s Lulo project is also the 27th biggest recorded diamond in the world and the biggest diamond ever discovered by an Australian company.

Nikolas Polka, CEO of diamond consortium Nemesis International, bought the rough stone and turned to Fawaz Gruosi, founder and creative director of De Grisogono, a Geneva-based jeweler.

A team of more than 10 specialists transformed the 404.20 carat diamond – the largest they had ever worked with – into the final cut-and-polished gem.

Christie’s statement above describes how, “Diamond expert Isaac Barhorin spent weeks examining the stone in different lights … ‘I start by seeing what the stone can give,’ Barhorin explains. ‘I am looking for cracks, grainy spots, feathers and carbon spots, and I will build the stone around these.

The goal is to reach an internally flawless stone.’ Using a felt-tip pen, he marked where the first cuts should fall.. They go on to explain how, “On 29 June 2016, after months of analysis, 80-year-old master diamond cleaver Ben Green was ready to go to work. A diamond cutter since 1964, Green is respected as the number-one cleaver in the world. ‘Diamond is like wood, it has a grain,’ he says. ‘You can saw it or divide it along the grain.’ Using the traditional low-tech tools of the diamond cleaver’s trade – dark cement to hold the diamond in place on the wooden stump, a loupe and two flat blades- Green split the stone cleanly in two.”

The diamond that was extracted from it is one of the largest D-Flawless emerald-cut diamonds the GIA has ever seen, and the largest ever to be offered for sale at auction. “The extreme rarity of a diamond of this quality cannot be overstated,” GIA researchers wrote in their monograph on the stone.

De GRISOGONO founder Fawaz Gruosi and his team of five master craftsmen and women then setting about transforming this hug stone into a wearable piece of jewelry. Gruosi and his team eventually decided on an asymmetric design featuring 18 emerald-cut diamonds on one side, with the 163.41-carat diamond as the centrepiece. After being sent on a tour to Hong Kong, London, Dubai and New York, the 163.41 carat, flawless D-colour emerald-cut diamond will be offered in Christie’s Magnificent Jewels  sale on 14 November in Geneva.

EXHIBITION TOUR DATES:

Giant diamond originating from the largest rough in Angolan history will go under the hammer at Christie’s in Geneva in November.

CHRISTIE’S HONG KONG
28 September-1 October 2017
22nd Floor, Alexandra House, 18 Chater Road Central

CHRISTIE’S LONDON
4-7 October 2017
8, King Street, SW1Y 6QT London

CHRISTIE’S AND DE GRISOGONO IN DUBAI
de GRISOGONO in Dubai
17-19 October 2017

CHRISTIE’S NEW YORK
4-5 November 2017
Rockefeller Centre, 20 Rockefeller Plaza

Contact Corlia Roberts for more on diamonds, diamond auctions or Diamond Courses 

 

South African mining in crisis – comment by Yolanda Torrisi

Alrosa

South African mining in crisis – comment by Yolanda Torrisi

The mining industry in South Africa is in crisis owing to a combination of factors and there are no signs that it can recover in the short to medium term. Most of the factors stifling the industry can be related to government policy, which have hit internal and external investment very hard.

Chamber of Mines of South Africa CEO Roger Baxter, a former speaker at the African Mining Network, told the Paydirt 2017 Africa Downunder conference in Perth this month that business confidence in the country was at its lowest levels in more than 30 years.

He said key governance and policy challenges had eroded business and investor confidence, undermining investment. These challenges coupled with policy and regulatory uncertainty had frozen new investment in the sector.

The result was that real mining GDP in 2016 of R226 billion was smaller than it was in 1994 when it was R242 billion while real mining fixed investment had shrunk over the past two years.

Another consequence was that the mining industry in South Africa made an accumulated loss of more than R30 billion in 2015. Evidence of this can be found this year with 65% of the country’s once strong platinum mining industry not being profitable.

Roger Baxter said that despite the country’s mineral potential, since 2013 the policy perception index, a report card of investment attractiveness of mining policies, had deteriorated to 84th out of 104 global jurisdictions.

Critical factors affecting the investment attractiveness were:

* Uncertainty regarding the ownership element of the mining charter.

* Uncertainty created by the DMR’s unilaterally developed and imposed reviewed mining charter (RMC17).

* Uncertainty regarding the finalisation of the MPRDA Amendment Bill which is incomplete after being published nearly five years ago (eg remaining uncertainty on s11 approvals).

* Uncertainty regarding the Minister’s proposed s49 moratorium on new right and s11 applications.

* Uncertainty created by double financial provision for environmental rehabilitation.

He said it was with all the uncertainty, the mining industry had lost confidence in the DMR and its Minister.

“The industry does not believe that the approaches adopted by the DMR are serving the national interest of the country,” he said. “In essence, there is a freeze on investment- it is extremely difficult to get an investment committee to approve any new greenfields project.

“The economic opportunity cost of the failure to get the policy, legislative, administrative and operating environment right to promote investment, growth, transformation and job creation in RSA mining is material,” he told delegates, and the DMR had provided no assistance to help the industry through the crisis.

Yolanda Torrisi is Chairperson of The African Mining Network and comments on African mining issues and the growing global interest in the continent. Contact:yolanda@yolandatorrisi.com

Original article  http://www.africanminingnetwork.com/news/south-african-mining-in-crisis-comment-by-yolanda-torrisi/

ALROSA : 27.85 carat Pink diamond found

Alrosa

ALROSA has recovered a unique pink 27.85-carat diamond.

“Almazy Anabara”, a subsidiary of ALROSA, recovered a large pink rough diamond weighing 27.85 carats. This is a unique discovery: by far the largest company’s pink rough diamond had a weight of about 4 carats. If the company decides to cut this stone, it could become the most expensive polished diamond in the history of ALROSA.

The rough diamond has dimensions of 22.47 x 15.69 x 10.9 mm. The pink stone is of gem-quality and almost free of inclusions.

Most often ALROSA recovers pink and other colored diamonds at Severalmaz kimberlite pipes or placer deposits of “Almazy Anabara”. Colored diamonds weighing over 10 carats are extremely rare and recovered about once a year. As for the pink shades, by far the largest pink diamond of ALROSA weighed 3,86 ct – it was found by “Almazy Anabara” in 2012. Apart from this stone, for the last 8 years ALROSA recovered only 3 pink diamonds weighing over 2 carats.

“The unique characteristics of the diamond make it an extraordinary, rare stone of high value. Currently, experts of United Selling Organization of ALROSA and the company’s polishing division DIAMONDS ALROSA are examining the stone to make the decision: whether to auction it as a rough or cut it into polished diamond. Large stones, especially colored, are always in demand at auctions. But if the company decided to cut it, it would become the most expensive diamond in the entire history of ALROSA”, – said Evgeny Agureev, the head of USO ALROSA.

Botswana seeks option to buy unusually big diamonds from its mines

Botswana seeks option to buy unusually big diamonds from its mines

BY: REUTERS

GABORONE – Botswana is amending its law to give the government the first option to buy diamonds that are unusually large or have other unusual features found in its mines, such as the world’s second-biggest 1 109 ct diamond discovered two years ago.

The cornerstone of Botswana’s success has been one commodity, diamonds, coupled with a rigid adherence to prudent use of revenues, a rarity on a continent where natural riches are routinely squandered or stolen, or the cause of civil war.

A draft bill amending the Precious and Semi-Precious Stones Act says any producer coming into possession of what it terms an “unusual” rough or uncut diamond shall notify the minister within 30 days after which government shall have the first option to buy the stone.

The bill did not give a precise definition of “unusual”.

But an official told a local newspaper that it referred to stones that were unusually large, were particularly clear or had an unusual colour.

Moses Tshetlhane, chief minerals officer in the Mineral Resources Ministry told Mmegi Newspaper the amendment was motivated by the recovery of “Lesedi La Rona”, or “Our Light”, the largest diamond uncovered in over a century.

“The price to be paid by government for a rough or uncut precious stone offered for sale by the producer shall be agreed between the parties in accordance with the current market price of the rough or uncut precious stone,” the bill says.

The tennis ball-sized stone was found in November 2015 at Lucara Diamond Corp’s mine in Botswana and is yet to find a buyer after it failed to sell at Sotheby’s auction house in June 2016.

“These outliers carry special features and any producer would celebrate such or even have them in museums as national treasures. So it is not unusual for governments to have options in such unusual diamonds,” Tshetlhane said.

Lucara also unearthed another 812.77 ct stone, The Constellation, at the same mine, which fetched $63-million at an auction in 2016.

EDITED BY: REUTERS