ALROSA announced that it had sold at auction, rough diamonds worth $13.5 million and polished worth $2.8 million at the recent Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show that ran from February 27 to March 3. ALROSA’s rough sales arm, the United Selling Organization (USO) auctioned 112 large rough diamonds over 10.8 carats each, with the total weight of 1,787 carats. “The Hong Kong auction with 50 participating companies demonstrated that the demand for rough diamonds of this size category remains stable.The auction closed with good results, our expectations were justified," commented ALROSA Deputy CEO Yury Okoemov. Meanwhile, DIAMONDS ALROSA, ALROSA's polished sales division, which deals in stones over 1.8 carats, auctioned 67 polished diamonds with the total weight of 205.56...
US jewellery retail giant Signet Jewelers Limited reported total sales of $6.3 billion for fiscal 2018, down $155.4 million or 2.4 percent compared to the previous year. Fourth quarter sales of $2.3 billion were 5.2 percent below the previous year. Guidance for fiscal 2019 is total sales of $5.9 billion-$6.1 billion and same store sales down low-to-mid single digits. The total sales decline in fiscal 2018 was driven by a decline in base same store sales, partially offset by benefit of the extra 14th retail-calendar week of sales worth $84.3 million, as well as the addition of R2Net (acquired in September 2017) which contributed $88.1 million in sales for the year. The group reported that same store sales declined 5.2 percent in the fourth quarter to $2.39 billion and fell by 5.3 percent...
All of India is now experiencing the fallout from the nearly $2 billion scam at the Punjab National Bank (PNB) perpetrated by diamantaires and jewellers Mehul Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country central bank, has now banned the issuance of Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) and Letters of Comfort (LoCs) by Indian banks. These instruments are issued by Indian banks to importers in order to enable them to get foreign exchange from banks overseas at a cheaper rate to the one offered in the domestic market. The move could impact companies that have a long working-capital cycle and could push up the overall cost of imports by half a percentage point. It also levels the playing field for foreign-owned banks which have hitherto been unable to compete on...
The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) held an Executive Committee Meeting in Idar-Oberstein on Wednesday, discussing a wide variety of subjects including the World Diamond Council's proposed changes to its System of Warranties (SoW), nomenclature issues, Know Your Client (KYC), the proposed inclusion of the International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA) into the WFDB, finance and the situation in India in the wake of the alleged fraud involving jeweller Nirav Modi. "We held very frank discussions on a wide range of internal WFDB issues, as well as many pertaining to topics of critical importance to diamantaries in their daily work," said WFDB President Ernie Blom. "We have set up a small team which will review the proposed changes to the SoW and will have comments ready...
The Indian gem and jewellery industry has taken a double hit as first the State Bank of India (SBI), one of the largest diamond financing banks globally, tightened its lending norms to the industry by asking for more collateral, and then the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) disallowed the hedging of price risk in gold, gemstones and diamonds. Both developments are a result of the nearly $2 billion scam at the Punjab National Bank (PNB) perpetrated by diamantaires Mehul Choksi and Nirav Modi. While SBI Chairman Rajnish Kumar had stated last month that the banks exposure of ₹13,000 crore ($2 billion) to the gem and jewellery industry was less than 1 percent of its ₹16 lakh crore ($246.6 billion) dementing lending, the bank’s board nevertheless asked for the gaps in risk mitigation to be plugged...
Russian state-controlled diamond miner ALROSA announced that it had made an early repayment of $450 million in short-term bank debt with money from the sale of its gas assets in February this year. A loan of $250 million was repaid to Rosbank and another of $200 million to Raiffeisenbank. Both loans were raised in December last year. ALROSA said that the repayments have reduced its debt by more than 27 percent to $1.17 billion. ALROSA Chief Financial Officer Alexey Philippovskiy stated, "As part of the efforts to improve liquidity management, ALROSA repaid short-term bank loans for a total of $450 million ahead of schedule. The resulting savings on interest payments would amount to $9 million, positively impacting ALROSA's financial performance in 2018.”
The six gold mining companies involved in a class action lawsuit by South African miners over fatal lung diseases brought about by their work in the mines, and the human rights lawyer representing the miners both say they are hopeful that a settlement can be reached within six weeks. Richard Spoor, the American lawyer who has previously beaten the big tobacco companies in the US and now represents the affected South African miners afflicted by the lung disease known as silicosis, said he was confident a settlement would be finalised within six weeks. A spokesman for the six gold miners — Harmony Gold, Gold Fields, AngloGold Ashanti, Sibanye Gold, African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) and Anglo American — who have formed the Occupational Lung Disease (OLD) working group to deal with the issue,...
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) has teamed up with CARAT+ to host the Hack4Diamonds event from May 4 to 6 in Antwerp. The event will address contemporary challenges in the diamond industry by bringing together young innovators, students and start-ups with expertise in computer science, marketing, business management expertise, blockchain, artificial intelligence and more. “In order to stay ahead of global competition, it is also important that we engage with external businesses and professionals and listen to their insights and particular expertise,” said AWDC CEO Ari Epstein, adding, “this culture of co-creation, led by the inaugural Hack4Diamonds event in Antwerp, is what will truly spur innovation across our industry.”
London-listed Gem Diamonds has got off to a blazing start in 2018. The company announced on Wednesday that it had recovered a 152-carat, top white colour, Type IIa diamond at its Letšeng mine in Lesotho — the sixth diamond over 100 carats recovered at the mine this year. The mine is known to produce large stones but Gem Diamonds only recovered five diamonds over 100 carats in 2016 and seven in 2017. Since acquiring Letšeng in 2006, Gem Diamonds has recovered five of the 20 largest white gem quality diamonds, making the mine the highest dollar-per-carat-of-kimberlite operation in the world. The mine is at an average elevation of 3,100 metres (10,000 feet) above sea level, making it also the world’s highest diamond mine.
ALROSA announced it had sold $1.03 billion in rough diamonds over January and February this year. The miner said it also sold $14.6 million in polished diamonds during the period. Sales of rough diamonds in February stood last $532.8 million, while $9.1 million in polished was also sold during the month. ALROSA Deputy CEO Yury Okoemov observed, ”In February, the core diamond markets were quite strong as the diamond cutting sector continues replenishing stock. Demand for diamonds was also backed by good jewellery sales in China on the eve of the Chinese New Year. Prices for diamonds in most size categories grew in January-February.”
ALROSA said that the results of geological prospecting in 2017 revealed that its rough diamond reserves as of today stand at nearly 1.2 billion carats — and increase of 57.8 million over its previous estimate. The miner said it spent $17.6 million (RUB1 billion) in prospecting last year. It also launched a reform of its prospecting division to increase efficiency. Prospecting was carried out in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), The Arkhangelsk region and in Angola at its Cuango concession. As part of its exploration reform, ALROSA said it formed three specialised competence centres for exploration, drilling & mining and scientific and analytical processes. The reforms eliminate duplication in administrative and management functions and strengthen the role of the Chief Geologist Service...
Australian jewellery retail chain Michael Hill International, which had announced in January this year that it is exiting the US market, has now announced that it is closing 24 of its 30 Emma & Roe stores to focus on the lower-sticker-value demi-fine jewellery segment. The Emma & Roe shutdown is estimated to cost the jeweller between between $4.5- and $6.1 million (A$5.8-A$7.9 million) in lease terminations and employee severances. Though the group’s overall operating revenue for the six months to December 2017 increased by 4.5 percent to $265.8 million (A$342.2 million), its Emma & Roe same-store sales fell 5.4 percent. A business review then identified the demi-fine jewellery segment. The company said in a statement, “Demi-fine is a relatively new segment of the market...