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Coloured gemstone producer Fura Gems announced that it has begun initial production and bulk sampling at its Coscuez emerald mine in Colombia. Chief Executive Dev Shetty commented that the company had achieved an important milestone by beginning bulk sampling within eight weeks of acquiring the mine. Shetty observed, “The initial production of 1,720 carats of emeralds, including 826 carats of top quality emeralds, during the early stage of the program further confirms the quality of the mine. We will continue to build our geological knowledge of the license area and also strive to modernise the mine. Fura has now become the first publicly listed company in the world to commence a bulk sampling operation in Colombia, the world’s largest supplier of emeralds.” Fura owns a 76 percent...
Only state-owned mining entities will hold majority shares in Zimbabwe’s diamond and platinum mines though amendments to the country’s Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act allow foreign investors full control in any other mining sector. However, existing diamond mining ventures do not need to immediately comply with the law as they can negotiate a timeline of compliance with the authorities. Zimbabwe has significant alluvial diamond deposits at the Chiadzwa diamond fields in its Marange region. Eight foreign-owned concessions, six of them with Zimbabwe government holdings, operated mining ventures here. However, the Mugabe administration first accused them of cheating the country out of tax revenue and President Mugabe even said $15 billion in diamonds were fraudulently spirited...
ALROSA said that a 9 percent decrease in the average price of the rough diamonds it sold, coupled with a 13 percent appreciation of the Russian ruble against the dollar saw its revenue for 2017 drop 13.2 percent from the previous year to RUB 275.4 billion ($4.8 billion). Net profit fell 41.1 percent to $1.4 billion. Company CEO Sergey Ivanov commented, ““Although production and sales volumes increased, ALROSA's 2017 financial results were affected by a number of macroeconomic and market factors, especially the stronger ruble and the product mix changes. However, our efforts to enhance operational efficiency proved successful and, despite higher production and sales volumes, helped us maintain per unit costs at the 2016 level.”
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.