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Sarine Technologies releases new version of its rough planning software

Sarine has announced the release of AdvisorTM 7.0, the latest version of its industry-leading rough planning software tool.

Today

Firestone Diamonds ups production guidance to 360 000 ct

Firestone Diamonds said it is expecting to recover about 360,000 carats in the financial year ending 30 June 2017, against April's guidance of 300,000 carats at its Liqhobong diamond mine in Lesotho.

Today

BrilliAnt 2018 to be highlight of Antwerp Diamond Year

BrilliAnt - the 9th ADTF is to be held January 28-30, 2018, AWDC announced.

Today

Golden Saint recovers 14 diamonds from Sierra Leone’s Tongo licence

Golden Saint has recovered 14 diamonds, weighing a total of 10.46 ct, from its Tongo licence, in Sierra Leone, following bulk sampling operations last week. The stones, it said in an operational update, ranged from 0.25 to 2.15 carats per stone.

Today

Angola’s Endiama surpasses 2016 diamond output target

Angola’s state-owned diamond mining company Endiama produced 9.21 million carats of diamonds last year, exceeding a target of 9 million carats set by the ministry of planning and territorial development.

23 june 2017

SA’s Vutomi project can start production end of 2018 – John Teeling

Today

Botswana Diamonds entered into an option and earn-in agreement with Vutomi Mining and Razorbill Properties, a private diamond exploration and development firm in South Africa last February. It agreed to pay Vutomi a total of £942,000 in cash, of which £581,000 would be used to fund exploration activities. In addition, the company would issue 100 million ordinary shares of 0.25p each to Vutomi shareholders, after which the company would own 72 percent of Vutomi. The flagship project, Frischgewaagt, was in the Limpopo Province 300km north of Johannesburg and was immediately adjacent to the Marsfontein Mine which was previously operated by De Beers. It recently recovered 223 microdiamonds from 160kg of kimberlite drill core from the project. Botswana Diamonds said the kimberlite drill core results were modelled to an estimated grade range of 20 to 270 carats per hundred tonnes at a bottom cut off of 0.6 mm, with the largest stone being a white transparent crystal diamond falling in the -1.18+0.85 mm sieve. Company chairperson John Teeling told Rough & Polished’s Mathew Nyaungwa on the sidelines of the Botswana Resource Sector Conference in Gaborone that it was possible that they might consider some production by the end of next year, if not early 2019 as they were looking at the possibility of using other people’s plants rather than their own, a move that would significantly lower capital expenditure. Teeling emphasised that production was only feasible if they follow a low-cost regime, adding that the project won’t be “huge”, but the diamonds produced would be of “good quality”. He also commented on Botswana Diamonds’ three-and-half-year relationship with their joint venture partner, Alrosa as well as the implications of the liquidation of their partner in the Maibwe project, BCL.

Proximity doesn’t matter, your pocket does: Tanzanians interested in tanzanite jewellery can testify

19 june 2017

Tanzanite, a rare blue/purple gem, was discovered in the Merarani Hills of Manyara Region in northern Tanzania in 1967, a few miles from Arusha and Mount Kilimanjaro. It is used as a gemstone and of late Tanzanians are manufacturing quality jewellery as witnessed by our African Bureau Editor Mathew Nyaungwa during the Arusha Gem Show. However, in as much as this is an interesting development, most Tanzanians are said to be finding it difficult to afford jewellery made from a gemstone, which is only found in their country. Gem Tanzanite owner Osman Abdulsattar told Rough & Polished on the sidelines of the show early May that they had decided to make jewellery made of light (low quality) tanzanite and silver for the local market, to allow low income earners in the country get tanzanite for their engagement ceremonies.

Global demand for polished diamonds will remain steady – Ali Pastorini

13 june 2017

Ali Pastorini, senior vice-president of the World Jewelry Hub, answered questions from Rough & Polished concerning the world diamond market, preferences of consumers and role of bank crediting.

Eternal values in Malaya Bronnaya Street

05 june 2017

The assay supervision in Russia is 317 years old. Much younger is the Moscow Gemological Certification Centre (MGCC) established under the Assay Chamber and located in the same ancient respectable mansion at 18, Malaya Bronnaya Street. The MGCC employees’ mission is to assess the value of eternal precious gems – diamonds and emeralds - and make conclusions about their quality and peculiar features. We discussed this and other topics with the MGCC top executives: Professor Nikolay Vasilenko, Head of the Centre, the 1st class Counselor of State of the RF, Honoured Economist of the RF, and Boris Borisov, his deputy.

Diamonds will have the greatest potential in 2017

29 may 2017

Mumbai-based Rajesh Bhagat, India Consultant of Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) who oversees HKTDC’s operations across India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, has been assisting companies, particularly small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the region to promote their goods and services internationally through Hong Kong since June 2009. Bhagat had initiated talks with the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) which culminated in the signing of a MoU between HKTDC and ITPO. He was also awarded the ‘Best Branch Award 2015’ by HKTDC, the first Consultant of HKTDC to receive this honour. Here, in an interview with Rough&Polished, Rajesh Bhagat speaks about the recently concluded Hong Kong Jewellery Shows; and also gives an insight into the general demand pattern of polished diamonds at the Shows.

Tanzania to cautiously extend ban on export of rough gemstones from tanzanite

22 may 2017

Tanzania, which imposed a ban on the export of rough tanzanite more than 1 gram to encourage local beneficiation, said it will cautiously extend the moratorium to other precious stones in the country once it has the capacity to cut and polish all gemstones, locally. Gemstones found in the East African country included tanzanite, ruby, tsavorite, garnet, emerald, sapphire and alexandrite. Commissioner for minerals Benjamin Mchwampaka told Rough & Polished on the sidelines of the Arusha Gem Fair, which took place early May, that they don’t want to “paralyse” the whole industry by imposing a blanket ban on the export of all rough gemstones when there is no capacity to add value in the country. He, however, said both government and the private sector had started training locals in cutting and polishing in preparation for the future ban of rough gemstones. Mchwampaka also said government would consider issues raised by mining companies following its directive to have them cede 30 percent of their equity to the “public” as well as list on the local stock exchange. He said Dar es Salaam was also engaging Petra Diamonds over its shares in Williamson Diamonds and a decision on whether it should be subjected to the new regulations that would be reached at after discussions. The Tanzanian government currently owns a 25 percent stake in the diamond mine. Below are excerpts of the interview.

De Beers sees sales volumes returning to “more normal” levels

15 may 2017

De Beers registered a higher than usual volume of sales in the first quarter following a “strong” rebound in demand levels for lower value stones during the first sales cycle of 2017. The unexpected introduction of demonetisation in India late last year had resulted in weak demand, albeit temporary, for smaller, lower quality rough diamonds from the Asian country’s cutting and polishing industry. De Beers had to temporarily put in place some additional flexibility for Sightholders purchasing a range of lower value rough diamonds following the introduction of the Indian demonetisation programme, as they recognised the challenges some customers would face as they adjusted to the new monetary environment. However, group senior manager, media and commercial communications, David Johnson told Rough & Polished’s Mathew Nyaungwa that the diamond giant was now projecting sales volumes for the rest of the year returning to more normal levels as demand was more balanced across the assortment. He said the group had already reverted to the normal supply situation with its Sightholders.

If not gemologists, who else will maintain the image of diamonds in consumers’ eyes?

10 may 2017

The Moscow State University’s Gemological Centre created in 1995 trains the specialists in rough and polished diamonds, colour gems, jewellery, characterization, expert evaluation, grading and marketing. The MSU’s lecturers and researchers, scientists and experienced gemologists take part in its work. The Centre offers a number of educational programmes to the jewellery marker players as well as the services in gem and jewellery expert evaluation and grading. The Centre’s Gemological Laboratory develops the express methods for checking a big number of small-size diamond studs for being natural ones. This is of great interest to diamond jewellery manufacturers and importers. Yuri Shelementiev, Chief of the MSU’s Gemological Centre in an interview to the industry information agency Rough&Polished speaks on the creation of the National Gemological Association and shares his vision of the current jewellery market.

Manufacturing should be in line with market demand

02 may 2017

Ernie Blom, the President of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) for the third term, has served on a range of industry bodies as an executive as well as chairman for many years, including Chairman, Diamond Dealers Club of South Africa; Chairman, Rough Diamond Dealers Association; Chairman, Master Diamond Cutters Association; Chairman, Jewellery Council of South Africa, South African Diamond Board; and is a Special Diplomatic Advisor to the Belgium government on trade with Africa. An astute businessman, Ernie Blom, President, WFDB, is a third generation diamantaire with his grandfather having entered the industry in the 1800s. Currently, Ernie's son is with him in business as fourth generation heir. Prior to entering the business arena, Ernie became a shop steward at 23 with the trade union South African Diamond Workers Union (SADWU). He rose through the ranks to become the youngest vice-president and a strike leader in the mid-1970s. Here, in an interview with Rough & Polished, Ernie Blom speaks on various issue currently plaguing the global diamond industry.

South African investors have little appetite for investments

24 april 2017

A business and technical leader in the diamond exploration and mining industry, James Campbell has spent over thirty years in the diamond industry and is currently Managing Director of Botswana Diamonds plc. His immediate past role was Chief Executive Officer and President of Rockwell Diamonds Inc (‘RDI’) from 1 June 2011 to 30 November 2016. In an interview with Rough&Polished, James Campbell gives an insight into the workings of the company, as well as expresses his views on the 'issues' faced by the global diamond industry.

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