Lucapa boosts Angola kimberlite exploration with establishment of standalone bulk kimberlite sampling plant

Lucapa Diamond and its Angolan partners are making great strides to improve the Lulo kimberlite exploration programme. Company chief executive and managing director Stephen Wetherall told Rough & Polished’s Mathew Nyaungwa on the sidelines of the Mining...


“In the jewellery art, we express our feelings, emotions and share them with others”

Over 30 years, the MOISEIKIN company based in the Ural area has become a famous jewellery brand. The jewellery and souvenirs of this jewellery house made of precious and semi- precious stones and metals are displayed at museums and in private collections...

20 march 2023

Automatic double upgrade of diamonds is not only a questionable practice but could be systemic fraud – Meeus

HRD Antwerp is under investigation by Belgian authorities following allegations that for every Gemological Institute of America (GIA) stone, which entered their lab for certification an automatic upgrade would be given two colours up and one...

13 march 2023

"At House of Ashish Vijay, diamonds and coloured gemstones will only ever mean stones that carry a storied legacy"

Ashish Vijay, a Dubai-based investor, philanthropist, entrepreneur and businessman with decades of experience in the precious gemstone and luxury jewellery industry, finance and investments sectors, set up his business in Dubai in the year 2013. As the...

06 march 2023

KP should remodel its enforcement, accountability mechanisms if it wants to remain relevant - Fula-Ngenge

The African Diamond Council (ADC) is calling on the Kimberley Process (KP) to remodel its enforcement and accountability mechanisms if it wants to remain relevant and effective. ADC chairperson M’zée Fula-Ngenge told Rough&Polished’s...

27 february 2023

Platinum in 2021: declining prices but stronger positions

06 december 2021

The beginning of this year promised bright prospects for platinum, as well as for many other industrial metals. In platinum’s key automotive industry, the demand has been booming driven by the increased production of heavy-duty vehicles and the introduction of tougher emission standards. It seemed that the supply failed to keep pace with the demand growth, especially after the February accident at Norilsk Nickel. The semiconductor shortage the auto industry faced during the year did not hit platinum as hard as it hit palladium, due to platinum’s lower dependence on the automotive industry (40% of demand is for platinum versus 80% for palladium). But since the simultaneous electrification of the transport industry threatens to undermine the position of platinum-group metals (PGM) as a necessary component to the autocatalyst manufacture, the market was very wary of the changes. Platinum corrected by about 25% by the end of October compared to its mid-February highs. Meanwhile, platinum is now a good investment opportunity, according to industry players, given the aging commercial vehicle fleet and the promising hydrogen economy.

Norilsk Nickel and Botswana: From dispute to dialogue

29 november 2021

Norilsk Nickel (Nornickel) recently said that it settled its three-year dispute with the government of Botswana and BCL Group over the sale of its assets, which included a 50% stake in the Nkomati joint venture. The group was made up of BCL limited and Tati Nickel Mining Company. The Russian mining company said, without disclosing the amount, that it had received cash compensation. The parties, it said, agreed to waive all claims against each other in connection with the transaction.

China’s LGD industry is growing in leaps and bounds…

22 november 2021

The world over, interest in cheaper and more accessible alternatives to mined diamonds began much earlier than one would like to accept. While the others faded away as cheap alternatives, the Lab-grown Diamonds (LGDs) which is grown in a lab but sparkle, shine and chemically just like the natural diamond, caught the fancy of the young consumers in China, much like the rest of the world. As LGDs are cheaper, similar and more accessible they are a popular alternative to mined gems. As per available data, the consumer market for lab diamonds is only worth $150 mn, which is just about 2 per cent of the consumer market for all diamonds. But, industry predictions show it is expected to grow at 22 per cent each year and reach $14.9 bn by 2035, taking up about 5 per cent of the consumer market for all diamonds.

South Africa’s resources as the basis for the economic recovery and strengthening of its international position

15 november 2021

The Republic of South Africa (South Africa) is the world’s leader in terms of reserves and the production of many types of mineral resources. The diversity of mineral resources, as well as the heavy reliance of the world powers on some of them, make South Africa the subject of the continuing competition for access to its deposits and securing a reliable supply of raw materials. South Africa’s non-energy mineral reserves are estimated at $2.4 trillion to $3 trillion. This makes the country one of the richest non-oil powers in the world. For example, South Africa accounts for more than 90% of the global reserves of platinum group metals (PGMs), 80% of manganese, 72% of chromium, 32% of vanadium and 13% of gold. However, most of the resources were discovered using outdated exploration methods. This means that with the use of advanced technologies, there is a huge potential for discovering new deposits of world importance. The country’s mineral wealth is the basis of ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy. South Africa accounts for more than 59% of the world's production of platinum group metals, 30% of manganese ore, 25% of ferrochrome. South Africa’s mining industry provides about 78% of the global supply of primary chrome ore, 54% of aluminosilicates and almost 50% of manganese ore.

Two marketing strategies and a big jackpot

08 november 2021

In the industry discussions on the role and prospects of synthetic diamonds (SDs) and their advantages and disadvantages in comparison with natural diamonds (NDs), it is always emphasized that SDs comparable in characteristics are much cheaper (at least by 50%) than NDs. Of course, this is true, but paradoxically, it leads many analysts to opposite conclusions as some analysts believe that the existing (and increasing in the future) price difference will shift SDs into the fashion jewellery niche and the ND market will get rid of this problem; the other analysts, on the contrary, believe that a lower price (and therefore, a higher margin) will allow SDs to drive NDs out of the market in the small-size (up to 1 carat) segment.

Don’t we owe it to Millennials and Generation Z to tell them the truth about natural diamonds?

03 november 2021

15 years ago, civil rights activist Dr. Benjamin Chavis, one of the co-founders of the non-for-profit organisation Diamonds Do Good1, met with Nelson Mandela, and the great man personally asked the good doctor to help “to raise more awareness about the benefits to Africa that are derived from the good that diamonds do.2”. Funded by the natural diamond industry, Diamonds Do Good recently gave donations to the Flaviana Matata Foundation in Tanzania (set up by supermodel Flavia Matata to support education and empowerment for girls) as well as to Sentebale (set up by Prince Harry to support the wellbeing and mental health of young people afflicted with HIV in Lesotho and Botswana).  It plays to a lot of the many good news stories about natural diamonds and for an industry that produces the ultimate luxury, it makes sense that Social Purpose and Sustainability are so often central to what they do. So why aren’t consumers hearing more about good news stories like Diamonds Do Good? To some extent, it’s the fault of our industry, which remains fixated with the 4 “C’s of Carat weight, Cut, Colour and Clarity, and has been slow to grasp the need to talk to today’s new consumers about the fifth “C”; Community. The good news is that there are some great stories to tell, because natural diamonds make a huge financial, environmental, and social contribution to almost all the countries in which they are found. But maybe these good news stories are being undercut by another, very worrying narrative. A narrative which is being peddled by a handful of lab-grown companies predominantly (but not exclusively) in the US, who publish inaccurate information, and/or through innuendo and misrepresentation denigrate the natural diamond story, tarring the whole industry with the same brush; (please see the second half of this article under the heading; “A lie will fly twice around the whole world while the truth is still getting its boots on” for examples).

Consumers now value sustainability when choosing diamonds - De Beers study

01 november 2021

De Beers recently released its 2021 diamond insight report, which highlighted that sustainability has risen to the top of many stakeholders’ priorities in the last few years and it was ranked by 30% of consumers as their most important consideration – above price and design – when choosing a diamond. De Beers chief executive Bruce Cleaver said people expect more of businesses and brands than ever before when it comes to responding to societal and environmental challenges such as climate change, poverty and various forms of inequality. He said beyond consumers knowing that their purchase has caused no harm, people also want to know what a brand or product stands for, and how it has contributed to a better future for people and the planet. Based on a global study of more than 8,400 people across seven key consumer markets for diamonds, the report found that sustainability considerations were influencing consumer purchase decisions across all sectors.

How the Largest Jewelry Companies in the World are Marketing Lab-Grown Diamonds

25 october 2021

During a four-hour-long analyst event in September, the largest fashion-jeweler in the world, Pandora, provided an update on its recent foray into lab-grown diamonds. The line, branded as “Pandora Brilliance” is currently being tested exclusively in the company’s UK market, however, management said that a global rollout decision “will probably come towards the end of the year” as the company is still “learning how to maneuver in the space.”

Mining and biodiversity conservation in Africa

18 october 2021

Krasnoyarsk hosted an international ecological summit, "Siberian Perspectives," which was held on October 1-2, 2021. Its participants discussed the role of large industrial businesses in biodiversity conservation. Mathew Nyaungwa, Editor in Chief of the Africa Bureau at Rough&Polished made a presentation at the event comparing the positive and negative experiences of mining companies in crisis situations and their actions to protect the environment and promote biodiversity.

Coffee break with diamonds

11 october 2021

This year marks the fifth anniversary of the ALROSA’s project to start exchange trading in investment diamonds. Of course, this attempt, like all the previous ones, was a failure. A number of similar foreign initiatives also failed almost at the same time. This gave reason for intellectually solvent analysts to insist again that it is impossible to use polished diamonds - and even more so rough diamonds - as an underlying asset for creating investment instruments. Rough or polished diamonds are not an exchange-traded commodity and never will be such, as the practice has shown. It seems to be an axiom. However, over the past five years, interesting trends have emerged in the industry, making us to look at the problem not so categorically.