African diamond firms on COVID-19 response, recent developments

Rough & Polished recently contacted several diamond producers and exploration companies with operations in Africa to establish how their operations were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and what they are doing to alleviate the impact. We also sought...

01 june 2020

“Get Diamonds” platform will soon be available in Russian, Hindi, Arabic and any other languages as per demand from any countries

A first-generation diamantaire Yoram Dvash, currently serving as the Acting President at World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) and the President of the Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE), launched his diamond manufacturing and trading...

25 may 2020

Sustainability is the only way forward - Rahul Jauhari

Rahul Jauhari, Sr Vice President of Global Sales & Marketing, Star Rays, has forged ahead professionally for more than 14 years garnering experience in Business Development, Luxury Lifestyle Consultancy, Market Analysis, Global Fashion / Luxury trend...

18 may 2020

Keeping global supply chains functioning vital – De Beers

Diamond giant, De Beers has said that it is essential to keep global supply chains functioning in view of the substantial impact of Covid-19 on the industry. Group spokesperson David Johnson told Rough & Polished’s Mathew Nyaungwa in an exclusive interview...

11 may 2020

Gabon courts foreign investors to grow fledgling diamond sector

Diamond production in Gabon, which has been a member of the Kimberley Diamond Certification Process since 2018, is currently dominated by artisanal miners. The artisanal miners are producing about 300 carats per month, according to Gabon’s director of...

05 may 2020

Coronavirus: Firestone suspends operations at Liqhobong Mine

26 march 2020

firestone_diamonds_logo.pngFirestone Diamonds has suspended operations at its Liqhobong Mine, in Lesotho for at least 21 days to safeguard its workforce and surrounding community from the coronavirus pandemic.
The company will, however, continue with essential care and maintenance services and security.
“The health, safety and wellbeing of the mine's workforce and surrounding community is of paramount concern to the company,” said Firestone.
“All staff on the mine may be especially vulnerable to an onset of the coronavirus due to the remote location of the mine and distance from expert medical care, high altitude and close proximity to one another in buildings on mine.”
Lesotho is landlocked by South Africa and the Liqhobong Mine is dependent on South Africa for a large portion of its essential mining supplies.
The South African government recently announced a 21-day national lockdown, effective midnight Thursday 26 March 2020 to midnight Thursday 16 April 2020, in order to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Meanwhile, Lucapa Diamond also said that the lockdown in South Africa will also impact the ongoing operations of the Mothae kimberlite diamond mine in Lesotho, particularly on the flow of essential mining supplies and services across the border from South Africa. 
“After discussions with its partner, the government of the Kingdom of Lesotho, a decision has been taken to suspend mining operations at the Mothae mine, with appropriate security measures,” it said.
“Mining and processing operations can be restarted relatively quickly should a decision be taken to reopen the mine in the near-term.”

Mathew Nyaungwa, Editor in Chief of the African Bureau, Rough&Polished