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Rockwell Prices Rise 20% Since July

02 december 2009

Rockwell Diamonds said on Tuesday that it saw a 20 percent increase in the average sales price achieved at tenders held between July and November, while also noting an improvement in the price for all goods, RAPAPORT reported. The junior diamond mining company reported that the average price per carat at its latest tender in November was $1,434, with the tender offering diamonds mined at the company's Holpan, Klipdam and Saxendrift alluvial mines in South Africa. Rockwell did not provide the total value of the sale.
The company’s previous tender in July achieved an average per-carat price of $1,195 per. Rockwell's chief executive officer (CEO), John Bristow, said the November tender brought the average sales value for the fiscal year to date to $977 per carat, or closer to its breakeven point of around $1,000 per carat.
The November tender included a number of large stones, specifically three diamonds over 100 carats and 63 stones weighing more than 10 carats. All of the diamonds available at the tender were mined between August and November. Since then, Rockwell said it has recovered another three diamonds over 50 carats, including a 60.8-carat, rounded, off-white stone from Saxendrift and a 52.4-carat, light yellow, octahedral stone of excellent clarity from Holpan.
“Demand for rough stones in the 1- to 10-carat range remains strong, with the strongest buying focused on the 2- to 5-carat market segment,” the company reported, adding that prices for 3-carat rough stones have been extremely strong since March 2009. Rough stones weighing less than one carat, including lower-quality Indian goods characterized by a high proportion of inclusions and imperfections, also exhibited some price strengthening, Rockwell added.
Bristow said that in light of these price improvements, the Wouterspan mine, which was put on care and maintenance for the year, will likely be re-commissioned in 2010.