MINING.COM’s high diamond story of the 12 months was truly printed on the finish of 2020. The story up to date the findings of a bulk pattern Rio Tinto (NYSE: RIO; ASX: RIO; LSE: RIO) accomplished in 2019 at Star Diamond’s (TSX: DIAM) Star-Orion undertaking in Saskatchewan. On the time, the ninth of ten bulk cutter pattern holes on the undertaking had returned 3,534 diamonds weighing 210.68 carats. The haul included 10.13, 8.10 and seven.29-carat Sort IIa diamonds, whereas 25 diamonds had been better than 1 carat. Processing from all holes has since been accomplished. Possession of the Star-Orion undertaking – referred to as FalCon by Rio Tinto – is presently disputed, with Rio Tinto claiming a 40% stake and Star Diamond taking the key to court docket to argue that the phrases of their 2017 earn-in settlement haven’t been met.
Second on our checklist is an merchandise on an distinctive diamond — a 1.098-carat stone recovered on the Jwaneng open pit mine in Botswana. The mega-diamond is considered one of solely 4 1,000-plus carat diamonds ever unearthed. Jwaneng, the world’s richest mine by worth, is owned by Debswana, a three way partnership of De Beers and the Botswana authorities. The mine is in the midst of a $2-billion growth to start underground mining. The underground mine is anticipated to ship as a lot as 9 million carats per 12 months and prolong Jwaneng’s mine life by 20 years.
The 12 months’s third most learn diamond story was about Canadian miner Lucara Diamond’s (TSX: LUC) first massive diamond of the 12 months. Lucara’s Karowe mine in Botswana is thought for big, high-value gem diamonds, together with the 341-carat unbroken white stone it recovered in January. The diamond was the 54th stone over 200 carats recovered at Karowe because it started business manufacturing in 2012. One analyst estimated the diamond might promote for greater than $10 million.
There’s one thing fascinating about colored diamonds, which made this story about Petra Diamonds’ (LSE: PDL) discovery of a 39.34-carat blue diamond from its Cullinan mine considered one of MDC’s high diamond tales this 12 months. The Sort IIb gem was stated to be of “distinctive high quality” resulting from each its color and readability. Cullinan, situated in South Africa, is named the world’s most vital supply of blue diamonds.
Regardless of holding the distinctive asset, in addition to two others in South Africa and one in Tanzania, Petra’s monetary place is weak. The miner put itself up on the market final 12 months after which reversed its resolution in favour of a debt-to-equity restructuring. The corporate additionally faces human rights abuse allegations at its Williamson mine in Tanzania ensuing from the actions of its safety guards.
No. 5 on the checklist detailed a second massive diamond recovered from Lucara Diamond’s (TSX: LUC) Karowe mine in January. The miner reported it discovered a 378-carat, white unbroken gem-quality stone in the identical unit – M/PK(S) — of the mine’s South Lobe the place the sooner diamond was found. Each gems had been recovered from the coarse X-ray transmission circuit that Lucara has credited with avoiding breakage of its massive diamonds.
Lucara lately authorized an underground growth of Karowe that can prolong the undertaking’s mine life to no less than 2040.
New diamond discoveries are at all times thrilling, and in June, phrase emerged of a diamond rush attracting 1000’s of individuals to an space close to Ladysmith, about 360 km southeast of Johannesburg in South Africa. With movies on social media capturing crowds digging within the floor, the provincial KwaZulu-Natal authorities expressed issues about crowds gathering throughout the pandemic and fears a stampede might happen.
Sadly, the discover, in considered one of South Africa’s poorest areas that has been hard-struck by the Covid-19 pandemic, turned out to be not diamonds however quartz crystals.
Barrick Gold (TSX: ABX; NYSE: GOLD) president and CEO Mark Bristow’s curiosity in troubled junior Rockwell Diamonds made this story the following hottest with readers. In January, Rockwell introduced it had made a deal to delist and merge with a B.C. diamond firm (Bristco) wholly owned by Bristow.
Bristow, the founder and proprietor of Randgold Sources (which was acquired by Barrick in 2018), acted as Rockwell’s CEO for six months to Might 2011 and later joined the board. On the time of the information, he held about 2.4% of the JSE-listed diamond firm.
Rockwell had been in liquidation for the reason that finish of 2016 and was awaiting ultimate liquidation proceedings in 2021.
At eighth place was one other massive diamond story, this time a 113-carat gem-quality diamond recovered from Lucapa Diamond’s (ASX: LOM) Lulo mine in Angola in January. Lucapa famous the diamond is the primary discovered at Mining Block 46, downstream of the Canguige river. The stone is the seventeenth diamond over 100 carats discovered at Lulo, an alluvial diamond undertaking held 40% by Lucapa. The remainder is held by Angola’s nationwide diamond firm (Endiama) and Rosas & Petalas, a non-public entity. Lulo hosts the world’s highest dollar-per-carat alluvials diamonds.
Making a return look at Spot No. 9 is Petra Diamonds’ 39.34-carat blue diamond. The June 1 story famous that the diamond, recovered in January, could be offered in a particular tender in July, with viewings starting mid-June in Antwerp, Dubai, Hong Kong and New York.
The diamond, whose high quality Petra described as “distinctive” by way of each color and readability, was subsequently offered for $40.2 million.
Bucking the pattern of huge diamond tales, the final story on our checklist was a Bloomberg information story reporting on a change in the way in which De Beers – the world’s largest diamond miner – does enterprise. The merchandise from January defined that among the firm’s patrons or sightholders have misplaced that standing, whereas others have had their standing downgraded. The Bloomberg piece stated the modifications had been designed to “funnel extra stones into fewer palms” and to the patrons that might add essentially the most worth to the tough diamonds.