Global Mining News in real time


Diamond mine expansions on track, within budget

By: Mia Breytenbach London-listed diamond mining group Petra Diamonds’ expansion programmes at its flagship Cullinan and Finsch diamond mines, in South Africa, remain on track and within budget, with development progressing well, states Petra Diamonds CEO Johan Dippenaar. Construction on the modern, fit-for-purpose... 

Diamond plant optimisation nearing completion, sights set on exploration

By: Mia Breytenbach Southern Africa-focused precious gem producer Lucara Diamonds is finalising the optimisation of the newly integrated circuit as part of its flagship Botswana-based Karowe diamond mine’s plant optimisation project. Lucara president and CEO William Lamb tells Mining Weekly that Karowe’s optimised... 

Diamond plant optimisation nearing completion, sights  set on exploration
Photo by Lucara Diamond Corporation
SAMPLING ADDITION The modules of the modular bulk sample including the front end, the DMS, de-gritting and recovery, were pre-assembled off site to ensure that everything fits

Expansions, new mines needed to boost diamond supply

By: Mia Breytenbach The impending shortage of natural diamonds, with demand forecast to exceed supply within the next decade, is encouraging the establishment of new mines and the development of additional diamond projects, suggests World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) president and diamond polisher Ernest... 

Expansions,  new mines  needed to boost diamond supply
SHORT SUPPLY Although the diamond projects and expansions will create additional rough diamond supply in the short term, this supply may not meet eventual demand

Rough diamond price recovery expected in medium term

By: Mia Breytenbach While there is the expectation that rough diamond prices will potentially recover within the next six months, Southern Africa-focused diamond producer Lucara Diamond CEO William Lamb believes that the prices will recover only later, owing to the current estimated worldwide polished diamond... 

Rough diamond price recovery expected in medium term
Photo by Bloomberg
SPURRING ADVANCEMENT Several diamond cutters and polishers are adopting the latest technology, which contributes to maximising the value of the rough stones

Venetia underground expansion on track for 2021 first production

By: Mia Breytenbach Construction of the $2-billion underground extension of diamond miner De Beers Consolidated Mines (DBCM) South Africa’s Venetia mine is 18% complete, with the company having spent more than $250-million on the project to date, DBCM CEO Phillip Barton tells Mining Weekly. “We are making good... 

Venetia underground expansion on track for 2021 first production
Photo by De Beers Consolidated Mines
PROGRESSIVE DEVELOPMENT The current Venetia mine capital spend has been largely dedicated to site establishment and mining services infrastructure for the underground project

Cullinan, Finsch MCC contracts drawing to a close

By: Kimberley Smuts Switchgear solutions designer and manufacturer JB Switchgear Solutions’ contract for the design, manufacture and supply of motor control centres (MCCs) to diamond mining group Petra Diamonds’ Cullinan and Finsch mines, in Gauteng and the Northern Cape respectively, is drawing to a close. The... 

Cullinan, Finsch MCC  contracts drawing to a close
CONTRACT COMPLETED JB Switchgear Solutions’ contract for the design, manufacture and supply of motor control centres to diamond mining group Petra Diamonds’ Cullinan and Finsch mines is drawing to a close

Diamond mines pave way for company’s sustainable growth

By: Kimberley Smuts UK-based global diamond mining business Gem Diamonds continued throughout last year to focus on enhancing operational efficiencies and investing in innovative technologies at its Letšeng and Ghaghoo mines, in Lesotho and Botswana respectively.  This strategy noted in the company’s 2014 full-year... 

Diamond mines pave  way for company’s  sustainable growth
Photo by Bloomberg
IN DEMAND The long-term outlook for the diamond market remains strong

Diamond partnership to develop cutting, shaping technology

By: Kimberley Smuts Diamond major De Beers announced last month that it had acquired a 33.4% equity stake in Swiss-based patent protected laser micro jet (LMJ) technology owner and supplier Synova SA. De Beers will now work with Synova to develop a fully automated cutting and shaping technology, with LMJ at its... 

Diamond partnership  to develop cutting, shaping technology
Photo by Synova
DEDICATED TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT De Beers will now work with Synova to develop a fully automated cutting and shaping technology, with LMJ at its core, which is expected to enhance diamond cutting and polishing efficiency

Diamond producer aiming to establish new Botswana mine

By: Kimberley Smuts Diamond exploration and project development company Botswana Diamonds is aiming to establish a new diamond mine in Botswana, executive chairperson John Teeling tells Mining Weekly. The company expects to find new areas of kimberlite, potentially containing diamonds, by the end of this year, and... 

Diamond producer aiming to establish  new Botswana mine
JOHN TEELING There is a clear supply-demand gap opening. Demand for gemstones in Asia, the Middle East and parts of Africa is increasing, owing to an emerging middle class

Future diamond-price increase inevitable

By: Kimberley Smuts Diamond prices are expected to rise on the back of an increase in middle-income customers, in China and India, who are interested in buying diamonds, says mining consultancy MSA Group. The company says the price increase will occur, as this increase in demand is not balanced by an equivalent... 

Future diamond-price increase inevitable
INCREASED DEMAND Growth in the industry is being driven by the massive new consumer markets in China and to a lesser, but still significant extent, India

Grown diamond industry poised for success

By: Kimberley Smuts The grown diamond industry was poised for great success, scientists and researchers from top universities in the US, Belgium, Russia and Taiwan said in December at a round-table meeting – The Future of Grown Diamonds – hosted by diamond growers IIa Technologies. IIa Technologies chief technology... 

Grown diamond industry poised for success
Photo by Bloomberg
BROADENING HORIZONS Grown diamonds are creating newer applications across industries and supporting more diamond-centered research

Tongo mining licence application under way

By: Kimberley Smuts West Africa-focused diamond development company Stellar Diamonds has started the application process to obtain a mining licence for its 100%-owned 1.45-million carat Tongo Dyke-1 kimberlite project in eastern Sierra Leone. The application process was started as a result of Stellar’s decision to... 

Tongo mining licence application under way
DIAMONDS PROJECT PROGRESSES Moving Tongo to the mining license application stage is a major milestone for the project

Diamond demand to outstrip supply

By: Dylan Slater In the next decade, the demand for diamonds will be less than what the industry can supply through its current mining trends and available working mines, says diamond miner De Beers. 

Diamond demand to outstrip supply
THE DIAMOND DREAM De Beers’ diamond dream requires nurturing and protecting by implementing sound best practices throughout the diamond value chain to ensure its legacy is upheld

Expansion projects progressing well

By: Dylan Slater The C-Cut expansion project at diamond miner Petra Diamonds’ Gauteng-based Cullinan diamond mine is 50% complete in terms of the physical development work and the capital expenditure, the miner tells Mining Weekly. 

Expansion projects  progressing well
PURSUING GREATER DEPOSITS The Block 5 sublevel cave will start contributing ore from the second half of Petra Diamonds’ current financial year

Ghaghoo mine starts small

By: Dylan Slater Botswana’s newly established Ghaghoo diamond mine, owned and operated by London-listed Gem Diamonds, will be operated on a ‘small mine basis’ until the value of the resource is fully understood, Gem Diamonds tells Mining Weekly. 

Ghaghoo mine  starts small
GHAGHOO MINE The focus for Ghaghoo mine in 2015 is to ramp up production to mine and treat at a yearly rate of 720 000 t of ore, producing 210 000 ct of diamonds


State-owned minerals researcher Mintek was established in July 1934 under an Act of Parliament with a mandate to serve the national interest through technology transfer and research and development (R&D). The organisation works with industry and other R&D organisations to research, develop and... 


Venetia contributing significantly to SA

By: Carina Borralho Over its life-of-mine, the De Beers-owned Venetia diamond mine in Limpopo will create significant direct and indirect economic benefits, along with long-term employment and procurement opportunities, says the diamond producer. This project, which represents De Beers’ largest-ever investment in... 

Venetia diamond mine – an overview

Diamond producer De Beers’ Venetia diamond mine, which officially opened on August 14, 1992, is currently the largest producer of diamonds in South Africa and accounts for about 40% of the country’s total yearly diamond production. While the mine is currently an openpit operation, work started in... 

Venetia will impact positively on investor confidence

By: Carina Borralho The Limpopo-based Venetia diamond expansion project, owned by diversified mining major Anglo American subsidiary De Beers, is a significant boost for the South African mining industry as a whole, as it signals both companies’ confidence in the future of the country, says mining consultancy The... 

Botswana remains focused on diamonds

By: Carina Borralho Botswana has focused on its diamond mines and the wealth generated from those mines over the last 40 years, says diamond producer Lucara Diamonds. The company adds that the Botswana government has taken steps to develop a sustainable diamond industry by establishing several cutting factories in... 

Botswana remains focused on diamonds
FOCUSING ON PROFITS Lucara Diamonds plans to process more than 2.3-million tonnes, with associated diamond recoveries and sales of between 400 000 ct and 420 000 ct

Discovering diamonds in Cape Town

By: Carina Borralho There has been an increase in attendance at the Cape Town Diamond Museum, owing to the growing numbers of visitors to Cape Town in general and the museum’s own marketing activities, says Cape Town Diamond Museum founder Yair Shimansky. The Cape Town Diamond Museum is a non-profit organisation... 

Discovering diamonds in Cape Town
SHOWCASING KNOWLEDGE AND BEAUTY The perfectly situated Cape Town Diamond Museum provides an opportunity for South Africans and tourists to witness the three-billion-year-old story of the diamond unfold

Future of diamond industry bright, says producer

By: Carina Borralho The global diamond industry is continuing to gain momentum, as there is a global scarcity of high-quality gem diamonds, which is diamond developer Rockwell Diamond’s market niche. In terms of the supply and demand fundamentals, the diamond industry outlook is, therefore, positive for the midtier... 

Future of diamond industry bright, says producer

Specialist consultancy on the prospects of diamond mining

By: Carina Borralho Despite the high costs involved in, and the long lead time needed for exploring for diamonds, they will become an increasingly rare and valuable commodity and hence one worth investing in if you do it right, says mining industry specialist consultancy, the MSA Group. “We encourage companies and... 

Ukwazi Group

By: Samantha Herbst Though classified as a medium-sized mine planning and engineering consultancy, Gauteng-based Ukwazi Group remains the largest independent and focused mine planning and engineering services provider in Africa. Ukwazi specialises in the use and interpretation of various mine planning software... 

Ukwazi Group

De Beers’ R20bn investment to increase workforce at Venetia by 3 000

By: Anine Vermeulen South Africa’s largest diamond producer, the opencast Venetia operation, in Limpopo, will increase its workforce by 3 000 employees in the next seven years, owing to owner De Beers South Africa’s R20-billion investment, announced in October. The investment will be used to extend the life of the... 

Diamond mine reduces on-site fuel consumption

By: Anine Vermeulen Diamond producer De Beers South Africa, which is 85%-owned by British mining major Anglo American, achieved a 6% reduction in fuel consumption this year at its Limpopo-based opencast Venetia diamond mine, owing to the use of lighter-weight bowls in its mining trucks. Speaking at the launch of the... 

Venetia retains environmental compliance through self-regulation

By: Anine Vermeulen Diamond producer De Beers’ Limpopo-based Venetia mine has retained its ISO 14001 environmental certificate after the Venetia Limpopo Nature Reserve, which forms part of the Mapungubwe National Park, was audited in June. Venetia mine environmental manager Gavin Anderson states that Venetia has... 

Conflict diamonds a challenge in Africa

By: Anine Vermeulen Conflict diamonds are still a major issue in Africa, particularly in Côte d’Ivoire, the Central African Republic and Zimbabwe, says Global Witness diamond campaigner Emily Armistead. “In Côte d’Ivoire the [diamond] trade is currently illegal. However, for diamonds from Zimbabwe, which is... 

Diamond-cutting and -polishing industry in distress

By: Anine Vermeulen The South African diamond cutting and polishing industry is in distress, states World Federation of Diamond Bourses president Ernie Blom, pointing out that 20 years ago, the industry had 4 500 polishers; currently, there are fewer than 600. Blom notes that to bring the industry back to its former... 

Investment diamond industry growing

By: Anine Vermeulen Investment diamonds are the most stable commodity in South Africa, states bespoke jewellery store Platandia director Rob Burton, adding that investment diamonds withstood the 2008 economic downturn and are a good currency hedge. Burton notes that the price of investment diamonds, which are each... 

Sensor-based rock sorting alleviates challenges

By: Anine Vermeulen Recent advances in the automated sensor-based sorting set of technologies enable diamond producers to enjoy the environmental and economic advantages that are becoming increasingly helpful in a harsh economic climate. Sensor-based sorting is a rock-by-rock analysis system that scans each... 

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