Diamond Mining

The economics of diamond mining, how it works, the leading players involved in the industry, the issues they face, and the diamond value chain.

What Are the Forces Impacting Diamond Mining?

Above all, diamond mining is mostly impacted by consumer demand. Long-term shifts in interest as measured by how much consumers are willing to buy, the amount they are willing to spend, and the type of diamonds they are interested in all have an effect on diamond mining.

The impact of consumer demand may seem direct, however, the midstream – the manufacturing section of the diamond industry – often serves as a buffer between miners and consumers.

The following posts provide insights into exactly how this works, the ways miners sell rough diamonds, and the role mining plays in the economies of producing countries.

Who are the Largest Diamond Miners?

The leading miners by value are:

  1. De Beers

  2. ALROSA

  3. Rio Tinto

  4. Petra

  5. Dominion

Where are Diamond Mined?

Based on the Kimberley Process reported data, the leading diamond-producing countries are:

  • The Russian Federation

  • Botswana

  • Canada

  • Australia

  • The Democratic Republic of Congo

  • Angola

The order may change over time, yet these countries are almost always the largest source of diamonds.

How Are Diamonds Mined?

There are four main mining methods. In some cases, the choice of method is easy. In others, the decision is usually based on the economics of the mine. The four methods are:

  • Open pit

  • Alluvial

  • Underground

  • Marine

For a deeper look into this topic, please see below:

2

Rough Diamonds’ Loopy Ride

Rough_Diamonds_Loopy_Ride-featured

Two opposing trends arise from the steady series of diamond miners’ annual reports that have come out over the past few days: while rough diamond production increased, the average rough diamond price per carat decreased in 2017. With few exceptions, this resulted in a rise in sales volumes, and a decline in rough diamond sales revenue. There are many reasons …

KP: Production Value Plunges, China Caves, and Manufacturers Focus

KP production plunges china caves manufacturers focus

 A look at the recently released Kimberley Process (KP) figures for 2016 reveals several interesting trends affecting the global diamond industry. First is that the top five producing countries have lost some of their market share, fewer rough diamonds are going through China, and yet this is still a very concentrated industry from a country perspective. In some areas, it is …

12

The Scary Stuff Nightmares Are Made Of

Growing Demand for Lab-Grown and the Scary Nightmares it Induces

For years the diamond industry’s outward attitude to lab-grown goods was that these stones were some sort of fake. Even the nickname given them expresses that disdain – “synthetics.” Yet underneath this expression of disrespect lies a deep sentiment, a real feeling that one can almost smell – a mixture of contempt and deep fear. Don’t balk because that fear …

4

Breaking Down KP’s Suggested Diamond Valuation System

Breaking Down KP’s Suggested Diamond Valuation System

One of the key issues brought up for consideration of the Kimberley Process (KP) this year, was the suggestion to put in place a rough diamond valuation system. At its core, the idea is to find a way to determine if the values stated on rough parcels shipped internationally are reasonable. The suggested methodology proposes that rough diamonds be valuated …

1

Global Diamond Production Decreases 4.2% in 2015

The Lesson of Sight 8: No Need for More Rough - featured

In 2015, 127.4 million carats of diamonds were mined around the world, a 2.1% increase compared to 2014, according to just released Kimberley Process figures. The value of global diamond production decreased 4.2% to $112.3 billion. The average value of production fell 6.2% to $108.96 per carat. Russia is by far the largest diamond producing country by volume and value. In …

Deconstructing De Beers’ $540M Cycle Sales

Deconstructing De Beers’ $540M Cycle Sales - featured

De Beers announced on Tuesday that the total value of rough diamonds it supplied during the first cycle of 2016 was $540 million. This number, and the context in which it was revealed, requires some explanation. It is not the value of the Sight, but rather that and beyond. Just what does this number include? Basically, all the rough diamond …

2

Fine Jewelry Sales Up, Rough Prices Down, Optimism Ensues (Unjustly)

Fine Jewelry Sales Up, Rough Prices Down, Optimism Ensues (Unjustly)

Fine jewelry sales in the US posted a rise in November, and there are signs that December was alright too. In the last couple of weeks of December, Mumbai diamond traders had a sudden rise in sales, both from the US and China, leading to a burst of optimism that drove demand for Sight goods. De Beers in turn lowered prices …