Diamond Mining Research and Analysis

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:

3

De Beers’ Market Share Falls in 2019, Hides a Surprise

De Beers’ Market Share Falls in 2019 - rough sorting - Edahn Golan diamond Research and Data.jpg

After a year of pains, and in the midst of one of the most complicated years since World War II, De Beers’ market share sank in 2019. Not only De Beers, but ALROSA, Rio Tinto, and Petra all lost market share. The reason is changes in diamond production by smaller firms.

4

Diamond Production Dropped, Now It Is Nosediving

Diamond Production Dropped. This Is How It Nosedives - rough diamonds mining - Edahn Golan

Global diamond production sank 6.9% in 2019, the deepest plunge in a decade. By value, diamond production dropped 6.2%. There were good reasons for this, and the updated diamond production forecast calls for an even more significant slide in 2020.

The Golan Diamond Market Report – Q3 2019

Edahn Golan Diamond Market Report Q3 2019

After an extended period of stunted demand in the consumer, wholesale, and manufacturing sectors of the global diamond value chain, at the end of the third quarter, there are a few small signs of improvement. Following the deep decline in the second quarter of the year, US jewelry sales surprisingly picked up in July, although, cyclically, it is a month …

DRC: 3% of Artisanal Diamond Diggers Are Women

DRC Artisanal Diamond Diggers - Edahn Golan

Diamonds and gold are mined in some of the most remote areas of the world, some of which are completely off the radar. Few places are as remote as where alluvial mining is taking place in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) northeast where women and men artisanal diamond diggers, some of who are extremely young, dig for these rare …

4

US Diamond Trade: The Figures Reveal Oddities

US Diamond Trade: The Figures Reveal Oddities - featured image

Diamond import and export figures can tell a story, and a good story sparkles with oddities. Good stories start with facts that raise questions. In this case, the question is why a consumer market would import eight times the amount of diamonds it consumes. Or how a country with no diamond mining might export more rough than it imports. Polished …

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, rough diamonds’ average 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 for …

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 as diamond production plunged, fewer rough diamonds are going through China, and yet this is still a very concentrated industry from a country perspective. …

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 …