Diamond Production

The economic activities of diamond producers and diamond-producing countries, their role in the value chain, and rough diamond sales.

What Is Diamond Production?

Diamond production is the set actions relating to the extraction of rough diamonds from sites all around the globe, and includes alluvial, open pit, and underground mining, as well as mining at sea.

Are Diamond Produced Wherever There are Diamonds?

For a resource to be developed into a mine, it first needs to be economical. Resources that produce only very low value diamonds, or that are very expansive to mine are not developed or mined. This means that there are many places around the world with known diamond resources that fall into this category.

What Issues Effect Diamond Production?

Consumer demand is the single most important force affecting diamond production. Changes in consumer demand are slow, but meaningful. Diamond production is also impacted by the cost of energy, weather, safety issues, and environmental concerns.

Each factor can lead to a complete halt in production.

What Countries Are the Biggest Source of Diamonds?

Currently, the leading diamond producing countries are:

  • The Russian Federation
  • Botswana
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • The Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Angola

In the past, several hundred years ago, India was the world’s largest source of diamonds. Then Brazil became the leading diamond producer until diamonds were discovered in southern Africa, and South Africa was the leading producer for many years.

What Companies Are the Largest Diamond Producers?

The leading diamond miners by value are:

  1. De Beers
  2. ALROSA
  3. Rio Tinto
  4. Petra
  5. Dominion

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

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

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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

This is the Lost Year in Rough Diamonds

This is the Lost Year in Rough Diamonds - feature image

What a horrible year it was. Miners, traders and retailers will remember 2015 as the year of lost capital, walking on the cusp of bankruptcies, lost opportunities and diminishing value of diamonds. How did it happen, could it been avoided and what lessons can be drawn from it – short term and long? The Last Cycle of 2015 – Sight …