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:

De Beers Sales +11% in 2014

Rough diamond sorting - De Beers

Anglo American announced its results this morning and with it De Beers‘ results: Sales: $7.114 billion (+11%) Carats sold: 32.73 million carats (+5%) Underlying EBITDA: $1.818 bln CAPAX: $689 million Return on CAPEX: 15% Highlights from the 2014 financial report: De Beers’ underlying EBIT increased by 36% to $1.4 billion (2013: $1.0 billion). The increase was due primarily to solid demand across …

Rio Tinto’s Diamond Sales +5.8% in 2014

Rio Tinto’s Diamond Sales +5.8% in 2014 The Argyle Pink Jubilee Diamond

A strong rise in rough diamond prices have led to an increase in Rio Tinto’s gross revenue from diamonds in 2014 despite a sharp drop in production. Gross revenue increased to $901 million, up 5.8% from $852 million in 2013. In 2014, the company mined 13.87 million carats, a 13% year-over-year decrease. The decrease coincides with the move from open-pit …

Large December Sight

Sorted rough in bags. Photo: De Beers

As expected, De Beers has an uncharacteristically large December Sight. According to early estimates, the Sight this week offered ~$650 million worth of rough diamonds. There was very little ex-plan reported and box assortments are leaning towards smaller size goods, which possibly explains the somewhat lower prices.

ALROSA Returns to Dubai

Palm Dubai

ALROSA has reopened its ARCOS East DMCC sales office in Dubai in November after suspending activity in the emirate during the market downturn in 2009. In a press release published today, ALROSA said the decision to reopen is connected to the rapid growth of Dubai as a global diamond-trading center. Among the Russian diamond miner’s goals for the Dubai presence …

Rough Diamond Market Report: Subdued Market Ahead of Diwali

Even with a very small supply of rough diamonds from the major diamond suppliers De Beers and Alrosa during this diamond cycle, premiums in the secondary market were so low that in some categories it meant selling at a loss for the first hand buyers – the Sightholders and Alrosa clients. There are several reasons for this, the upcoming Diwali holiday …