IDEX Online: Marange diamond exports approved

We publish courtesy of National Jeweler

By Vinod Kuriyan and Edahn Golan for IDEX Online

Ramat-Gan—By using an unusual procedure of the Kimberley Process (KP), the outgoing chairman of the rough diamond monitoring body succeeded to pass the draft Jerusalem agreement, clearing the way for Zimbabwean diamond exports.

After a third of the KP members, 17 countries, approved the Jerusalem agreement, with no objections, KP sources told IDEX Online that outgoing KP Chairman Boaz Hirsch has issued a notification that now allows the legal export of diamonds from Marange.

The Jerusalem agreement is a compromise accord worked out by the United States with Zimbabwe during a KP Plenary meeting held in November. The Agreement however was rejected by Canada and Australia, preventing its adoption.

After several months of negotiations, most surrounding sub-section 3(b), which stipulates how many members of the Working Group on Monitoring (WGM) are needed to stop Zimbabwe’s exports in a self-cessation mechanism, Hirsch submitted a revised version to KP members, asking them to state their position by January 10.

When no response arrived, the deadline was extended to January 17, by which time 17 countries expressed their support for the revised draft.

One issue that remains open is Russia’s negative response to the procedure Hirsch used. This will need to be worked out by the incoming KP Chairman Mathieu Yamba.

This development means that $160 million worth of rough diamonds that had been recently bought by four Indian companies can now be legally imported into India for processing. The diamonds were reportedly in a sort of limbo, being held in Dubai’s free trade zone, which meant that technically they hadn’t entered the United Arab Emirates.

This article was first published on IDEX Online on Jan. 18.


DTC First Sight for 2011 creates history

We publish courtesy of Diamond World

The Diamond Trading Company’s First Sight for 2011 was a historic one, as it was opened for the first time by a DTC Sightholder. The honour went to Mr. Erez Daleyot, Group CEO of DD Manufacturing (DDM), who also received an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the DTC.

Mr. Daleyot won this historic honour at the Diamond Empowerment Fund auction held in London last November where the DTC had allowed Sightholders to bid for the opportuity of opening the first Diamond Sight of 2011 and being a guest of De Beers’ Chairman, Mr. Nicky Oppenheimer and Ms. Varda Shine, CEO of DTC. ” He said, “The Diamond Empowerment Fund’s vision and values fit perfectly with our own, and we are very excited to have had the opportunity to support them to create a better future for the next generation in southern Africa.”

Ms. Shine, Board Member of DEF and co-host of the DEF charity event last year at which $1,000,000 was raised, commented that “we were so pleased that one of our Sightholders won the bid, and especially a company that is aligned with our own DTC beneficiation objectives in supporting empowerment and development of opportunities for youth in southern Africa. DDM has been a fantastically generous supporter of good causes at our past charity events.”

DD Manufacturing (DDM) specialises in loose, larger polished diamonds to deliver diamonds of the highest attainable cut and quality to top-end jewellery retailers around the world. Life Diamonds (South Africa), amongst the largest diamond manufacturing operations in South Africa, and an integral part of the DDM group, actively supports social projects.


Chopard unveils 85.28-carat emerald-cut diamond

We publish courtesy of Diamond World

Chopard recently unveiled an 85.28-carat emerald-cut diamond which it believes will earn a global fan following almost like the legendary Koh-I-Noor diamond. The diamond’s extreme purity and sparkling whiteness place it in the IIA class, an extremely rare and pure category accounting for approximately 1 percent of all diamonds. Stones of such perfection and such size historically originate from the Indian mines of Golconda. Golconda diamonds are among the most sought-after and celebrated in the world.


Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele, Co-President of the House and Creative Director, said: “I love gems. I have seen a lot of them in my career, but the beauty of this particular one surpasses most others, and it is truly exceptional.” Chopard is now looking at creating the perfect jewellery piece suited for the diamond.


DBCM to sell Finsch Diamond Mine to Petra Diamonds

We publish courtesy of Diamond World

An agreement is reached between De Beers Consolidated Mines (DBCM) and Petra Diamonds Limited (“Petra”) for the sale of the Finsch Diamond Mine (“Finsch”) as a going concern. The deal is worth R1.425 billion (approximately US$200 million) payable in cash. Petra has formed an empowerment consortium to acquire the Mine.

The selection of a buyer was through an open and rigorous selection process evaluating prospective bidders on a number of criteria determined by DBCM as critical to ensuring the long-term sustainability of Finsch. A Petra company was so selected, basis Petra’s access to funding, a detailed evaluation of the company’s technical capacity, a proven track record in South Africa, broad-based BEE credentials, and a strong socio-economic focus.

Barend Petersen, Chairman of DBCM said: “Their track record as a hardrock underground diamond miner bodes well for the long-term sustainability of Finsch going forward, and we are confident that this will help ensure continued investment in the town of Lime Acres and the Northern Cape for many years to come. Perhaps most importantly, today’s announcement brings together a significant pool of employee and women’s organizations and local participation that will ensure that a wide range of empowerment groups will benefit form the mine’s future success.”

Phillip Barton, CEO of DBCM said: “The sale of Finsch Mine reflects the continuing evolution of DBCM’s mining portfolio. It will enable us to prioritise capital to invest in growth opportunities that best suit our criteria, and to sustain a strong diamond mining business in South Africa for the future. In this way DBCM is strengthening its commercial future in South Africa whilst helping to meet Government’s aspirations for a diversified and transformed South African diamond industry.”

DBCM will continue to manage Finsch as normal until the sale, which is subject to a number of conditions precedent, including obtaining the necessary approvals from the Competition Tribunal, as well as the successful transfer of DBCM’s new order mining right to Petra.

De Beers has a lot to be proud of at Finsch Mine – a dedicated workforce, a world class safety record and a well managed environmental programme. A new investor will be able to realise the longer term potential of the Mine”, concluded Barend Petersen.