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Articles from DIAMONDS BY CUT - ROUGH (UNCUT) (40 Articles)

Gahcho Kué is expected to produce about 54 million carats of rough diamonds over its lifetime
Gahcho Kué is expected to produce about 54 million carats of rough diamonds over its lifetime

De Beers opens world’s largest diamond mine

The world’s largest diamond mine for more than a decade has officially opened ahead of an anticipated increase in demand for diamond jewellery.

The new mine, Gahcho Kué, is located 280 km northeast of Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories (NWT) of Canada.

It is a joint venture between De Beers Group, which owns 51 per cent, and Canadian diamond mining company Mountain Province Diamonds, which owns 49 per cent.

According to De Beers, the site is on track to reach full commercial operation in the first quarter of 2017 and is expected to produce about 54 million carats of rough diamonds over its expected 11 to 13-year lifetime.

A De Beers spokesperson said the diamond mine was the largest to open anywhere in the world in terms of annual carat production since Rio Tinto’s Diavik operation in Canada opened in 2003.

Market changes

As previously reported by Jeweller, statistics released by the Kimberley Process showed the value of international rough diamond production fell 4.2 per cent to US$13.88 billion (AU$18.04 b) in 2015 despite a 2.1 per cent increase in production volumes to 127.4 million carats in the same period.

De Beers sold its well-known Kimberley Mines operation in South Africa at the end of last year and put its Canadian Snap Lake site up for sale in July.

Bruce Cleaver, De Beers CEO
Bruce Cleaver, De Beers CEO

This scaling back of operations was reportedly in response to challenges facing the industry such as falling prices and waning demand; however, De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver said the outlook for the future was positive.

“As millions of new consumers enter the middle classes in the coming years, consumer demand for diamond jewellery is set to see continued medium to long-term growth,” Cleaver said.

“I’m therefore delighted with the official opening of Gahcho Kué, our largest ever mine outside of southern Africa, as it will help to meet this increasing demand.”

He added the company was also in the process of expanding production capacity in its southern African operations, which would help it to “capitalise on the industry’s positive demand outlook”.

Gahcho Kué officially opened on 20 September during an event attended by 150 guests. 

The mine was described by De Beers as a remote, fly-in/fly-out site comprised of three open pits. 

Canada was the world’s third largest diamond producer in terms of value and the fifth largest by volume in 2015, according to the Kimberley Process statistics.

In other diamond news, an Australian mining company has discovered two diamonds weighing more than 100 carats in the space of less than a week.

Lucapa Diamond Company, based in Perth, announced the finding of a 172.67-carat type IIa D colour stone from the Lulo Diamond Project in Angola on 26 September.

It follows the unearthing of a 104-carat diamond at the same site on 21 September and is its fifth diamond weighing more than 100 carats of 2016 and sixth in total.

More reading
Report shows contrasting fortunes for rough diamonds
Another De Beers diamond mine for sale
Market forces De Beers to sell, suspend diamond mines

Tuesday, 19 March, 2019 12:46am
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Peter W Beck
Vital Diamonds International
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