- Russia, Botswana, the DRC, Australia and Canada are the world’s greatest diamond producers.
- Diamond as investment: BAUNAT DIAMONDS informs and advises its clients.
At first glance, the diamond industry seems to have a short and uncomplicated production chain. It all starts with mining the diamond, followed by the trade in raw minerals, the production of the polished diamond and its selling as an investment diamond. In practice, however, the process is less straightforward.
Certain countries have mines, while others have the funding, the high-tech technologies and the expertise to process the rough diamonds. These countries become true production centres even though there are no mines within their borders. Some countries in turn have both mines and the expertise to process diamonds.
In the norther hemisphere, Russia and Canada are the most important diamond producing countries. In the southern hemisphere, these countries are Botswana, South-Africa, Namibia and Australia.
Based on sheer volume, Russia is the world’s greatest producer and exporter of rough diamonds. In 2014, an estimated 38 million carats of rough diamonds was retrieved from Russian mines. The most important mine – the Alrosa – is good for 90% of Russia’s yearly diamond production.
In Russian mines, diamonds of all shapes and sizes are unearthed. They are known for their fluorescence and their crystalline shape: sharp diamonds with eight facets. Several Russian mines also produce diamonds with a yellow hue.
Botswana is the world leader based on the value of the diamonds mined there. In terms of volume, however, this country comes second, after Russia. Botswana is also the home ground of the De Beers company and produces the majority of the company’s diamonds. The country has 7 mines, whereof Orapa and Jwaneng are the most important ones. Both these mines are exploited by the De Beers Company. Other players in this African country are Lucara and Kimberley Diamonds.
In Botswana, too, a wide range of diamond shapes and colours can be mined. For the most part, the diamonds are of high quality and have a dodecahedron shape.
Democratic Republic of Congo
The DRC is the greatest diamond producer on the African continent. The country has a long mining history and, based on volume, it is the third greatest diamond producer in the world.
The majority of the production is done informally and not by big mining companies. According to estimations, about 700.000 artisanal miners are active in the sector. The only commercial diamond producer is Miniere de Bakwange (MIBA), a joint venture between the Belgian enterprise Sibeka and the Congolese authorities. The De Beers Company has holdings of 20% in Sibeka and sell approximately one third of the diamonds mined in the country. Presently, the mining of diamonds is still done on a small scale, in a small area.
The MIBA produced diamonds of a lower quality, compared to the other mines. In other regions, high quality white diamonds are unearthed.
Australia is the world leader of coloured diamonds. The country is known for its yellow, pink, red and purple diamonds.
The largest diamond mine in Australia is the Argyle mine, exploited by Rio Tinto. The Argyle mine is a highly productive mine, with more than 12 million of carats being mined there each year. Until a couple of years ago, it was an open mine, but now there is also being dug underground.
Argyle is the leading producer of pink diamonds. Pink, red and purple diamonds are coveted and much sought-after worldwide.
In the 20th century, there was almost no diamond production in Canada. It was Chuck Fipke and Stewart Blossom that put the country on the map as a diamond producing country. Today, Canada is the one of the greatest diamond producing countries in the world.
Canada has 4 active diamond mines: Diavik, Ekati, Snap Lake and Victor. Ekati was the first operational diamond mine of the country. The Diavik mine is managed by Rio Tinto, the two other mines are exploited by the De Beers company.
The majority of the diamonds unearthed in Canada are colourless and of high quality.
Based on sheer volume, the five countries mentioned above are good for 76% of the diamond production worldwide. In terms of value, they account for more than 65% of the world’s production.
BAUNAT DIAMONDS advises its candidate-investors regarding suitable investment diamonds.
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