Diamond Mining Market Research Reports, Analysis & Trends
Diamond mining is the mining of diamonds from various natural diamond deposits of this mineral across the world. Diamond mining industry is worth billions of dollars and the value keeps increasing. The diamond mining industry consists of various sectors such as miners and producers- those companies who mine and produce, cutters and polishers- those who buy rough diamonds from producers and then cut and polish, and lastly jewellers and retailers- those who sell the finished products of diamonds to customers. Diamond mines are rare and the demand for new supply is high. Diamond mining companies extract diamond from open pit mining, in which the diamond are extracted from the surfaces of the mines and underground mining, in which the excavation goes up to 1 km below the ground. Pipe mining refers to the extraction from volcanic pipes, as it is extremely rare extraction type; typically one carat gem quality of polished diamond is produced after extracting almost 250 tonnes of ore. Alluvial mining is the process of extraction of diamonds from riverbeds or ocean beaches in which, the diamonds are found in oceans where they were weathered out of the diamond pipes and they were carried to great distances into oceans.
After the diamonds are produced, not all fall into gem quality as more than 3/4th of the production goes into two other categories such as near-gem quality and industrial quality. Gem quality display high standard of excellence in quality and are used in jewelleries as the flawless clarity is visible. Near-gem quality and industrial quality diamonds are either used depending on the individual stone’s clarity grades that range from visible inclusions through to low quality; for example- industrial quality diamonds are used in dentist drills and earthmoving equipments, and used in science materials such as the Vickers Hardness tester.
Diamond Mining Current Trends
Most diamond mines are in Africa. Diamonds are extracted using rudimentary method. With increasing market, the availability and discovery of diamond mines is getting narrow, larger and commercially viable diamond mines are as rare as the last diamond mine discovered was in 1997 in Zimbabwe, Thus, the supply is extremely expensive and diamonds are considered a rare gem to possess. Out of 20 major mines, 11 contribute to 62% of global supply. Extracting this rare mineral is difficult task where in Jwaneng, an average one ton of rock has to be moved in order to get 1.4 carats of rough diamond. After moving 8 million tonnes of rock a year, Jwaneng mine generates revenue of $1.5 billion by selling $134/ carat on average, with profit margins of 24%.
Of all the production of rough diamonds, 99% is used for jewellery purposes. Because of the significance value the diamonds brings, such as attribution to love and marriage and in many cases a luxury item to possess and considered an important asset, a diamond also represents mark of a present or a milestone. Of 1% that goes to industrial use; caters to many industries for various cutting works, such as glass, dentistry, strength test of hard materials etc. Diamond mining industry focuses a lot on legitimate sources and the trade between two parties so that the consumers retain the trust and feel confident of business prospects with the producers. Kimberley Process, in which a Certificate of Origin is given to the producer for producing authenticated material and is implemented with the help of governments, diamond jewellery purchasers, NGOs and international diamond industry. Certificate of Origin also signify that mining for diamonds has not been done in conflicted areas so as that authenticity or legitimacy is compromised.
Diamond mining companies are improving with advanced technologies to produce advance high quality mineral extractions. There are investors with long-term outlook and who will invest in deposits exploration. Employment is gaining a rapid growth in mining industry and currently the diamond value chain, that explores, mines, processes and retails, employs over 10 million people around the world. With jewellery sales alone, which has grown three-fold since 25 years, is estimated at US $72 billion per annum
Major Diamond Mining Players
Major diamond mining industry players include various companies around the world; companies such as De Beers- which accounts for approximately 35% of the market by value, and operates mines in 4 countries. Other major diamond mining companies are Rio Tinto, Alrosa, Harry Winston Diamond, BHP Billiton, Petra Diamonds, Gem Top Diamonds.