Rough Sales Pick Up as Market Begins Rebound

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Sep 22, 2020 8:59 AM   By Rapaport News

RAPAPORT… Miners have seen “encouraging” signs of recovery in the diamond market as they resume rough sales following an extended period of weak demand.

Mountain Province garnered $8.9 million from the sale of 210,661 carats from its Gahcho Kué mine in Canada, at an average price of $42 per carat, at its first tender since the onset of Covid-19. The average price at the sale, which did not include any high-value fancy or special-size stones, was 1% lower than that achieved for similar stones in February. However, bidding was strong and consistent, similar to earlier in the year, the company said Monday.

“The results of the first small sale post the Covid-19 pandemic are an encouraging start considering that the market has been at a standstill for nearly six months,” noted Mountain Province CEO Stuart Brown. “The results of the sale were a positive sign as the markets for rough and polished diamonds start to return.”

Lucapa Diamond Company also saw prices strengthen, selling 3,477 carats of rough from its Lulo mine in Angola at an average price of $663 per carat. Total proceeds were $2.3 million.

“Although the average diamond size in this sale parcel was smaller than average, the encouraging signals being seen in the industry currently have led to upward price movements across a number of diamond categories,” said Lucapa managing director Stephen Wetherall.

Meanwhile, Alrosa held two auctions for rough weighing more than 10.8 carats, in Israel and Belgium. In Belgium, the miner sold 2,173 carats of rough for $7.4 million, while the Israel auction brought in $13.3 million from 1,860 carats.

“The auction’s results confirm the demand for high-quality rough diamonds,” said Alrosa deputy CEO Evgeny Agureev. “We saw this specifically at the Israeli auction, where the total proceeds significantly exceeded the reserve price.”

De Beers’ September sight is taking place this week, running until Friday. At its August sight, sales rose 11% year on year to $320 million, nearly triple that of the previous trading session.

Image: Rough-diamond parcels. (Lucapa Diamond Company)Next Article »