Diamond market overview
Polished traders reported overall healthy demand in the wholesale market over the past week. In Asia, markets are closed for the Chinese New Year festivities. Overall sentiment is positive. Prices have firmed since the start of the year, with the overall polished prices index touching its highest level since May 2017 early February. The main polishedprices index ended the week virtually unchanged, opening at 117.70 on Friday, from 117.50 at Monday’s opening.
The strength in rough demand continued, with traders reporting healthy premiums on De Beers and Alrosa goods in the secondary market. Okavango Diamond Company, the Botswana Government’s sales window, also reported strong demand at its January sale. Demand is partly driven by increased manufacturing capacity in the main cutting centre India, and restocking by retailers in the consumer markets.
Corporate and events
De Beers is considering seeking exploration licenses in Congo and Zimbabwe, and it’s adding another ship to its fleet of five looking for marine deposits off Namibia, mining.com reported. Anglo American’s De Beers, the world’s largest rough diamond producer by value, is once again exploring for new deposits after securing 16 licences in South Africa, its home-country, and said it’s also considering to apply for similar permits in Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the mining.com report said.
African miner Petra Diamonds is likely to strike a deal with its lenders that could include a waiver or a reset of its debt covenants within the next month, its chief executive Johan Dippenaar said, Reutersreported. The London-listed mining company said last week it had started negotiations with its lenders for debt agreements relating to its EBITDA for December 2017 and June 2018, said the Reuters report. The confiscation of a consignment of its diamonds in Tanzania and a labour strike at its South African mines were the main reasons that Petra flagged in October that it was likely to fall short of its loan obligations, the Reuters report said.