Diamonds, Copper, Gold

Petra sells 121.2- carat diamond for $6 million

Petra sells 121.2- carat diamond for $6 million

London-listed Petra Diamonds (LON:PDL) has sold its recently found 121-carat white diamond for $6 million as part of its June sales process in Johannesburg.

The diamond was found at Petra’s Cullinan mine in South Africa, which has yielded several massive gems, including the largest rough gem diamond ever discovered.

The stone, a Type II unearthed from the company’s Cullinan mine in South Africa, was acquired by a joint venture comprised of Nemesis International and Golden Yellow Diamonds, two large diamond manufacturing specialists, Petra said.

The Cullinan mine, located north-east of Pretoria, has yielded several massive gems, including the largest rough gem diamond ever discovered — the Cullinan. The 3,106-carat stone was cut into two highly significant diamonds, which can be found in the Crown Jewels of the Queen of England.

Petra, which operates four diamond mines in South Africa and one in Tanzania, posted a loss for the first half of its financial year in February, due to fewer sales demand and a glut of supply that pushed rough diamond prices down by 9%.

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Alrosa gets own security force

Diamond giant PJSC Alrosa announced this week that the Russian government has authorized it to establish a departmental security service to protect the company’s production facilities in the country.

Alrosa, together with energy giants including Rosneft and Gazprom, is on a list of strategic enterprises under the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation. According to Rinat Gizatulin,  Alrosa VP, when the company takes over security duties at facilities located in remote and hard-to-reach regions of the country, the state will be able to save up to RUB 200 million ($3.1 million) a year.

30 companies had their creditworthiness downgraded including marquee names like Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton, Goldcorp and Chile’s state-owned Codelco, but last month Alrosa became a rare breed in the today’s mining industry after its credit rating was upgraded.

Credit ratings agency Moody’s  said its decision reflects the fact that the Russian giant’s financial metrics “have remained strong versus global peers” and will remain robust, “owing to the company’s status as a major producer and exporter of diamonds and weak rouble, the company’s 29% share in the global diamond output, its low-cost reserve base, technical mining expertise, solid liquidity and conservative financial policy.”

The outlook for Alrosa, 77%-owned by Russia and the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), is negative, but that’s in line with its assessment of the sovereign rating of Russia says Moody’s. The 60-year old group operates across nine countries and ten regions of Russia.

Alrosa’s output climbed to 38.3 million carats, a 6% increase when compared to the previous year, thanks mainly to improvements at its Mir and Udachny underground mines, as well as the commissioning of Karpinskaya-1 and Botuobinskaya pipes and other high-potential deposits.

Alrosa, which together with Anglo-American unit De Beers produces more than half of the world’s diamonds, also saw its reserves grow last year to 43.6 million carats. Despite poor global diamond market conditions, the company sold 3.8% more rough diamonds and increased sales 8% to $3.4 billion.

Alrosa, which along with fellow Russian resources firms Rosneft and Bashneft are among the most likely candidates for privatization by the Kremlin, is worth $8.1 billion in Moscow (RUB 510 billion) after rising by 23% in value this year.

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Rio Tinto exits PNG, gives away copper-gold mine with $51bn in reserves

Rio Tinto donates stake in PNG copper-gold mine with $51bn in reserves

Mining giant Rio Tinto (LON, ASX:RIO) has given away a 54% stake in a Papua New Guinean copper and gold mine, which has reserves estimated to be worth $51 billion.

The decision to hand back the shares in its subsidiary Bougainville Copper Limited (ASX:BOC) to an independent trustee, follows a company review of the asset that was triggered by the Bouganville government’s pressure to restart mining at Panguna or give it up.

Decision follows a company review of the asset that was triggered by the Bouganville government’s pressure to restart mining at Panguna or give it up.

“Our review looked at a broad range of options and by distributing our shares in this way we aim to provide landowners, those closest to the mine, and the people of Bouganville a greater say in the future of Panguna,” Chris Salisbury, Rio’s copper and coal chief executive said in a statement.

The trustee, noted Rio, will manage the distribution of its shares between the autonomous Bouganville government and the PNG government, providing them with a platform to work together on options for the resource.

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