Mineral commodities 2013 total mined volumes and values, average prices

Commodities 2013

Diamonds mined in 2013 total 14 bn USD. How do they compare with other mineral commodities?

Rather than using somebody else’s compilations, I prefer to check values published by (commodity) specialised international organisations or public companies (OPEC, World Gold Council, KPCS, USGS, etc.). After some work, I have arrived to the estimates presented in the table to the left.

Is the ranking surprising? Any obvious error on the table’s values? Comments and suggestions (always) welcome. Yes, reality changed a lot since 2013 (only 18 months ago).

Really? The price of diamonds collapsing?

No doubt the commodities have seen recently a sharp decline in price (do you remember oil at 150 US/bbl and gold at 1.600 US per oz or iron, or copper?). Yes, there are problems brewing in China (perhaps brewing is an understatement in face of the stock  markets sharp decrease of the last few days) and Europe stagnates at best (but anyway this was never a major diamond market) and the Middle East is suffering . On the bright side, the US has shown a solid growth.

I have just read a post by Ben Moshinsky at the Business Insider claiming “The price of diamonds is collapsing”. The main arguments used are anecdotal and as such can be easily contradicted, starting a never ending, fruitless argument. I don’t like the use of one sided view “analysis”, pushing a perspective (in this case, the end is coming) as the complete indisputable truth. I would like to see a complete analysis, a broad balanced perspective on available data ; isn’t that what we analysts are supposed to do?

Conflicting views

Yes, diamond markets face plenty of threats: synthetics (I have heard about this since I started working in the industry) and stiff competition form other luxury/high end product categories, especially younger generations). Yet, diamonds still holds an allure as a symbol of status and love. Yes, diamond markets will survive and thrive in the future.

Diamonds and media; the newest distortion of facts

Diamonds are fascinating; unlike any other precious mineral they draw our attention. It is not first time diamond has been used to stir common people’s imagination. I remember a few relatively recent: either about diamonds raining within meteorites or about giant diamonds in the nucleus of stars were; in both cases news distorted scientific information to get the attention of masses (and selling printed paper or its digital version in the process).

This time, my attention was drawn into a Geological Society of Africa (GSAf) via Amazing Geologist post in Facebook: Unique diamonds discovered in frozen lava sample from Kamchatka. Yes, I couldn’t resist the bait, followed the link and read further. After all it’s the same old story, again. Apparently “The solidified lava of the Tolbachik eruption (2012-2013) carries within it a new and never-before-seen type of diamond. They are named — Tolbachik diamonds.” How are they unique? Are they unlike other diamonds? Nothing said in the article.

Apparently they are large: The post opens with “The diamonds are large and of a new type, the Ministry of Science of the Russian Federation reports.” There is even a picture with large sized diamonds. No, it’s not a picture of the diamonds portrayed in the text. Why am I not surprized?

The text closes saying that “In size the Tolbachik diamonds are large enough for the lava rocks — from 250 to 700 microns.” After all, they are small, very small, half a mm in size. Remember, size does matter in diamonds. Just ask your wife.

I am sure this news will be reproduced globally in mainstream media. After all, nowadays it’s silly season all year. Seeing it published without an hint of critique by respected institutions such as the Geological Society of Africa (GSAf) or websites with Geology in their name is over the top for me. But that’s me; I am getting old.

Montepuez’ GEMFIELDS rubi mine – newest updates on the world’s single largest ruby and corundum deposit

Discovered in 2009, Montepuez (Mozambique) is the world’s single largest ruby and corundum deposit. GEMFIELDS acquired a 75% interest in the concession in June 2011 from Mwiriti Lda. Montepuez Ruby Mining Lda (“MRM”) is the project operator and a joint venture between Gemfields and Mwiriti Lda. GEMFIEDLS released two documents on Montepuez by SRK Consulting.

According to the Reserves and Resources presentation:

  • 16 million carats (“mct”) produced to date.
  • To date a total of USD55 million has been invested , generating current total revenue of USD122 million.

Pedra Natural 2015 – Competitividade das empresas portuguesas: Inquérito

Continuando a iniciativa desenvolvida em 2013 e 2014, a Sínese em associação com a ASSIMAGRA e, a partir deste ano, com o CEVALOR, lança agora a versão de 2015 do estudo da competitividade das empresas portuguesas do sector da Pedra Natural.

  • Quais os principais problemas que a sua empresa enfrenta?
  • A atividade da sua empresa cresceu, manteve-se ou diminuiu em 2014?
  • Quais são as expectativas para 2015?

Responda ao inquérito clicando AQUI. O tempo médio de resposta à totalidade do inquérito é de 10 minutos.

São convidadas a participar neste estudo as mais importantes empresas portuguesas de rochas ornamentais. O estudo pretende conhecer a perspectiva e experiência das empresas portuguesas nos mercados externos e a situação relativa à atividade e aos custos internos das empresas. O inquérito demora cerca de dez minutos a preencher.
A sua participação neste inquérito é completamente voluntária. É muito importante para nós conhecer a sua opinião. As suas respostas são estritamente confidenciais.

Inquérito Competitividade 2015

Os principais resultados de 2013 e 2014 estão publicados neste blog: Resultados anteriores.