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What Does the Future Hold for the Coloured Diamond Industry?

When you think of a diamond the first image that springs to mind is one of a shiny colourless stone, however, diamonds can also come in a variety of different colours. These diamonds are known as fancy coloured diamonds and they are far rarer than their colourless counterparts. So rare, in fact, that these stones account for less than 0.1% of the world’s total diamond production.It is estimated that there are only around 50 viable coloured diamond mines in operation and around 30 of those are currently inactive. An increasing demand for coloured diamonds, not only as jewellery, but also as an investment however, has meant that supply is struggling to keep up.

With the cost of mining exploration continuing to increase and coloured diamond reserves dwindling, these precious stones are becoming increasingly rare. This has helped fuel massive demand for coloured diamonds and prices are appreciating at a staggering rate. The shutdown, and loss of Argyle’s 14 million carats of diamonds a year output is expected to cut world production by around 10% a year. A drop that could have massive implications for the industry as a whole.

Prospectors are already looking to find the next big source of coloured diamonds, however the cost of opening a new mine and actually extracting the stones is huge. One of the new prospects for diamond exploration is Little Spring Creek situated at the Brooking diamond project in Australia’s Kimberley Region. In January this year, the Perth-based company Lucapa Diamond announced the discovery of 119 diamonds that had been recovered from samples taken at the Little Spring Creek prospect. The find contained a relatively high proportion of white diamonds along with several highly prized yellow diamonds. A discovery that could prove to be hugely significant.

This isn’t the only big discovery Lucapa Diamond have made this year with the company revealing that they had recovered 118 “special” diamonds from their Lulo mine in Angola during the first half of 2018. These diamondsincluded a very rare and precious 46-carat pink stone, the largest coloured gem-quality rock ever recovered there. New mining nations such as Canada are also starting to contribute to the global output of coloured diamonds and Canadian firms are developing and advancing mines at an exceptional rate. Coloured stones have already been discovered at new mines including The Gachu Kue and Renard mines, however it remains to be seen whether global output can keep up with demand once the Argyle Mine closes.

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