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Weekly Market Report

DIAMOND MARKET OVERVIEW

Polished trading activity eased slightly compared to the previous week, traders said. The main focus in the coming weeks is on the JCK jewellery trade show in Las Vegas in June where traders will be looking for indications about demand from retailers and the direction of prices for the second half. Meanwhile, the main polishedprices index ended the week more or less unchanged, opening at 117.17 on Friday, from 117.79 on Monday.

ROUGH MARKET

Traders continued to report healthy demand for rough over the past week. Manufacturing in India is reportedly running at full capacity. This has prompted some caution about rising inventory levels in the main cutting centre India, in particular in cheaper ranges, combined with a relatively high level of bank debt, which stood at around $ 11.5 billion at the end of last year.

CORPORATE AND EVENTS

Botswana-focused Lucara Diamond posted weaker than expected results in the first quarter, as the company was hobbled by high rainfall in February and March, which limited production at its Karowe diamond mine, mining.com reported. Quarterly revenues were about half of the revenues posted in the year-ago quarter, at $26.1 million in Q1 2017 versus $50.6 million in Q1 2016, the mining.com report said.

Shares in Gem Diamonds spiked Thursday after the miner announced it had unearthed one of the highest-quality stones to come out of its Letšeng mine in Lesotho, mining.com reported. The discovery of this 80-carat, D-colour Type-II diamond comes less than a month after the firm announced the recovery of a 114-carat stone from the same mine. And two years after Gem Diamonds found an “exceptional” 357-carat rock, which sold for $19.3 million, said the mining.com report.

De Beers, the world’s biggest diamond producer by value, says it could operate a carbon-neutral mine within half a decade, Bloomberg reported. The Anglo American Plc unit plans to store carbon-dioxide in kimberlite rock -- a type of ore best known for containing diamonds, but which also naturally reacts with carbon to remove it from the atmosphere. By accelerating that process and using readily available waste rock, De Beers could offset the emissions from its mines, according to Evelyn Mervine, who’s leading the research project for the company, the Bloomberg report said.

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