How Will the Global Supply of Diamonds Look by the End of the 2020’s?
In a recent article on Solitaire, an B2B gem and jewelry magazine published by India’s Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), diamond analyst Paul Zimnisky discusses trends and factors shaping the global natural diamond supply.
According to Zimnisky, annual global natural diamond production “will remain within a range of approximately 115 and 125 million carats through the end of the 2020’s.”
Additionally, Diavik, Ekati, Nyurbinskaya, and Almazy-Anabara – mines that currently account for 15% of global supply by volume (a combined 17-20 million carats of annual production) – are expected to either exhaust their economically viable reserves or cease conventional mining operations by the end of this decade.
“A declining trend in natural diamond supply,” says Zimnisky, “is undeniable,” as the diminishing output from aging mines is only being partially offset by limited sources of new supply.
The Luaxe mine in Angola – the only new large-scale mine expected to begin production in the next five years – is expected to produce up to 6 million carats annually, eventually making it one of the world’s top-ten diamond mines by production volume.
In addition to Luaxe, two commercial mines in Sierra Leone are set to start production soon: Tongo and Meya. Although these mines are expected to yield a high-quality product mix, their combined annual production is projected to be significantly below 1 million carats.
There are a few development projects in Russia, like Mayskaya and Beenchime/Khatystakh placers, which might become operational mines in the near future. However, due to Western sanctions on Russian diamonds, it’s uncertain whether the development schedules will be altered.
Lastly, De Beers is in the process of advancing the Chidliak project located in Canada, and the mine could potentially commence operations as soon as 2026, with an anticipated annual production of around 1 million carats.
Looking ahead beyond the 2020s, says Zimnisky, the outlook for new sources of natural diamonds appears to be limited.
Read the full analysis here.