As demand for diamonds and diamond jewelry remains stable over the years, the world is abundant with diamond companies – large and small – all trying to tap on one of the world’s most coveted resources. According to a report published by Mining.com, 50 mines were estimated to account for 90% of global rough diamond supply in 2014.
The Marange diamond fields in Zimbabwe were ranked the world’s largest source of diamonds in 2013 in terms of total carats produced – 17 million carats (13% of global supply). In 2015, however, Information Minister Jonathan Moyo claimed that the country’s Marange diamonds have effectively run out.
In terms of total value produced, Botswana’s Orapa mine was the world’s largest in 2013. Australia’s Argyle mine, owned by miner Rio Tinto, is known as the world’s largest producer of fancy colored diamonds, including elusive pink and red diamonds, and yields some 90% of all red and pink stones recovered annually.
Accordingly, the largest diamond companies in the world also control the world’s most prolific diamond mines. Mining giant Alrosa controls the Russian market, with mining and processing operations located in two Russian regions: the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) and the Arkhangelsk region in the northwest of the Russian Federation. The company’s production is based on 11 primary and 13 placer deposits. According to Mining.com, Alrosa’s production accounts for approximately 95% of all Russian diamond production, and its mines represent 8 out of the top 15 largest producing diamond mines in the world in terms of carats produced. In 2014, Alrosa’s diamond production totaled 36.21 million carats. Revenue from diamond sales in 2014 reached $5.05 billion, including $4.9 billion from rough diamond sales.
Alrosa is second only to De Beers, a company that was founded in 1888, and is currently active in every category of diamond mining: open-pit, underground, large-scale alluvial, coastal and deep sea. The De Beers Group operates in 28 countries and mining takes place in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Canada. De Beers’ sales in 2014 totaled $7.1 billion, and production totaled 32.6 million carats. Rough diamond sales totaled $6.5 billion, according to Diamond Net.
Another world giant is British-Australian Rio Tinto, founded in 1873. It controls three of the strongest mines in the world: the Argyle mine in Australia (100% ownership), Diavik mine in Canada (60% ownership) and Murowa in Zimabawe (78% ownership). In 2014, Rio Tinto grossed $901 million.
The top diamond producing countries, according to Kimberley Process Rough Diamond Statistics Annual Global Summary of 2013, are Russia (accounting for 29% of world production), Botswana (17.7%) and Congo (12%). Australia, Canada and South Africa have alternated between the fourth, fifth and sixths places in recent years, accounting together for about 25%-30% of the world’s diamond production.
Along with diamond production, the world’s centers for polished diamonds concentrate in three countries: Belgium, India and Israel. The Israeli Diamond Industry is one of the most important and largest diamond centers worldwide. In addition to its status as a leading polishing center, the Israeli Diamond Industry has developed into an international trade center through which rough and polished diamonds pass regularly and subsequently adorn a significant volume of the diamond jewelry sold all over the globe.
Among the various entities that function within the Israeli Diamond Industry is the Israel Diamond Institute Group (IDI), which plays a central role in promoting the Industry in the world market. Both the Israel Diamond Exchange, which represents Israeli diamond merchants, and the Israel Diamond Manufacturers Association, which incorporates Israeli diamond manufacturers, act in various ways to strengthen and improve the status of Israeli diamantaires vis-a-vis governmental bodies and international organizations.
In 2014, Israeli rough and polished diamond exports rose by $160 million from 2013. Exports of rough and polished diamonds totaled $9.324 billion. The American market continues to be the largest market, accounting for 30.8% of all diamond exports from Israel. The Hong Kong market comes second (29.7%), then Belgium (8.5%), Switzerland (6.4%) and the UK (3.7%). Israel’s net polished export totaled $6.269 in 2014.