Mining / Exploration

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The head of Russia's Gokhran handed in his resignation in February but is continuing to lead the the precious metals and gems repository as the government has not yet found a suitable successor, according to Reuters.
 
Vladimir Rybkin resigned three months ago, but his request remains unanswered, according to three sources familiar with the situation, the newswire reported.
 

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A 25.5-carat blue diamond found at the Cullinan mine in South Africa belonging to Petra Diamonds in April has been sold for $16,910,180, or $663,144 per carat.

Chief Executive Officer Johan Dippenaar said: “We are delighted to have concluded such a successful sales process for this important blue diamond.

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Petra Diamonds said output for the nine months to March 31, 2013 soared 20 percent to 1,894,767 carats while production for the third quarter of fiscal year 2013 rose 4 percent to 647,248 carats.
 
The firm said it was on line to meet its 2013 production target of around 2.65 million carats.
 

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Shore Gold Inc., the operator of the Star-Orion diamond mine in Canada, reduced its net loss for the first quarter which ended on March 31, to $1.5 million from $3.8 million in the same period of last year.
 
The explorer also hadworking capital of $7.2 million at the end of the quarter.
 

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Lesotho's monarch, King Letsie III, paid a comprehensive visit to the Antwerp diamond sector.

His four-day visit to the city included a visit to the HRD diamond lab, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre's (AWDC) Diamond Office, the offices of Gem Diamonds which owns part of the Letseng mine in Lesotho, and the Antwerp Diamond Tender Facility.

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De Beers says production at its Venetia diamond mine, the largest in South Africa, should return to normal in the second half of this year, retaining its production at 2012 levels.

Of De Beers' production from South Africa last year of four million carats, three million carats were mined at the Venetia operation.

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An extra license has been added to the recently-signed option deal with Mozambique firm, Morminas, a unit of the EIP Group of Portugal, Botswana Diamonds said.

As a result, three license blocks are being appraised on the Save River in Mozambique near the Zimbabwean border.

The Save River runs south-eastwards and drains an area of Zimbabwe including the Marange diamond region.

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Angola, the world's fifth-biggest diamond producer by value, will take all steps needed to protect an endangered antelope species, which serves as a national symbol, from the effects of diamond mining in a nature reserve, said state-owned company Endiama EP.

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Dominion Diamond Corp, formerly Harry Winston Diamond Corp, has the financial ability to buy Rio Tinto's majority stake in the Diavik diamond mine in northern Canada if the price is right, said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert Gannicott .

Rio Tinto may pull out of the diamond business, while Dominion already owns 40 percent of Diavik, in Canada's Northwest Territories.

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De Beers says it is confident of finding a gem deposit in Angola that will enable it to more than recover the US$250 million it has spent on exploration in the country.

The company has found diamonds in a 3,000 square-kilometer concession near Lucapa in the Lunda North province, says Pedro Lago de Carvalho, De Beers business manager in Angola, in comments to Bloomberg.

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