From The Desk of Rajesh Bajaj

Leave up Diamonds!

Recently concluded HK September Show shown a cautionary watch for the season. Buyers scared about diamonds may not have robust demand for the season because of undisclosed mixing sentiment. IIJS like gem-n-jewellery expo is a benchmark to understand an ongoing market sentiment for a season impending.

Factually it is our one & half decade long practice to ink down concluding statements of IIJS exhibitors. There are three major sections, diamantaires, jewellery players & machinery manufacturers. Sample of every section cast own statement though one may learn the overall season at latch!

For the first time in 2016, diamantaires did not casted their concluding statements in the IIJS! They had stop speaking in the year 2008. In those days our executive editor had met one of the key diamond player & he chose observe silence.

And being a media we had said, how industry would remain vibrant & what could be an impact on small players if mammoths get stuns! Later in those days of rock hard scenario Vasant Mehta had led GJEPC members prudently! And global diamond market cherished!

Our industry has learned to ‘Live up to Diamond’ from DeBeers. Yet, Nicky Oppenheimer, whose family & he ruled global diamond industry virtually for 85 years, left the room in 2012! Following him another mammoth miner BHP Billiton also reviewed diamond business-n-mining & left the diamond mining.   

Recently, Rio Tinto has turned the mining table by keeping Bunder diamond mine abandoned! Bunder diamond mine is a resource of 34.2 million carat of rough diamond. De facto the mine is the first significant world class diamond mine in India and not only this but also the mine was the largest find in the last decade in the globe!

Rio is eying since 2004 & they got prospecting license in 2006. Rio started production & bulk sampling from Bunder mine. Now upon the news spread around the globe that Rio is leaving diamonds they clarified in media that ‘they are not going anywhere!’

Despite its decision to walk away from the Bunder project in India, Rio Tinto Diamonds (RTD) says it’s committed to the diamond business. “We firmly believe the fundamentals of the global diamonds market remain robust,” Simon Farry, vice president for sales and marketing for copper and diamonds said in a statement to JCK.

De facto though Rio Tinto is saying that they are not leaving diamonds yet it is true that by managing other lucrative portfolio diamonds have minuscule share & right now Rio Tinto is following own policy to conserve cash & reduce costs rights across the business including diamonds.

This policy is adopted in the 2016 but they had adopted since 2012 by learning a lesson from Nicky & BHP! I do remember Nik Senapati, managing director of Rio Tinto India had said media in those days of 2012, “we have begun a strategic review of diamond business!” “The company plans for India and a possible divestment of the diamond mining business!” ‘Rio Tinto has begun a strategic review of its diamond business that will include exploring a range of options for potential divestment of its diamond interests.’

Not only in India but before India Rio had left Murowa mine in Zimbabwe in the year of 2015! Now the point is why mammoths are leaving up diamonds after teaching a lesson to live up to diamonds? This is the real time for industry to act because all those leaders of diamond industry are aware why diamond business has become a victim of trust deficiency! Let’s live up to diamond…but how?