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Table of Contents

Global Markets for Diamonds – Part 7

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2.3.2 Locations of the Diamonds Markets

Diamond explorations are mostly located in the African continent. It has a long history of diamond exploration and mining. About 31 percent of all exploration investment was in Africa. De Beers' exploration in Africa composes about 32 percent of its total exploration investments in 2002. (World Diamond Council, 2007)

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Canada emerges as the newest location for exploration, with 36 percent of total exploration in 2002. It increased to 51 percent in 2003. De Beers dedicates about 40 percent of its exploration investment to look for kimberlite pipes in Canada. According to the Mining Review Africa (2004), the global diamond production was 140 million carats in 2003. This was equivalent to $8.9 million. The increased in production was due to the increases of diamonds found in Canada, Democratic Republic of Congo, Botswana, and South Africa. Similar to exploration, African countries also constitute a majority of global diamond production. The largest shares within the continent are held by Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and South Africa. Their diamond productions also constitute a major part of their national outputs.

To illustrate, 36 percent of Botswana's GDP came from diamond production in 2002. At the same time, it also comprised about 82 percent of the country's total exports in terms of value. Diamond producing countries rely too much on their diamond production. These constitute a large part of their national economies. Angola is another example of an African economy that relies heavily on diamonds. Its diamond industry is very important next to its oil reserves. The average income from the diamond industry is $700 million annually. (World Diamond Council, 2007)

In 2005, Angola holds 9 percent of the global production market share in terms of value. Canada emerges as one of the newest diamond producer with 8 percent of production mass and $1,300 million in production value for 2003. Canada has been attracting a lot of global diamond investors. Its diamond production nearly doubled in 2003 and this is because of the Diavik Mine, whic is mainly owned by Rio Tinto. In 2005, Canada climbed up the ladder with a 12 percent share in terms of market value.

Australia is also becoming more successful in the diamond production market. It produces the greatest mass of diamonds and held about 22 percent shares of the total market in 2003. However, its problem lies in the low grade of its diamonds. It is showing its potential but still remains a relatively low producer of significant diamonds marketed globally.

Russia is also a vital location of the diamond production, with 13.6 percent of diamond mass worth $1,640 million. It has 19 percent of the market share of diamond production in value terms. Diamond cutting and polishing are concentrated in several diamond exchange centers including Antwerp, Mumbai, New York City, China, Thailand, and Johannesburg. About 22 percent of this value chain is in India, which captures 96 percent of the total industry workforce.


However, other diamond producing countries are trying their best to upgrade their operations to enhance its local value. For instance, South Africa (mainly De Beers) is attempting to cover production, cutting, polishing and manufacturing of diamonds instead of outsourcing the other parts of the diamond value chain at the London Exchange Center. Russia is already doing this through the initiatives of diamond company, Leviev, which is vertically integrated with the whole value chain.

The largest diamond manufacturing centers in the world are the following: Israel, Belgium, India (Mumbai and Surat), and New York. Diamond cutting and polishing also occur in Botswana, China, Mauritius Russia, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Thailand, and Vietnam. (Diamond Key Centers and Bourses, 2002) Diamond Exchanges or bourses are at the center of diamond trading and marketing. They protect the integrity and interests of the diamond transactions. Industry members share a long tradition of trust and cooperation. Each diamond bourse has its own by laws, infrastructures and requirements for membership. The oldest bourse in Antwerp is called The "Club." It artbitrates in other diamond bourses. This club traces its history way 1886.

There are more than 28 diamond bourses around the world and it is led by various diamond organizations. (World Federation of Diamond Bourses, 2012) (See the comple list at Appendix A.) In Israel, an estimated 1,200 diamond companies operate in Ramat Gan in the Israel Diamond Exchange building. The four buildings namely, the Diamond Tower, Maccabi, Noam, and Shimshon are situated on two parallel streets called Jabotinsky and Bezalel. They are enjoined by a series of underground pedestrian bridges.

There are roughly 1,500 diamond offices in Belgium and these are located in Antwerp. They sit in three major, well-secured and inter-connected streets called Hoveniersstraat, Schupstraat, and Rijfstraat. Some of the buildings on these two streets are connected. Being a famous diamond center, Antwerp's yearly turnover in rough, polished, and industrial diamonds is greater than $20 billion dollars. According to another source, the Antwerp diamond sector has a $39 billion U.S. dollars annual turnover. (The Diamond Industry, 2007)

Diamond offices in India are located, in Mumbai. The Prasad Chambers, Panchratna Building, Hermes House, and Dharam Palace are located in the general area of the Royal Opera House along the famous Roxy Cinema. Others diamond offices are located around the Bombay City but the main manufacturing center is in Surat, Gujurat State. London has been the distribution center of rough diamonds for more than 300 years. It houses the Central Selling Organization (CSO) and the brokers of De Beers. Rough diamond sight holders meet in London once every 5 weeks and 10 times a year to assess their diamond supplies.

New York is considered the "gateway" to the U.S. diamond markets. It is also a special manufacturing center for large size diamonds. New York City's very important diamond offices are located in what is popularly known as the "Diamond District." This is between Fifth Avenue and the Avenue of the Americas, from 46th to 48th Streets.

Hong Kong and Taiwan also have their own vital diamond centers. These are the significant thresholds to the Far East markets which include China and Korea. Diamond jewelry market is globally distributed. As a component of the diamond retailing, it is concentrated in developed nations.

In diamond jewelry sales, the markets are concentrated in the United States, Japan, United Kingdom, and China. The present diamond jewelry market shares are as follows: US (55%), Japan (15%), Europe (10%), Asia Pacific (5%), Asia Arabic (5%), other (10%). (World Diamond Council, 2007) Aside from being the largest consumers of jewelry, the U.S. also exports diamonds to three foreign markets, Switzerland, Japan, and Thailand. (Rudnicka, et. al., 2010)

2.3.3 Diamond Industry Concentration

The international diamond industry is composed of three sectors: mining, rough diamond trading, including retailing and jewelry, and industrial diamonds. (The Diamond Industry, 2007) This industry structure includes both large and well-organized components as well as small, independent operations. The diamond industry employs approximately ten million people around the world, both directly and indirectly, across a wide spectrum of roles from mining to retailing. (CR Jewelers, 2012)

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2.3.3.1 Mining Sector

There is a huge huge capital requirement for diamond mining (or any other mining enterprises). Because of this, only very large mining companies participate in this business venture. In the diamond mining sector, only four major companies mine 76 percent of the global supply of rough diamonds. (Chang, 2002) These are mostly the major players in the diamond industry such as De Beers and the four others. Yet, there are countless individual diggers who mine all over Africa's alluvial fields. Approximately 130,000,000 carats (26,000 kg) of diamonds are mined every year, with a total value of nearly US$9 billion. About 100,000 kg is synthesized every year. (Yarnell, 2004)

An estimated 49% of diamonds comes from Central and Southern Africa, although significant resources have also been found in Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, and Russia. (Industrial Diamonds Statistics and Information, 2009) Quality diamonds are primarily mined in Botswana, Russia, South Africa, Angola, Namibia, Australia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. (The Diamond Industry, 2007) The mining sector is beset by frequent controversy like the sales of the conflict diamond by African paramilitary groups. Illicit diamond trading is also discussed below.

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