While Quebec’s Renard mine saw an increase in rough prices in the second quarter, diamond breakage continues to be a concern.
Stornoway Diamond Corporation, owner of the mine, sold 350,159 carats in two tender sales during the quarter, making a total of $40.9 million. The average price of its diamonds rose from the first quarter, coming in at $117 per carat compared to its previous $101 per carat.
However, says CEO Matt Manson, this success comes “despite the ongoing issue of diamond breakage, which is impacting our production’s quality and size profile.” Breakage reduces the number of larger diamonds available for sale, affecting the mine’s average prices. What’s more, it causes volatility in the proportion of small diamonds in the sales mix.
While small diamonds continue to achieve substantially lower pricing than before India’s 2016 liquidity crunch, Renard’s average diamond price, after accounting for size distribution and quality variations, has increased by 19 per cent since the mine’s first sale in November 2016.
Over its initial 14-year mine life, Renard is expected to produce an average of 1.6 million carats per year, representing around 2 per cent of global supply.