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Re-reading the foreword in the 2010 Diamonds Source to Use Conference proceedings reminded me of the turmoil that the industry was in at that time. Since then, the survivors have dusted themselves off, new allegiances have been forged, and junior mining companies have made significant acquisitions and elevated themselves to the ranks of the majors.

ClipFrom this process, a new breed of diamond mining company has emerged. These have proven to be capable of redefining their operating strategy in very short periods of time, of developing smaller, lower cost operational units with rapid ramp-up periods, and through all this, have maintained the consumer’s desire for diamonds through ensuring the ethical standards of the diamond pipeline.

In convening the 2010 and 2013 conferences, the organizers aimed to highlight the technical advances that had occurred since the previous conference, and both featured a good selection of technical papers and presentations that included topics on geology, exploration, mining and processing.

The search for applicable papers for the 2013 event revealed the sheer number of brownfield projects currently under way in the diamond industry, particularly in South Africa. These range from Petra’s C Cut project to De Beers’ Venetia Underground Project and Diamond Corporation’s Lace expansion. Although it was not possible to have presentations on these at the event, the owners of the operations were encouraged to start motivating their staff to research and compile papers and presentations for the next conference in 2015.

In this issue of the Journal, a selection of papers from the 2013 event as well as the 2010 event are presented to showcase the topics under discussion at the time. We thank all the authors for their contribution, and now invite you to study the papers in this special journal edition, which are based on some of the leading experience in the diamond mining Industry.

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Mining Weekly | Africa

The latest mining world news and project information from Africa.
  • Savannah applies for new mining lease in Mozambique
    London- and Frankfurt-listed Savannah Resources has lodged the last outstanding mining lease application for the Mutumba heavy mineral sands joint venture project with Rio Tinto, the company said on Friday, while also announcing its half-year results. The application has been submitted by subsidiary Matilda Minerals to the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy in Mozambique, marking the final mining lease application to be lodged that is covered by the consortium with Rio Tinto.
  • Ramaphosa aims to crowd in private resources for infrastructure fund
    President Cyril Ramaphosa has placed the creation of a public-private infrastructure fund at the heart of an economic stimulus and recovery plan, otherwise constrained by South Africa’s serious fiscal constraints. In unveiling the plan during a briefing at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Friday, Ramaphosa reported that the South Africa Infrastructure Fund would be established immediately, supported by an executive team within The Presidency, comprising individuals drawn from the public and private sectors.
  • NUM signs wage deal with AngloGold
    South Africa's National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) signed a three-year wage deal with AngloGold Ashanti on Friday, inking the same agreement that other unions reached with the company earlier in the week. The agreement will mean an effective pay hike of over 12% for entry-level underground workers in the first year, over double the inflation rate, an industry trend in recent years that has hit margins and made many shafts unprofitable.