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The discovery of the African diamond fields (South Africa, Namibia, Congo and Angola), in conjunction with the rise of the United States into the world economic leadership fueled the rapid development of the diamond industry. New deposits were found in Australia and Canada in the last quarter of the XX century (after the communist USSR – now Russia – also became a major diamond source in the second half of the XX century).

Programme

Course description

New discoveries and technologies, economic shocks after social and humanitarian crises, competitive pressure from other products and changing attitudes reshaped the industry, not a cartel anymore in the XXI century. De Beers (now wholly owned by Anglo America) and Alrosa (Russia) are the main producers – one third of the market – with many other players of all sizes active in the five continents.

Despite the technological advances and the investment poured into exploration, the discovery of new world scale deposits has lagged and many mines reaching maturity, with long term implications. This short course presents and discusses the techniques used in the exploration, (evaluation) and valuation of diamond deposits with recourse (mostly) to real cases and datasets.

Course contents

This is one of two courses on diamonds and diamond deposits – the other one is dedicated to the diamonds’ properties, markets and value. Although they cover separate issues, these courses can be taken independently (none is a pre-requisite for the other).

This is an introductory course with three chapters during three weeks:

  • Week 1: Chapters 1 – Diamonds and diamond deposits – how are they different?
  • Week 2: Chapter 2 – Exploration of diamond deposits – how can they be found?
  • Week 3: Chapter 3 – Evaluation and valuation of diamond deposits – how much are they worth?
  • Week 4: Chapter 4 – Challenges in real diamond projects – how to develop a deposit? How is ore mined and processed and diamonds recovered?

The course is designed for a weekly time investment of 1,5 hours. Naturally, should the participant wish to further study reading the selected bibliography made available and participating in forum discussions (see above) – which we recommend, as it is an opportunity to learn from their peers, the time investment is higher. This is, however, flexible and entirely optional.

Type of training

This course is designed as distance-learning. It is organized in modules along three weeks. Each module includes:

  • Pre-recorded video materials and quizzes – for independent learning.
  • Selected bibliography – for independent learning.
  • A weekly one-and-an-half hour live workshop, including the presentation and discussion of the module topics. The live session will include open discussions, work in smaller groups and the elaboration of an informal report on the theme discussed.

The course will also have a dedicated LinkedIn group for course follow-up, exchange and discussion of ideas and course topics.

Objectives and outcomes

After the course course participants will have a wide range knowledge of the structure and organization of the mineral industry, and the science, technologies and processes used in the sequential steps to find, evaluate, develop and mine a diamond (alluvial or kimberlite) deposit.

Partcipants will be able to integrate the new knowledge on the diamond industry (and their companies and projects) into their decision-making, policy-desing, planning or reporting processes.

Language

English

Requirements

Participants would require their own laptop and a stable high-speed internet connection to take part in this course.

Target Group

The course’s intended audience includes professionals, managers, decision-makers and students involved or interested in the diamond and jewelry industries, including:

  • Geology, mining and gemology students.
  • Managers and potential investors in diamond and projects.
  • Media professionals covering the diamond and jewelry industry.
  • The general public interested in gems, diamonds and jewelry.