News

Mar 25, 2020

COVID-19: Many Diamond Miners and Jewellery Retailers Across the World Announce Suspension of Operations

Even as nearly all the important centres for manufacturing and trading diamonds have suspended work in factories, offices and bourses, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic brought mining and retail operations in different countries to a halt.

The following list gives a brief overview of the impact across the pipeline:

MINING

Petra Diamonds Limited:  The South African government has announced a 21-day lockdown of all non-essential services beginning March 26, 2020. In the light of this announcement, Petra Diamonds said it was carrying out a detailed review to comply and this will include placing its mining operations in South Africa on care and maintenance for the duration of the lockdown.

Lucapa: After discussions with its partner, the Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho, the company has decided to suspend mining operations at Mothae as a result of the impact that the 21-day lockdown in South Africa will have particularly on the flow of essential mining supplies and services across the border.

Firestone: The company has taken a decision to suspend operations, save for essential care and maintenance services and security, at its Liqhobong Mine in Lesotho for at least a 3 week period to safeguard its workforce and surrounding community from the coronavirus pandemic.

BlueRock Diamonds:The company said it will close its Kareevlei mine as a result of a nationwide order in South Africa to shut down the mining industry and has also removed its stones from its March diamond tender, due to an absence of international bidders.

RETAIL

Signet Jewelers: The Company has temporarily closed all of its stores in North America effective March 23, 2020. This includes Kay Jewelers, Zales, Jared, James Allen, Peoples and Piercing Pagoda banners and the Company’s support centers.

Michael Hill: The jewellery retailer has closed its 217 stores across Australia and New Zealand indefinitely amid the ongoing economic fallout from the fast spreading COVID-19 pandemic.

It has also last week closed 87 stores in Canada, for an indefinite shutdown period, leaving the jewellery chain with only its e-commerce business in operation.

Borsheims: Borsheims said its sales floor will be closed March 19 through April 2in an effort to protect employees, customers, and the general public and help prevent community spread of COVID-19 though there have been no reported exposures.

A limited number of team members will continue to fulfill pending customer orders, complete repair jobs, receive deliveries and process online orders

India: Following the announcement of a 21-day all-India shutdown by the Government of India, the entire jewellery retail trade across the country has downed shutters of retail stores. Many large jewellery chains and stores in various parts of the country and in malls had already been shut over the last couple of weeks.