The mined diamond supply has seen a constant decline in the past decade driven by the fact that key diamond mines have passed their peak production levels. Moreover, the diamond mining process has become tougher as the mines age and new mines that are discovered often have shorter life spans and tougher mining conditions. This occurs in light of the rising demand from various markets such as the US, India and China which is likely to widen the demand and supply gap.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Grown Diamonds – Unlocking Future of Diamond Industry by 2050 indicates how Grown Diamonds can represent a potential solution to the issue of global shortage of rough diamond supplies. The breakthrough in technology has made it possible to grow rare quality colorless IIa quality diamonds by creating diamond-growing conditions in semiconductor grade facilities, above the earth’s surface.
Even with all the technological advancement and developments in the field of exploration and mining, the future of rough diamond production from mines looks bleak. A decline in mined diamond production and diamond processing capacities also has a direct impact on the millions of people who are employed within these industry sectors.
This report analyses the supply of diamonds from mined sources till 2050. Various mines across the globe and their lifetime production values were studied to estimate the supply of diamonds from mines. In comparison, the demand was also analyzed to understand the growth in demand till 2050 considering various factors such as growing jewelry sales and expected surge in demand from new regions.
There are other effects associated with a declining supply such as those on the cutting and processing industries in various countries including India. The shortage in supply is likely to impact the employment strongly in these countries. The trend of declining supply has also led to beneficiation with rough diamond producing countries looking for ways to derive more value from the diamonds coming out of their mines by looking to carry out the cutting and polishing within the country.
Moreover, other factors such as vertical integration across the value chain are surfacing with diamond producing companies trying to integrate their production with their downstream retail operations, thus bypassing intermediary traders from the value chain. Leading branded retail chains are trying to bypass intermediaries as well by sourcing directly from the mining companies.
Recent advancements in technology and years of dedicated research on diamond growing techniques have made it possible to grow high-quality diamonds. A significant achievement in grown diamond technology is the ability to grow colorless Type IIa diamonds which are the purest diamonds found below the earth and constitute only 2% of the total global mined diamond production.
Over the next 30 years, grown diamonds will become a dominant player in high technology applications and can prove to be a very significant diamond source for the luxury world.
Moreover, they also offer new high skilled opportunities for employment as these technology-driven innovation centers employ high-skilled engineers, graduates, researchers and scientists as their principal staff. This is apart from the ancillary industries such as manufacturing, instrumentation, semiconductors and so on.
At a time when the earth mined diamond supply is consistently depleting every year, the emergence of Grown Diamonds could serve as a security blanket for the industry. They can help to meet the supply-demand gap for rough diamonds globally and can also expand the market to new application areas and new profile of consumers.