Project Management Institute

Buried Treasure

Digging for Diamonds is Tougher than Ever

It turns out diamonds might not be forever. The global supply of rough (unpolished) diamonds is forecast to drop in value terms by 1 to 2 percent annually through 2030, according to Bain & Co., as demand for the prized gems grows by 2 to 5 percent each year. With easy pickings gone and aging mines closing, mining companies must spend more on projects to locate and tap deposits -- and be willing to walk away when risks outweigh rewards. For example, after spending US$120 million over six years, global mining giant Rio Tinto last year abandoned a US$330 million project in India in light of environmental concerns, including the potential impact on tiger habitats.
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