Tanzanite Miners Killed by Floods

Torrential rains on March 28 at the Merelani Hills in Tanzania turned the tanzanite mining pits and tunnels in Block B—which is mined by locals with hand tools and has minimal safety regulations—into a mass grave, killing at least 57 miners, with 17 still missing at press time. TanzaniteOne, which leases Block C from the Tanzanian government, assisted recovery efforts and made plans for future mining safety.

LVMH Buys Hublot

LVMH purchased Swiss luxury watch brand Hublot from owner Carlo Crocco in April. Details on price weren’t released, but Hublot sources said it was “about double the [watchmaker’s] turnover for 2008,” budgeted at about $250 million.

Birks & Mayors Plans Botswana ‘Brand’

Birks & Mayors signed a deal to become the exclusive distributor of Botswana-“branded” diamonds in North America. Senior vice president John Orrico said the company has the exclusive right to sell a Botswana brand in North America because DMB, the Botswanan diamond cutter it’s using, is partly owned by the government.