Global diamond miner De Beers says it generated up to $604-million in revenue for its fourth sales cycle of 2022. De Beers, which is 85 percent owned by Anglo American and 15 percent by Botswana government, sells rough diamonds through ten Global Sightholder Sales and Auction Sales.
According to Anglo American, the provisional rough diamond sales figure quoted for Cycle 4 represents the expected sales value for the period 2 May to 17 May and remains subject to adjustment based on final completed sales.
Group CEO Bruce Cleaver says the diamond mining juggernaut continued to implement a more flexible approach to rough diamond sales during the fourth sales cycle of 2022, with the Sight event extended beyond its normal week-long duration.
The fourth sales cycles data follows the first quarter numbers which showed that De Beers increased rough diamond production thanks to strong operational performance and higher planned levels of production to meet continued strong demand for rough diamonds.
As has been the case over the years, the increase in diamond output was propelled by robust performance from Botswana based mines, accounting for nearly 70 percent of total production, with the first quarter output jumping by 25 percent to 6.2 million carats on the back of increased processing at both Orapa and Jwaneng mines. The largest diamond mine by value, Jwaneng, delivered 3.6 million carats while Orapa mine, the biggest diamond mine by area, produced 2.5 million carats.
There were improvements in other De Beers owned mines except for Canada. In Namibia production increased by 33 percent to 0.5 million carats primarily driven by higher recovery from the crawler vessels, due to lower planned maintenance of the Mafuta and the speedy delivery of the new diamond recovery vessel, the Benguela Gem, according to the production report.
In South Africa, production was up by 46 percent to 1.7 million carats due to the treatment of higher-grade ore from the final cut of the open pit. However, output in Canada decreased by 15 percent to 0.6 million carats, primarily as a result of treating lower grade ore. In 2022 De Beers staged a strong recovery, selling $4.81 billion of rough diamonds in all of the ten sales circles, eclipsing the $2.79 billion earned in 2020 after COVID-19 roiled the diamond industry, reducing the gains made in 2019 after the diamond miner sold $4 billion worth of rough diamonds. If strong demand continues through out the year, the world’s top producer of diamonds by value could reach levels close to the $5.39 billion recorded in 2018 and $5.31 billion in 2017. De Beers’ is yet to top the record setting $5.6 billion reached in 2016.