De Beers, the world’s leading diamond producer applauded its Botswana operations and the warming up of international markets for keeping its head above the waters, the company pointed out in its half year report for 2013.
The flagship Jwaneng and Orapa mines firmed in terms of production while the two leading world’s economies of United States and China showed moderate consumer spending recovery from the global economic slump.
“During the first half of 2013, we saw encouraging signs of stability and moderate growth in the major diamond markets of the USA and China. While polished diamond prices have increased slightly during the period, trading conditions remained challenging for our rough diamond partners,” the company said.
Rough diamonds yielded US $ 3 billion or P 25.2 billion heavily supported by production from its Botswana operations.
The company emphasised the fact that USA showed “encouraging growth” while China soldiered on at slower pace.
It said the forever mark was strong in the core markets of China, Japan, India and the USA and is available in more than 1,000 authorised jewellery stores around the world.
However, polished good prices pulled up due to retailers who were high on the appetite to re-stock while cutting and polishing side was tight because of the midstream liquidity and the softening Indian currency, the Rupee.
India is one of the world diamond’s polishing sites followed by other centres like Antwerp (The throw of the “thief’s hand), among the top centres. The move enabled the major shareholder, Anglo America to get an increased profit of US $ 322 million (P 2.7 billion) to US $ 571 million.
The company affirmed Anglo American position from last week, that indicated that De Beers recovered from the losses experienced last year, such as the the Jwaneng slope failure and the flooding of its Venetia pit, which its de-watering is now almost complete.
“The De Beers’ half year production increased by nearly one million carats to 14.3 million carats owning to improved grade ore grades at Orapa and Jwaneng mines. Progress on the remediation programme following Jwaneng mine slope failure that occurred in June 2012 continues, with full resolution expected in the third quarter of 2013,” De Beers said.
De Beers was also bullish about Jwaneng Cut 8 that is expected to increase production by a further 86 million tonnes of ore to be treated and expected to yield 102 million carats of high quality diamonds. The move will also extend the life-span of the mine to 2028.
De Beers’ key operations are in Botswana, Canada and South Africa and a marginal contribution from Namibia.
It also pointed out that its relocation from London to Botswana is on schedule and expects to host its first Sight from its new Gaborone facility later this year.