De Beers’ rough diamond production fell in the last quarter of the previous year with the mining giant blaming the decline on unsatisfactory grades from the group’s key operating mines.
Parent company, Anglo American plc said on its Production Report for the fourth quarter ended 31 December, 2014, that production decreased by 8 percent from 9.1 million in fourth quarter of 2013 to 8.4 percent.
Debswana, a 50/50 company owned by De Beers and Botswana government recovered 6.0 million carats, a slight decline from 6.2 million in the third quarter.
The decrease was driven by lower grades at Orapa and Venetia, as well as lower production at Snap Lake as a result of a mandatory safety stoppage following a fall of ground in the quarter, said the group.
“These production decreases were partially offset by increased production at Jwaneng, which benefited from improved plant availability,” the London listed diversified company stated.
However, the company headed by Chief Executive Officer, Mark Cutifani revealed that diamond production was 2 percent higher than Q3 2014 due primarily to higher output at Venetia (following plant maintenance), offset by lower grades at Jwaneng.
“Production for the year to December 2014 was 32.6 million carats, a 5% increase on the previous year, due to increased production from Debswana, with Jwaneng and Orapa both delivering higher output as a result of improved plant performance.”
Orapa mine recovered 2.7 million carats from 2.65 million in third quarter of 2014, Letlhakane was down as it contributed 83, 000 carats, a decline from 157, 000 in third quarter. Damtshaa on the other hand made improvements from third quarter as it recovered 94, 000 carats compared to 83, 000 in the prior period and Jwaneng contributed 3.1 million a decline from 3.3 million in quarter 3.
Jwaneng Mine is still the cream of Debswana as it contributes about 60-70 percent of the company’s total revenue. The mine is still recovering from a freak accident as a result of a slope failure that led to the death of one worker employed as a General Shift Foreman in the Mining department since March 2012.
Namdeb Holdings, which includes Namdeb and Debmarine Namibia, recovered a total of 496,000 carats of which 121, 000 carats came from Namdeb. De Beers in South Africa recovered 1.4 million carats comprising 202, 000 from Kimberly, Venetia 1.1 million and 140, 000 from Voorspoed.
On the other hand, De Beers Canada contributed 479,000 carats with 301,000 coming from Snap Lake and 178, 000 from Victor.