De Beers’s parent company Anglo American Plc recorded an increase in diamond production as a result of sustained healthy conditions, the company revealed on Tuesday.
Rough diamond production jumped 15 percent to 8.5million carats in the first quarter, up from 7.4 million carats in the same period last, a performance that highlights the firm’s lead in the global market for rough diamonds. The London headquartered mining giant said it benefited from ramped up production in several of its De Beers diamond mines.
Anglo American through De Beers which has mining operations across Africa and North America has benefited from its Botswana based mines, making the country its biggest source of rough diamonds. Debswana ÔÇô a joint venture between De Beers and Botswana government – operates four diamond mines in the country (Orapa, Letlhakane, Damtshaa and Jwaneng).
Production at Jwaneng mine, the largest and most valuable mine in the world, slightly grew 1 percent to 3 million carats in the first quarter, up from 2.9 million carats. Consolidated production figures from Orapa, Letlhakane and Damtshaa surged 26 percent to 2.8 million carats. Overall production from Botswana totalled 5.8 million carats, pushing growth to 12 percent from the previous corresponding quarter.
Namdeb Holdings, another joint venture between De Beers and the government of Namibia, increased its output in the first quarter to 528, 000 carats up 12 percent from 2017’s corresponding quarter. Namdeb Holdings extracts diamonds both from land and ocean, with the ocean operations leading in production output. However production decreased 3 percent at Debmarine Namibia, while the land operations, Namdeb, were up by 73 percent.
In South Africa, where the group operates De Beers Consolidated Mines, diamond production was down 1 percent, unearthing 1.1 million carats compared to 2017’s first quarter production of 1.11 million carats. The De Beers Consolidated Mines is made up of Venetia and Voorspoed mines.
In contrast, there was strong rebound at its De Beers’ Canada mines following ramp-up of production from Gahcho Ku├® which extracted 838, 000 carats, up by 90 percent from the previous corresponding period. The Victor mine also showed strong growth as production increased 22 percent to 291, 000 carats, an improvement from 2017 first quarter production of 189, 000 carats. Overall, production from Canadian mines soared 69 percent to 1.1 million carats.
De Beers, the world’s biggest diamond producer by value, opened the year strongly with $672 million worth of diamonds in its first sale of the year before recording $563 million second sales cycle, down by 16 percent. The three sales sights for the year are 6 percent down from last year’s comparable period. The provisional diamond sales for mining giant’s third sales cycle of 2018 amounts to $520 million, down by 8 percent from the immediate previous sale. The provisional figures for the third cycle ÔÇôalso known as sights ÔÇô is 11 percent lower than figures recorded in the previous corresponding period of 2017.
While De Beers production has increased in the first compared to 2017’s first quarter, the three sales sights in the first quarter of 2018 are 6 percent down from last year’s comparable period. The mining giant holds ten Global Sightholder Sales and Auction Sales every year in Gaborone and the sights or auction sales are restricted to the top 85 customers who buy the diamond packages at a price determined by De Beers.