Anglo American plc says diamond production for the first quarter of
the year rose on the back of clean-up of area where slope failure led
to a mine disaster in Jwaneng and planned maintenance at the Orapa
mine as the company reports a better quarter amid global
Anglo, the diversified company said its subsidiary, De Beers, saw its
production rise sharply as production went up at key assets in
“Diamond production increased by 18 percent to 7.5 million carats due
largely to production in Q1 2013 being impacted by planned plant
maintenance at Orapa and the clean-up of the June 2012 sidewall
failure in the Jwaneng pit,” the company said in an Interim Management
Statement for the first quarter ended 31, March 2014 .
Debswana experienced the worst mine disaster following the fatal
accident that occurred in 2012 at Jwaneng mine. The accident that
claimed a life was blamed on negligence to comply with the Mines,
Quarries, Works and Machinery Regulations.
The incident delayed production and affected carat output at the
mine–which is the world’s largest producer of gem diamonds. The
incident was the second fatality as one contractor was hit by
lightening–making this the highest number of fatalities in the last
four years. The company has since recovered.
Debswana, a 50/50 joint venture with De Beers, last year also took a
decision to temporarily shut down the Orapa No.1 Plant for up to three
(3) months to allow for maintenance to take place. The plant under
intensive maintenance includes a closer maintenance of Screening
building, Tertiary Crushing building and the Dense Medium Separation
According to Anglo’s report for the first quarter, Botswana led the
pack as Debswana produced 5.7 million carats with Orapa mine produced
3.204 million (up 54 percent) carats compared to 2.083 million on the
corresponding period. Jwaneng produced 2.367 million carats which was
better than 2.274 million on the prior year.
However, the De Beers’ Southern African operations were again hampered
by heavy rainfall, resulting in lower production than in Q4 2013,
although improved preparedness in Q1 2014 meant the impact was lower
than in Q1 2013.
Production in Namibia stood at 432,000 while De Beers Canada was 409,000 carats.
Anglo American said production guidance for FY 2014 remains unchanged
at 30 – 32 million carats. The company said exploration and
evaluation expenditure for Q1 2014 totalled $82 million, a decrease of
Exploration expenditure in Q1 2014 was $35 million, a decrease of $13
million, spread across all commodities but particularly metallurgical
coal and diamonds. Evaluation expenditure for the quarter was $47
million, a decrease of 15 percent. Evaluation expenditure in Q1 2014
was primarily focused on the Copper business.