De Beers Bounces Back on Rough Diamonds


Spurred by demand, rough diamond production at the world’s leading diamond mining and producing company, De Beers, increased by 134 percent to 8.2 million carats in the second quarter (Q2) of 2021 that ended 30 June 2021, this publication has established.

“In Botswana, production increased by 214 percent to 5.7 million carats, reflecting the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown in Q2 2020,” De Beers’ parent company, Anglo American, says in a recently released report.

“Namibia’s production decreased by 6 percent to 0.3 million carats, primarily due to planned maintenance of the Mafuta vessel which completed in the quarter and another vessel remaining demobilised.

“South Africa production increased by 130 percent to 1.3 million carats, due to planned treatment of higher grade ore from the final cut of the Venetia open pit, as well as the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown in Q2 2020.”

Anglo says in Canada, production increased by 14 percent to 0.9 million carats, primarily reflecting the impact of the COVID-19 measures implemented in Q2 2020.

The world’s largest mining notes that consumer demand for polished diamonds continued to recover in Q2, leading to strong demand for rough diamonds from midstream cutting and polishing centres despite the impact on capacity from a severe COVID-19 wave in India during April and May.

“Rough diamond sales totalled 7.3 million carats (6.5 million carats on a consolidated basis) from two sights, reflecting the impact of the reduced Indian midstream capacity on Sight 4, compared with 0.3 million carats (0.2 million carats on a consolidated basis) from two sights in Q2 2020, and 13.5 million carats (12.7 million carats on a consolidated basis) from three sights in Q1 2021,” says Anglo.

According to the report, the first half of 2021 consolidated average realised price increased by 13 percent to $135/ct (H1 2020: $119/ct), driven by an increased proportion of higher value rough diamonds sold. “While the average price index remained broadly flat, the closing index increased by 14 percent compared to the start of 2021, reflecting tightness in inventories across the diamond value chain as well as positive consumer demand for polished diamonds,” it says.

De Beers is a multinational company that specialises in diamond exploration, diamond mining, diamond retail, diamond trading and industrial manufacturing. The company is active in open-pit, large-scale alluvial, coastal and deep mining. It operates in 35 countries, including Botswana from where it generates 75 percent of its earnings.

De Beers sells rough diamonds to global diamantaires through its diamond trading and auctions businesses. It sells polished diamonds and diamond jewellery via its Forevermark and De Beers Jewellers businesses.

The company is owned 85 percent by Anglo American and 15 percent by the Government of Botswana.