Botswana production 25% to 6.2 million carats
Rough diamond production at the world’s leading diamond company, De Beers, increased by 25 percent year-on-year to 8.9 million carats in the first quarter (Q1) of 2022 that ended 31 March 2022.
According to a report released by De Beers’ parent company, Anglo American, the increase in rough diamond production reflected a strong operational performance and higher planned levels of production to meet continued strong demand for rough diamonds while Q1 2021 was impacted by particularly high rainfall in Botswana and at Venetia.
“In Botswana, production increased by 25 percent to 6.2 million carats from increased processing at both Orapa and Jwaneng, as well as planned higher grades across the operations,” Anglo American noted.
“Namibia production increased by 33 percent to 0.5 million carats primarily driven by higher recovery from the crawler vessels, due to lower planned maintenance of the Mafuta and the early delivery of the new diamond recovery vessel, the Benguela Gem. South Africa production increased by 46 percent to 1.7 million carats due to the treatment of higher-grade ore from the final cut of the open pit. Production in Canada decreased by 15 percent to 0.6 million carats, primarily as a result of treating lower grade ore,”
Anglo said robust demand for rough diamonds continued into the first quarter following strong growth in consumer demand over the holiday season, with rough diamond sales totalling 7.9 million carats (7.0 million carats on a consolidated basis) from two Sights compared with 13.5 million carats (12.7 million carats on a consolidated basis) from three Sights in Q1 2021, and 7.7 million carats (7.2 million carats on a consolidated basis) from three Sights in Q4 2021.
“However, as we head into the seasonally slower second quarter of the year, diamond businesses are adopting a more cautious and watchful approach in light of the war in Ukrain e and associated sanctions, as well as the impact of COVID-19 lockdowns in China,” Anglo noted.
De Beers Group 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’ major shareholder is Anglo American, which owns 85 percent of the company. The remaining 15 percent is owned by the Government of Botswana. De Beers Group and its partners produce around one third of the world’s rough diamonds by value.
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.