- Strong plant performance at Jwaneng and Orapa raise Botswana production by 8%
- Increased focus on diamond provenance may underpin demand for De Beers’ rough
For the year that ended 31 December 2022, the world’s leading diamond company, De Beers, saw its revenue increasing by 18 percent to $6.6 billion (2021: $5.6 billion).
“Rough diamond sales rose to $6.0 billion (2021: $4.9 billion), reflecting strong demand for rough diamonds, particularly in the first half of the year, with the midstream replenishing stocks following strong consumer demand over the 2021 holiday season,” the company says in its financials for the period under review.
The report shows that during the period under review, rough diamond sales volumes totalled 30.4 million carats (2021: 33.4 million carats).
Higher value rough
“The average realised price rose by 35 percent to $197/ct (2021: $146/ct), driven by growth in the rough price index, as well as selling a larger proportion of higher value rough diamonds in the first half of the year,” it says.
“The average rough price index increased by 23 percent, reflecting overall positive consumer demand for diamond jewellery, particularly in the first half of the year.”
Furthermore, the report says De Beers rough diamond production increased by 7 percent to 34.6 million carats (2021: 32.3 million carats), reflecting strong operational performance and higher planned levels of production to meet continued strong demand for rough diamonds, particularly in the first half of the year.
“In Botswana, production increased by 8 percent to 24.1 million carats (2021: 22.3 million carats), owing to strong plant performances at both Jwaneng and Orapa, as well as planned higher grade at Orapa,” the financials say.
Namibian production up 46%
They show that Namibia production increased by 46 percent to 2.1 million carats (2021: 1.5 million carats), primarily due to the commissioning of the Benguela Gem diamond recovery vessel, which was delivered ahead of schedule and below budget, as well as the treatment of higher grade ore at the land operations.
South Africa production increased by 4 percent to 5.5 million carats (2021: 5.3 million carats), due to the treatment of higher grade ore from the final cut of the open pit at Venetia.
“The mining of the open pit was completed in December and the mine will transition to underground operations in 2023,” says the report.
“Production in Canada decreased by 11 percent to 2.8 million carats (2021: 3.2 million carats), due to the treatment of lower grade ore and the impact of tight labour markets.”
Meanwhile, De Beers says it considers that increased focus on diamond provenance by a number of US-based jewellery businesses and global brands has the potential to underpin continued demand for De Beers’ rough diamonds in the medium and longer term.
“Consumer desire for natural diamonds remains robust in key consumer markets, and over the medium term the global supply of rough diamonds is expected to decline slightly owing to limited new discoveries, supporting the value growth potential for natural diamonds,” says the mining company in the financials.