- Botswana production increased by 11% to 5.8m carats
- De Beers makes 75% of its global earnings from Botswana
Rough diamond production at the world’s leading diamond company, De Beers, increased by 6 percent to 8.2 million carats in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2022 that ended 31 December 2022, this publication has established.
According to a report released by De Beers’ parent company, Anglo American, the increase in rough diamond production reflects strong operational performance across the assets, partially offset by the planned completion of the final cut at Venetia’s open pit.
Production by country
The Anglo American report shows that in Botswana, production increased by 11 percent to 5.8 million carats, primarily driven by strong plant performance, particularly at Jwaneng.
“Namibia production increased by 51 percent to 0.6 million carats, primarily driven by the continued strong performance from the Benguela Gem vessel and the treatment of higher grade ore at the land operations,” it says.
“South Africa production decreased by 27 percent to 0.9 million carats due to the planned completion of the final cut at Venetia’s open pit. The mining of the open pit was completed in December and the mine will transition to underground operations in 2023.
“Production in Canada increased by 7 percent to 0.8 million carats, primarily driven by the treatment of higher grade ore.”
The report goes on to indicate that midstream polished diamond inventories continued to build in the fourth quarter as retailers restocked more cautiously amidst growing economic uncertainty. “This led to downward pressure on wholesale polished prices,” it notes.
“However, demand for De Beers’ rough diamonds remained steady, with rough diamond sales totaling 7.3 million carats (6.6 million carats on a consolidated basis) from two Sights, compared with 7.7 million carats (7.2 million carats on a consolidated basis) from three Sights in Q4 2021, and 9.1 million carats (8.5 million carats on a consolidated basis) from three Sights in Q3 2022.”
The Anglo American report shows that the full year consolidated average realised price increased by 35 percent to $197/ct (2021: $146/ct), driven by a 23 percent increase in the rough diamond price index, as well as selling a larger proportion of higher value rough diamonds in the first half of the year.
“The increase in the rough price index reflected overall positive consumer demand for diamond jewellery and was supported by De Beers’ proposition of provenance-assured diamonds,” it says.
“Production guidance for 2023 is 30 million to 33 million carats (100 percent basis), subject to trading conditions.”
De Beers Group
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.
The mining giants 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.