De Beers' Rough Diamond Production Jumps 36% in Q2, to 16.1M Carats in H1

Mining and Exploration
20/07/2017 09:37

De Beers' rough diamond production for Q2 2017 increased 36 per cent to 8.7 million carats, which is in line with the higher production forecast for 2017 and reflects stable trading conditions as well as the contribution from the ramp-up of Gahcho Kué in Canada to nameplate capacity, report De Beers/Anglo American in a press statement. Second quarter production in Canada increased almost six-fold to over 1.0 million carats from 147,000 carats, with a total of 831,000 carats from Gahcho Kué (51% share) and 182,000 carats from their Victor mine. First half production in Canada rose to 1.6 million carats compared to 309,000 carats in 2016. 

At their African operations, Debswana (Botswana) production increased by 14% to 5.9 million carats, while Orapa's production increased by 44% driven by the ramp-up of Plant 1, which was previously on partial care and maintenance in response to trading conditions in late 2015. This was marginally offset by Jwaneng where production decreased by 3%. Namdeb Holdings (Namibia) production increased by 32% to 0.4 million carats as a result of Debmarine Namibia's Mafuta vessel being on planned extended in-port maintenance in Q2 2016. DBCM (South Africa) production increased by 71% to 1.4 million carats largely as a result of higher grades at Venetia. 

Consolidated rough diamond sales volumes in Q2 2017 were 5.4 million carats (5.9 million carats on a total 100% basis) from two Sights, compared with 9.6 million carats (10.2 million carats on a total 100% basis) from three Sights in Q2 2016. Apart from the additional Sight in Q2 2016, the decrease was expected given the strong levels of midstream restocking in H1 2016. For H1 2017, consolidated sales volumes(2) were 19.1 million carats (20.0 million carats on a total 100% basis), compared with 17.2 million carats (18.3 million carats on a total 100% basis) in H1 2016.

The average realised price of $156/ct in H1 2017 was 12% lower than in H1 2016. This reflected strong demand in Sight 1 2017 for lower value goods held in stock at 31 December 2016, following a recovery from the initial impact of India's demonetisation programme in late 2016.  The lower value mix was partially offset by a higher average rough price index, up 4%. Full year production guidance remains unchanged at 31-33 million carats, subject to trading conditions.