Russia's Alrosa PJSC reported first-quarter diamond sales soared by 70% on the previous quarter to around $1.3 billion, selling from stockpiles that built up last year. The miner, the second-largest producer in the world, sold 12.1 million carats of rough diamonds compared with 7.1 million carats in the final three months of 2015. Alrosa said that it sold 8.9 million carats of gem-quality stones, and 3.2 million carats of industrial diamonds. De Beers last week reported that it sold $660 million of diamonds in April and had first quarter sales of more than $1.8 billion, meaning the two largest diamond miners alone pumped more than $4 billion of rough into the market in the first three months of this year.
Alrosa reported that production slipped 2% to 8.2 million carats in the first quarter from 8.6 million carats in the previous three months. The miner said this was due to increase in ore processing at Mir underground mine and a decrease in ore processing at International underground mine, and a partial replacement of ore processed from Udachny pipe with ore processed from Zarnitsa pipe due to the termination of open-pit mining at Udachny pipe.
Alrosa pointed out that sales rose in volume terms, sale prices were lower in the first quarter than in the last three months of 2015, with an average price per carat $146 per carat compared with $166 in the final quarter of last year.