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De Beers Q1 output jumps 8pc to 7.4m carats


Anglo American said De Beers’ rough diamond production jumped 8 percent to 7.4 million carats during the first quarter of the year compared to 6.9 million carats, a year earlier. 
It said the increase in output was a reflection of the contribution of Gahcho Kué in Canada, as well as growth in response to improved trading conditions. 
Gahcho Kué reached commercial production early last month, a move that saw production in Canada grow by 290 percent to 600 000 carats during the period under review from 162 000 carats during the same period last year. 
Anglo said production at Namdeb Holdings in Namibia also increased by 6 percent to 500 000 carats due to marginally higher grade at Namdeb while, De Beers Consolidated Mines in South Africa improved its output by 19 percent to 1.1 million carats largely as a result of higher grades at Venetia. 
However, Debswana, a 50/50 joint venture between De Beers and the Botswana government, registered a marginal drop in output to 5.2 million carats from 5.3 million carats, a year earlier. 
Jwaneng dragged Debswana down as it posted an 8 percent drop in output to 2,955 million carats from 3,202 million carats, a year earlier, but this was partly offset by Orapa, which increased its output by 5 percent to 2,106 million carats from 2,001 million carats during the first quarter of 2016. 
Meanwhile, Anglo said De Beers’ total rough diamond sales volumes in the first quarter of the year were 14.1 million carats from three sights, compared with 8.1 million carats from two sights during the same period last year. 
“In addition, this increase reflected stronger demand in Sight 1 2017, particularly for lower value goods in stock at 31 December 2016,” it said. 
Anglo also said that De Beers’ full year production guidance remained unchanged at between 31 and 33 million carats, subject to trading conditions. 
Mathew Nyaungwa, Editor in Chief of the African Bureau, Rough&Polished 

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