South Africa

Namibia: Debeers Diamond Production Decreases By 43%

Debeers' diamond production in Namibia decreased by 43% to 0.2 million carats as the marine fleet suspended production for part of third quarter.

This was in reflection of lower demand and one vessel that docked for planned maintenance during the third quarter.

The company recently made the announcement on 22 October, stating that its overall rough diamond production decreased by 4% to 7.2 million carats driven by planned reductions in production to reflect the lower demand for rough diamonds due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In Botswana, production decreased by 15% to 4.8 million carats due to the planned treatment of lower grade material at both Jwaneng and Orapa, with production targeted at levels to meet lower demand.

South African production increased to 1.2 million carats due to an expected change in ore mix, with more ore sourced from the higher grade material from the last cut of the open pit (rather than from low grade stockpiles) as the mine transitions to the underground, while production in Canada also increased by 17% to 0.9 million carats, due to treatment of higher grade material at Gahcho Kué.

However, the company noted that the demand for rough diamonds showed signs of improvement in the quarter as Covid-19 restrictions gradually eased in cutting and polishing centres and consumer markets ahead of the key end of year holiday season. Rough diamond sales totalled 6.6 million carats.

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