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De Beers’ rough diamond production up 10% in Q4
Production rose 24% in comparison to Q3 2016
By: Diamond World News Service
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Jan 26 2017 1:21PM
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Reference: 13837  

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Image Courtesy: De Beers
Image Courtesy: De Beers
De Beers’ rough diamond production rose 10 percent on y-o-y basis to 7.8 million carats in the fourth quarter of 2016. In comparison, in the fourth quarter of 2015, the said production amounted to 7 million carats, when production was reduced in response to trading conditions. The increase also reflects the ramp-up of Gahcho Kué.

Debswana’s (Botswana) production increased by 15 percent to 5.4 million carats. At Jwaneng, production increased 40 percent, partly offset by Orapa, which decreased by six percent, and Damtshaa (a satellite operation of Orapa), which was placed on care and maintenance from 1 January 2016. Production at Namdeb Holdings (Namibia) increased by six percent to 0.4 million carats due to increased material processed by the Debmarine Namibia fleet.

In DBCM (South Africa), production decreased marginally to 1.4 million carats, mainly due to the sale of Kimberley Mines in January 2016, partly offset by an increase of 18 percent at Venetia due to the processing of higher grades. Production in Canada increased by 13 percent to 0.5 million carats, driven by the ramp-up at Gahcho Kué. This was partially offset by Snap Lake being placed on care and maintenance in December 2015. The ramp-up of Gahcho Kué continues to progress, with commercial production expected to be reached during Q1 2017.

Rough diamond production in Q4 2016 was 24 percent higher compared with Q3 2016 as a result of higher production at Orapa, higher grades at Venetia and the ramp-up of Gahcho Kué.

Total rough diamond sales volumes in Q4 2016 compared with Q4 2015 more than doubled to 8.0 million carats (7.5 million carats on a consolidated basis2). For the full year, total rough diamond sales volumes increased by 55 percent to 32.0 million carats (30.0 million carats on a consolidated basis2). The increases reflect the improved trading conditions from those experienced in H2 2015. For the full year, the average realised price of $187 per carat was 10 percent lower than in 2015, reflecting the lower average rough price index, which was down 13 percent, partially offset by a stronger sales mix.

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