De Beers said rough diamond production for Q3 2023 decreased by 23% to 7.4 million carats, primarily due to the planned reduction in South Africa as Venetia transitions to underground operations and begins the ramp-up of production, as well as planned maintenance in Botswana.
In Botswana, Q3 production decreased by 12% to 5.8 million carats, driven by lower throughput at Orapa due to planned maintenance. Q3 production in Namibia was flat, at 530,000 carats.
In South Africa, production decreased by 78% to 0.4 million carats, due to the planned end of Venetia's open pit operations in December 2022. De Beers said Venetia will continue to process lower grade surface stockpiles as the underground operations ramp-up production over the next few years.
Production in Canada decreased by 9% to 0.7 million carats, due to planned treatment of lower grade ore.
The company said that sightholders took a cautious approach to their purchasing during the quarter as a result of the uncertain macro-economic environment and high levels of diamond inventory in the midstream.
Rough diamond sales totalled 7.4 million carats from three Sights, compared with 9.1 million carats from three Sights in Q3 2022, and 7.6 million carats from two Sights in Q2 2023.
Going forward, De Beers will continue to support its sightholders to help re-establish equilibrium between wholesale supply and demand by providing full flexibility for rough diamond allocations in Sights 9 and 10 of 2023.
De Beers informed that its production guidance for 2023 is unchanged at 30-33 million carats on a 100% basis, and the unit cost guidance for 2023 is also unchanged at c.$75/carat.