In the first quarter of 2021, De Beers diamond production declined by 7% to 7.2 million carats, mainly due to production problems, including excessive rainfall in southern Africa and the closure of production in Canada due to COVID-19, as well as routine maintenance at factories in Namibia.
Anglo American, which owns a majority stake in De Beers, reported that diamond production in Botswana fell 12% this quarter to 5 million carats, as a result of a 24% cut in production at the Orapa mine after entering the refinery. ore with low diamond grades began to flow due to heavy rainfall and operational problems, including continued power outages.
In Namibia, diamond production fell 34% to 300,000 carats, mainly due to scheduled maintenance for the Mafuta, while another vessel was idle in response to lower demand in the third quarter of 2020.
Production in Canada also fell 16% to 700,000 carats as operations were suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak in February.
However, South African production rose 55% to 1.2 million carats, thanks to the planned processing of higher grade ore from the open pit.
Anglo American said rough demand for rough diamonds recovered to pre-COVID-19 levels in the first quarter of 2021 as a result of the replenishment of depleted midstream stocks and recovery in confidence in the segment in response to a recovery in consumer demand for diamond jewelry. in the US and China in the second half of 2020.
De Beers’ rough diamond sales reached 13.5 million carats in three trading sessions in the first quarter of 2021, up from 8.9 million carats in two trading sessions in the first quarter of 2020 and 6.9 million carats in two auctions in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Anglo American said De Beers’ production forecast remains unchanged at 32-34 million carats, depending on trading conditions and the magnitude of further production disruptions associated with COVID-19.