WINDHOEK – De Beers rough diamond production decreased by 15% to 7.8 million carats, driven by lower production levels in South Africa and Botswana. This was stated by Anglo American in its production report for Q4 which was released last week.
While trading conditions have improved since Q3 2019, production was reduced in response to softer rough diamond demand conditions experienced in the year.
Mark Cutifani, Chief Executive of Anglo American, said: “We have delivered our full-year production targets across the business. Production is up four percent for the quarter led by the continued successful ramp-up at Minas-Rio in Brazil. Increased production at Metallurgical Coal in Australia was offset by the drought in Chile impacting water availability at Los Bronces, as well as the anticipated lower production from De Beers as Venetia transitions to underground in South Africa and Victor reached the end of its mine life in Canada. As planned, we received the operating license for the tailings dam raise at Minas-Rio before the end of 2019.”
The report noted that Botswana production decreased by seven percent to 5.9 million carats. Orapa Production decreased by 29%, caused by a delay in an infrastructure project and expected lower grades. This was partially offset by a 21% increase at Jwaneng driven by planned increases in both tonnes treated and grade.
Meanwhile, Namibian production decreased by 10% to 0.5 million carats, driven by Debmarine Namibia where production decreased by nine percent to 0.4 million carats due to routine vessel maintenance in Q4 2019. In South Africa, production decreased by 65% to 0.4 million carats due to lower volumes of ore mined at Venetia as it approaches the transition from open pit to underground. In addition, SA’s Voorspoed production ended in Q4 2018 when it was placed into care and maintenance in preparation for closure,” stated the report.
Production in Canada decreased by three percent to 1.0 million carats, primarily due to the closure of Victor, which reached the end of its life in Q2 2019. Gahcho Kué production increased by 28% to 1.0 million carats due to strong plant performance.
Furthermore, it was reported that rough diamond sales totaled 7.0 million carats (6.6 million carats on a consolidated basis) from two sales cycles, which compares with 9.9 million carats of sales (9.3 million carats on a consolidated basis) from three sales cycles in Q4 2018.
For the full year, rough diamond sales volumes were eight percent lower at 30.9 million carats (29.2 million carats on a consolidated basis) compared with 33.7 million carats (31.7 million carats on a consolidated basis) in 2018.
In 2019, overall demand for rough diamonds was lower as a result of challenges in the midstream, with higher polished inventories and caution due to macro-economic uncertainty.
The full-year consolidated average realised a price of US$137/ct, which was lower (2018: US$171/ct) due primarily to a higher proportion of lower value rough diamonds sold in 2019 and a six percent lower rough diamond price index.
2020-01-29 08:57:10 | 2 months ago