The De Beers Group has reported that its rough diamond production is up by 15 per cent to 7.7 million carats, reflecting planned higher production of rough diamonds to meet continued strong levels of demand.
In Botswana, production has increased by 23 per cent to 5.2 million carats primarily as a result of the planned treatment of higher-grade ore at Jwaneng, partly offset by lower production at Orapa due to the planned closure of Plant 1 in late 2020.
Namibia production increased by 16 per cent to 0.4 million carats reflecting a reduction in the scheduled maintenance time for the marine fleet.
According to De Beers, South Africa production was in line with the prior year at 1.3 million carats, as planned plant maintenance in Q4 2021 was offset by processing of higher-grade ore.
Production in Canada was broadly flat.
Demand for De Beers rough diamonds remained robust, with positive midstream sentiment and strong demand for diamond jewellery continuing over the holiday period, particularly in the key US consumer market. Rough diamond sales totalled 7.7 million carats (7.2 million carats on a consolidated basis) from three Sights, compared with 6.9 million carats (6.4 million carats on a consolidated basis) from two Sights in Q4 2020, and 7.8 million carats (7.0 million carats on a consolidated basis) from two Sights in Q3 2021.
The full-year consolidated average realised price increased by 10 per cent to US$ 146/ct (2020: US$ 133/ct), primarily as a result of positive market sentiment which gave rise to a strengthening of the rough price index.
De Beers has set the production guidance for 2022 in between 30–33 million carats that is subject to trading conditions and the extent of further COVID-19-related disruptions.
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