De Beers’ Production Jumps 18% In First Quarter

Anglo American, which has an 85-percent stake in De Beers, said diamond output soared 18 percent on the year in the first quarter of 2014 to 7.532 million carats. Anglo American said the rise was “largely due to the impact of planned plant maintenance at Orapa in Q1 2013 and recovery from the 2012 sidewall failure at Jwaneng”. Both mines are in Botswana. “Southern African operations were again hampered by heavy rainfall, resulting in lower production than in Q4 2013. However, improved preparedness in Q1 2014 meant the impact was lower than in Q1 2013. Production guidance for this year is unchanged at 30-32 million carats,” the mining firm reported. Production at Orapa rose 54 percent year on the year in the first quarter to 3.204 million carats. Production at the huge Jwaneng mine, the richest diamond in the world by value, climbed just 4 percent to 2.367 million carats. Output by Debswana, the national mining firm owned jointly by De Beers and the government of Botswana, surged 27 percent to 5.758 million carats. Meanwhile, production at De Beers’ South African mines slipped 7 percent on the year in the first quarter to 932,000 carats. In Namibia, production edged up 1 percent to 432,000 carats, and output at De Beers Canada climbed 3 percent to 409,000 carats.