Production at Debswana Diamond Company fell in the second quarter of the year as the company continues to be affected by global trading conditions and unavailabililty of plant at one of key Botswana mines.
De Beers’ parent company, Anglo American plc said in a Production Report for the second quarter ended 30 June 2015 that diamond production decreased by 6 percent to 8.0 million carats, mainly due to lower grades and reduced plant availability at the Orapa mine.
“In addition, operational flexibility at the Venetia and Jwaneng tailings treatment plants was utilised to reduce production marginally in response to softer trading conditions,” said Anglo American.
“Debswana’s production decreased by 6% to 5.9 million carats, mainly due to Orapa output as described above,” the global diversified miner added.
Anglo American owns 85 percent stake in De Beers while the remaining 15 percent is held by government of Botswana.
De Beers has most of its meat in Botswana where the best pits are found namely; Jwaneng, Orapa, Letlhakane and Damtshaa.
Anglo added that the De Beers rough price index was on average 4 percent lower for the first half of 2015 compared to the first half of 2014; however a 7 percent higher average realised selling price of $206 per carat was achieved, due to a higher quality product mix sold relative to the comparable period in 2014.
According to Anglo, production at DBCM (South Africa) decreased by 5 percent, largely as a result of lower grades at the Venetia open-pit mine while production in Namibia decreased slightly as a result of lower grades and throughput at the land operations, due in part to short-term industrial action.
Production in Canada decreased by 11% due mainly to lower grades at Victor, together with lower volumes from Snap Lake which was affected by water management challenges.
“Total rough diamond sales volumes (on a 100% basis including all sales by JVs) for the first six months of 2015 decreased on the prior half year by 26% to 14.0 million carats and consolidated sales volumes decreased by 27% to 13.3 million carats,” it said.
“This reflected relatively low levels of re-stocking by the midstream in 2015, in contrast with particularly strong sales conditions in the first half of 2014.”