De Beers said its Botswana unit; Debswana has slashed production guidance for next year as demand for rough diamonds continues to soften affecting a number of producers.
The company, which is a 50/50 shareholder in diamond miner, stated that since the start of 2015, the diamond industry has experienced a number of challenges leading to abnormally high pipeline inventories of polished diamonds. This has resulted in lower demand for the Debswana’s rough diamonds.
“As a result, Debswana has revised its production for 2016 to 20 million carats to match expected levels of demand for rough,” De Beers said on its website.
According to the company, this will be achieved by producing more from Jwaneng Mine which is a high value, low cost asset and reducing production from Orapa, Letlhakane and Damtshaa Mines (OLDM). Jwaneng Mine will produce around 12 million carats whilst OLDM will produce around eight million carats.
On a sad note, De Beers said to achieve this reduction at OLDM, Damtshaa Mine will go onto a care and maintenance programme. Furthermore, Orapa Mine Plant 1(One) will produce approximately one million carats whilst maintaining plant readiness for an upswing in production should it be required.
“All efforts are being made to preserve jobs by re-deploying affected employees to other parts of the business.”