Global mining giant, Anglo American said production at its diamond unit, De Beers decreased by 10% to 6.9 million carats, reflecting the decision to reduce production in response to trading conditions in 2015.
According to Anglo’s Production Report for the first quarter ended 31 March 2016, at Debswana owned 50/50 by De Beers and Botswana government, production decreased by 5% to 5.3 million carats as a result of the strategy to align production to trading conditions.
“There was lower production at Orapa, partially offset by an increase in production at Jwaneng. Damtshaa (a satellite operation of Orapa) was placed on care and maintenance from 1 January 2016,” said the mining group.
Production at DBCM (South Africa) decreased by 12% to 0.9 million carats mainly due to the completion of the sale of Kimberley mines to Ekapa Minerals, as announced on 21 January 2016. Production at Namdeb Holdings (Namibia) decreased by 4% to 0.4 million carats due to reduced grade at Namdeb.
Production in Canada decreased by 68% to 0.2 million carats due to Snap Lake being placed on care and maintenance in December 2015.
Consolidated rough diamond sales of 7.6 million carats in Sights 1 and 2 of 2016 reflected an improvement in trading conditions relative to H2 2015. Sales volumes were 10% lower than in Q1 2015, however this was due to the number of Sights in the respective periods: 2 Sights in Q1 2016 vs. 3 Sights in Q1 2015.
Anglo said full year production guidance (on a 100% basis) remains unchanged at 26 – 28 million carats, subject to trading conditions.
Anglo American Chief Executive, Mark Cutifani said the Q1 2016 operating results are in line with the equivalent period of 2015 on a copper equivalent basis(8) and reflect the major restructuring programme under way and our ongoing efficiency and cost reduction strategy.
“They also demonstrate the market discipline we continue to show in our key markets, particularly diamonds and platinum, and are consistent with our restructuring plans as we focus on lower cost and higher margin assets,” Cutifani stated.
“We are encouraged that the actions we have taken in diamonds are continuing to have a positive effect, while operational productivity continues on an upward trajectory. As a consequence of our solid progress, our production guidance for 2016 remains unchanged.”