De Beers said its rough diamond production increased by 10% to 7.8 million carats in the last quarter of 2015 as compared to Q4 2015 when production was reduced in response to trading conditions. According to the diamond major’s production report for the fourth quarter of 2016, the increase also reflected the ramp-up of Gahcho Kué.
Production at Debswana, which is owned 50/50 by De Beers and Botswana government, increased by 15% to 5.4 million carats. At Jwaneng, production increased by 40%, partly offset by Orapa, which decreased by 6%, and Damtshaa (a satellite operation of Orapa), which was placed under care and maintenance from January 1 2016.
Production at Namdeb Holdings (Namibia) increased by six per cent to 0.4 million carats due to increased material processed by the Debmarine Namibia fleet.
At DBCM (South Africa), production decreased marginally to 1.4 million carats, mainly due to the sale of Kimberley Mines in January 2016, partly offset by an increase of 18% at Venetia due to the processing of higher grades.
Production in Canada increased by 13% to 0.5 million carats, driven by the ramp-up at Gahcho Kué. This was partially offset by Snap Lake being placed on care and maintenance in December 2015. The ramp-up of Gahcho Kué continues to progress, with commercial production expected to be reached during Q1 2017.
Rough diamond production increased by 24% compared with Q3 2016 as a result of higher production at Orapa, higher grades at Venetia and the ramp-up of Gahcho Kué.
“Total rough diamond sales volumes in Q4 2016 compared with Q4 2015 more than doubled to 8.0 million carats (7.5 million carats on a consolidated basis)”
For the full year, total rough diamond sales volumes increased by 55 per cent to 32.0 million carats (30.0 million carats on a consolidated basis2). The increases reflect the improved trading conditions from those experienced in H2 2015.
For the full year, the average realised price of $187 per carat was 10% lower than in 2015, reflecting the lower average rough price index, which was down 13 per cent, partially offset by a stronger sales mix.