De Beers Cuts Diamond Forecast Yet Again

De Beers LogoGaborone: According to the Anglo American Q3 production report, De Beers’ diamond production for the third quarter of 2015 decreased 27% to six million carats, following the decision to reduce production to better reflect current trading conditions – namely, oversupply in the diamond market. Anglo also said that De Beers’ full year production guidance is now ~29 million carats – the bottom end of the previously indicated 29m to 31m range, and up to 5m carats fewer than Anglo’s original guidance given early in 2015. So far this year production is 11% below last year’s levels. This is the third time this year that Anglo has lowered its diamond production projection. The Financial Times writes that “The market weakness so far during 2015 is set to put even more importance on the forthcoming peak diamond sales season in terms of Anglo’s earnings — and potentially its dividends. Many analysts already expect the miner to cut its full-year shareholder payout.”

At the Debswana concern (Botswana) production decreased 35% to 4.1 million carats, as a result of planned maintenance being prioritized in light of current trading conditions at both Jwaneng and Orapa, while at Jwaneng there was also a focus on waste mining and the processing of lower grade material. Production at De Beers consolidated mines (South Africa) decreased 8% to one million carats, largely as a result of reduced throughput and processing lower grades at Venetia, again as a response to current trading conditions. Meanwhile, De Beers Canada increased production 11% to 436,000 carats, due principally to improved grades at Snap Lake, while production at Namdeb Holdings (Namibia) increased four per cent to 466,000 carats.