De Beers Q1 2016 Production -10%

De Beers LogoGaborone: De Beers has announced that its first quarter diamond production decreased 10 percent compared to the same period a year previously.

The company mined 6.9 million carats as opposed to 7.7 million carats in the first quarter of 2015, reflecting the decision to reduce production in response to the trading conditions last year.

At its Debswana mine in Botswana, production decreased 5 percent to 5.3 million carats. Production was lower at Orapa too, but this was slightly offset by increased production at Jwaneng.

Production at De Beers Consolidated Mining (DBCM) fell to 900,000 carats, a 12-percent decrease, mainly due to the sale of Kimberley mines to Ekapa minerals. At Namdeb Holdings (Namibia) production decreased 4 percent to 400,000 carats as a result of reduced grade.

The company’s placement of Snap Lake on care and maintenance in December 2015 contributed to a 68-percent decrease in Canadian production to 200,000 carats.

Sights 1 and 2 produced consolidated rough sales of 7.6 million carats, which reflected better trading conditions in the second half of 2015. Sales volumes were 10 percent lower than in the first quarter of 2015 – as a result of their being one additional Sight in the prior year period.

The company maintains its estimate that it will produce 26 million to 28 million carats, subject to trading conditions.

“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,” said Anglo American chief executive Mark Cutifani.