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De Beers Q2 production up 7 percent

By Michelle Graff

July 21, 2014

London--Production for diamond miner De Beers increased both year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter in the period ended June 30, parent company Anglo American reported. 

In the second quarter 2014, De Beers mined 8.5 million carats of diamonds, a 7 percent increase from the 7.9 million carats mined in the second quarter 2013. 

Production increased 13 percent as compared with the first quarter 2014 and has risen 12 percent through the first six months of the year, from 14.3 million carats to 16 million carats.  

De Beers attributed the increase in production to the recovery from pit flooding that impacted its Venetia Diamond Mine in South Africa last year. 

At Debswana in Botswana, the joint venture between De Beers and the country’s government, improved productivity at processing plants and the impact  of the clean-up of the Jwaneng slope failure last year helped to boost production. Dragging it down, however, was the mining of lower-grade areas at Jwaneng. 

Meanwhile, its mines in southern Africa recovered in the second quarter, as De Beers implemented changes to help deal with the heavy rainfall that has been plaguing the area. 

London-based Anglo American also operates iron ore, coal, copper, nickel and platinum group metals mines around the globe. 

The company reported a 40 percent year-over-year drop in production at its platinum mines in South Africa during the second quarter due to the strike at three of them, Rustenburg, Amandelbult and Union, that began in January. Production fell from 594,000 ounces to 358,000. 

The strike ended on June 24, though precious metal analysts note it will take the miners that were impacted time to ramp up production.