De Beers Owner Pumping $100M Into Sustainability Projects
Anglo American is donating the money to its Anglo American Foundation, which supports projects in countries where it mines.
The Anglo American Foundation supports projects in all the countries where Anglo mines, explores or has joint ventures involving gems and minerals.
The massive donation will help to accelerate the company’s progress toward reaching the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, with a particular emphasis on programs that empower women, young people, and vulnerable groups in the countries where Anglo has business.
Projects that could get a boost from the $100 million donation include those focused on the environment, community health, education and skills, livelihoods, and institutional capacity development.
For De Beers specifically, the money would be put toward the company’s “Building Forever” goals, which focus on protecting the environment, leading ethical practices across the jewelry industry, and increasing diversity among its ranks.
Anglo American made the announcement as it reported its half-year financial results Thursday.
The results showed what has been said time and again since the start of the pandemic—consumers are buying diamond jewelry, which means De Beers is mining and selling more rough.
In the first half of the year, production was up 37 percent to 15.4 million carats from 11.3 million carats in the same period in 2020. Compared to 2019, production is essentially flat.
Total first-half revenue approached $3 billion, well ahead of $1.2 billion in the first half of 2020.
Profitability also returned for De Beers.
Anglo reported underlying EBITDA of $610 million for De Beers in the first half of the year, compared with just $2 million in the same period last year.
Overall, the long-term outlook for diamond jewelry demand remains “positive,” Anglo said, while supply is expected to remain flat or shrink.
“The longer-term transformation of the diamond value chain continues, including a sustained focus on stock level optimization and distribution of polished diamonds and diamond jewelry, increased online purchasing, and greater focus on the provenance and sustainability credentials of companies and their products,” the company said.
Among De Beers’ growth projects is construction of a new mining vessel for Marine Namibia.
Construction began in 2019 and is on schedule, Anglo American said, with the vessel expected to be in Cape Town, South Africa by the third quarter 2021 for the fitting of the mining and plant equipment.
Mine life extension projects include the transition from open-pit to underground mining at Venetia in South Africa, which is expected to add an extra 95 million carats and extend the mine’s life to 2045.
Underground mining at Venetia is expected to commence in 2023.
There is also the Cut-9 extension at Jwaneng in Botswana, which will extend the life of the mine to 2036 and produce an extra 51 million carats of diamonds.
First production from the extended cut is expected in 2027.
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