De Beers Sees Q3 Production Climb, Trims Full-Year Forecast

SourcingOct 27, 2021

De Beers Sees Q3 Production Climb, Trims Full-Year Forecast

Production rose 28 percent in the third quarter as De Beers ramped up mining operations to meet demand.

Work at the diamond mines owned and operated by De Beers Group picked up in the third quarter. Pictured is a digger loading kimberlite into haul trucks at the Orapa mine in Botswana; overall diamond production in Botswana rose 33 percent in Q3. (©De Beers Group/Photo credit: Ben Perry @ Armoury Films)
London—Production rose 28 percent year-over-year in the third quarter for De Beers Group as the diamond miner and marketer worked to keep up with demand. 
Diamond production in the quarter totaled 9.2 million carats, compared with 7.2 million carats in the third quarter 2020. 
Breaking it down by country, production in Botswana rose 33 percent to 6.4 million carats, with planned treatment of higher-grade ore only partially offset by lower production at the Orapa with the planned closure of Plant 1. 
In Namibia, production jumped 65 percent year-over-year to 400,000 carats. Namdeb’s marine mining fleet was beached during Q3 2020 in response to lower demand at that time.  
South Africa’s production rose 34 percent to 1.6 million carats, as De Beers treated higher-grade ore from the final cut of Venetia’s open pit (plans call for the mine to soon go underground) and plant performance improved. 
Canada was the only country to record a decline in production, with De Beers mining 800,000 carats there in Q3, a 13 percent drop due to lower-grade ore being processed.
Year-to-date in 2021, De Beers has produced 24.6 million carats of diamonds, a 33 percent increase over 18.4 million carats in 2020, when COVID-19 hampered production.
Compared to 2019, De Beers’ year-to-date production total is up 7 percent. 
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De Beers noted that demand continues to be strong, as rough diamonds keep flowing through the midstream to satisfy consumer demand for polished diamonds in the United States and China. 
Rough diamond sales totaled 7.8 million carats in from two sights in Q3 2021, compared with 7.3 million carats from two sights in Q2, and 6.6 million carats from three sights in Q3 2020. 
Despite strong demand, De Beers is trimming its full-year production forecast, stating it now expects to mine about 32 million carats of diamonds, down from previous guidance of 32-22 million carats. 
It cited “continuing operational challenges,” and noted its forecast is subject to any further COVID-19- related disruptions. 
Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

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