In Response to Demand, De Beers Ramps Up Production
Fourth-quarter production was up 15 percent year-over-year, with the full-year total topping 32 million carats.
The diamond miner and marketer reported late last week that Q4 2021 production was up 15 percent to 7.7 million carats, compared with 6.7 million carats in Q4 2020, principally from the Jwaneng mine in Botswana and its operations in Namibia.
Production in Botswana was up 23 percent to 5.2 million carats compared with 4.3 million carats in the prior-year period.
Namibia posted a 16 percent increase in production to 392,000 carats, while production in South Africa was flat at 1.29 million carats and production in Canada fell slightly (771,000 carats vs. 776,000 in Q4 2020).
For 2021, De Beers’ rough diamond production was up 29 percent to 32.3 million carats compared with 25.1 million carats in 2020, a year in which COVID-19 had a significant impact on mining operations.
South Africa recorded the largest increase for the year with production up 41 percent, while production rose 35 percent in Botswana and 1 percent in Namibia.
Production in Canada slipped 4 percent.
De Beers forecasts full-year production could increase slightly in 2022, with its current guidance set at 30 million-33 million carats.
As Alrosa noted in releasing its full-year 2021 results, strong demand for diamond jewelry continued in the United States over the holiday season.
De Beers’ rough diamond sales totaled 7.7 million carats from three sights in the fourth quarter compared with 6.9 million carats from two sights in the prior-year period.
The full-year consolidated average realized price for rough diamonds was up 10 percent to $146 per carat, compared with $133 per carats in 2020, primarily due to positive market sentiment, De Beers said.
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