By Michelle Graff
michelle.graff@nationaljeweler.com
London--Though a safety stoppage impacted mining in the fourth quarter, parent company Anglo American reported that De Beers finished the year ahead.

De Beers mined a total of 32.6 million carats of rough diamonds in the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, compared with 31.2 million in 2013, a 5 percent increase. 

Anglo American said the increase was due to increased production from Debswana, its joint venture with the government of Botwana. The Jwaneng and Orapa mines there both delivered higher output as a result of improved performance by their processing plants. 

For the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, production was down 8 percent from 9.1 million carats to 8.4 million carats. A mandatory safety stoppage at the Snap Lake mine in Canada as well as lower grades at Orapa and Venetia drove the decrease.

Compared to the third quarter 2014, diamond production was up slightly, rising 2 percent. 

De Beers is the second of the world’s major diamond miners to report its 2014 production figures. Last week, Rio Tinto released its numbers for the year, revealing that rough production fell 13 percent year-over-year in 2014. 





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