By Michelle Graff
michelle.graff@nationaljeweler.com
This picture provided by Alrosa shows the Udachny open-pit mine, which is part of the company’s Udachny division. The company ceased open-pit mining at Udachny in the first half of 2016, replacing some of that ore with materials processed from the Zarnitsa pipe.
Moscow--Alrosa reported Thursday that diamond production through the first six months of 2016 is down 6 percent year-over-year, and it has lowered its production goals for the year.

The miner said production totaled 16.9 million carats in the first half of the year, down from 18 million in the same period last year. Alrosa said it decreased gravel processing at its alluvial deposits, as it now aims to mine 37 million carats this year, down from the 39 million originally projected.

It also decreased ore processing at the International underground mine in favor of ramping up at the smaller Mir pipe and terminated open-pit mining at the Udachny pipe.

Alrosa’s second quarter production also was down year-over-year, from 9.6 to 8.7 million carats, but was up from the first quarter, when the company mined 8.2 million carats of rough diamonds.

The company also released preliminary sales figures for the second quarter and first half of the year on Thursday.

In the second quarter, Alrosa sold 9.6 million carats of diamonds--7.1 million gem-quality at an average price of $169 per carat, and 2.5 million industrial for an average of $8 per carat. That is up slightly from the 9 million carats sold in the second quarter of last year, though the average price per carat for the gem-quality rough is down from $176 per carat a year ago.

Revenue from rough diamond sales totaled at least $1.2 billion in the second quarter and $2.5 billion year-to-date.

Rival diamond miners De Beers and Rio Tinto also released their second quarter production and sales figures this week, with De Beers reporting a 19 percent drop in diamond production in Q2.



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