By Michelle Graff
Anglo American parent company said Tuesday that it expects De Beers to mine more diamonds this fiscal year but cut the forecast for FY2019 due to declining production at Venetia and the pending closure of the Victor mine in Canada, pictured here.

London—De Beers’ parent company said Tuesday it will mine more diamonds than originally forecast this year.

In an investor update led by CEO Chief Executive Officer Mark Cutifani, Anglo American raised its production guidance for De Beers for fiscal year 2018 from 34-36 million carats to 35-36 million carats, up from 33.5 million mined last year.

It lowered guidance for fiscal year 2019 slightly.

The previous forecast was about 32 million carats, but Anglo said Tuesday De Beers’ production could now be in the range of 31-33 million carats due to declining open-pit production at the Venetia mine in South Africa and the Victor mine in Canada nearing end-of-life.

Victor is set to cease operations in early 2019.

Beyond 2019, Anglo sees diamond production continuing to rise.

It projects De Beers will mine between 33 and 35 million carats in FY2020 (up from the previous forecast of about 32 million carats) and between 35 and 37 million carats in fiscal year 2021 (this is the first time Anglo has provided guidance for FY 2021) .

Overall, Anglo American expects FY2018 production to come in at 2 percent above its original forecast, driven by increased production of diamonds as well as platinum and copper.

Costs are expected to be 5 percent below previous guidance.

Under Cutifani’s leadership over the past five years, Anglo has cut costs and improved productivity while streamlining its portfolio. For De Beers, this has included selling or closing a number of diamond mines.

Commenting on the company’s progress Tuesday, the CEO said: “We have completely transformed the quality of our asset portfolio and our performance as a whole over the last five years. We have created a highly competitive business, with Anglo American amongst the very best in the industry in terms of margin.

“We see considerable further opportunity ahead and continue to target $3-4 billion of incremental annual EBITDA by 2022. This will come from a combination of meeting or surpassing industry best-practice equipment performance across our operations; volume growth from existing and new operations … and the deployment of our FutureSmart Mining technologies and digitalization. It is these technologies that will transform how we mine, process and market our products, providing the next step change in our performance.”

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