By Michelle Graff
De Beers sold $575 million in rough diamonds in the third sales cycle of 2019, a 10 percent increase over the same period last year.
Gaborone, Botswana—De Beers described diamond demand as “stable” so far this year as it posted healthy gains in its latest round of auction and sightholder sales.

In its third sales cycle of 2019, the company sold $575 million in rough diamonds, up 10 percent from $524 million in the same period last year, and a 16 percent increase from the second-cycle sales total of $496 million.

The $575 million, which is provisional and likely will be revised when De Beers releases fourth-cycle sales figures next month, is the company’s highest total since the fifth sales cycle of last year.

Here’s a chart showing De Beers’ rough diamond sales so far in 2019.

2018 2019
First sales cyle $672 million               $500 million
Second $563 million $496 million
Third $524 million $575 million (provisional)
Fourth $554 million
Fifth $581 million
Sixth $533 million
Seventh $503 million
Eighth $482 million
Ninth $442 million
Tenth $544 million

In other company news, De Beers Canada announced last month that a haul truck has brought the last load of ore up from Victor Mine, the open-pit mine in northern Ontario that opened in 2008. 

20190412 Mpumi ZikalalaNompumelelo (Mpumi) Zikalala is the new managing director for De Beers Group Managed Operations, which oversees the company’s mines in Canada and South Africa. The mine was forecast to produce 6 million carats during its life and exceeded that, totaling more than 8 million carats to date.

Victor will continue to process stockpiled ore until early May.

De Beers announced plans to close Victor in November 2017 and its shutdown will leave the company with just one diamond mine in Canada.

Given the closures of Victor and Snap Lake in Canada as well as Voorspoed in South Africa, the company has consolidated its Canadian and South African operations into one business, De Beers Group Managed Operations.

The unit will be run out of Johannesburg with additional support services in Canada and headed by Nompumelelo (Mpumi) Zikalala, the former deputy chief executive officer of De Beers Consolidated Mining (DBCM).

Zikalala has more than 18 years’ experience in the mining industry, starting her career as an ore processing engineer at the Cullinan Diamond Mine in 2001.

As deputy CEO at DBCM, she was in charge of the company’s strategy in South Africa, including the consolidation and simplification of its business there.

She is replacing DBCM CEO Phillip Barton and De Beers Canada CEO Kim Truter, both of whom are leaving the company.

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