Anglo American says production of rough diamonds declined by 12 percent in the first quarter ended March 31 as a result of lower grade from Orapa Mine as well as persistent power cuts and heavy rains.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT: Diamonds are the mainstay of Botswana economy contributing more than two third to the national out. Debswana Mines, a joint venture between government and De Beers recovered 5 million carats in the first quarter.
Chief Executive, Mark Cutifani said De Beers rough diamond production decreased by seven percent to 7.2 million carats, driven by operational challenges, including excessive rainfall in southern Africa and a Covid-19-related shutdown in Canada, as well as planned maintenance in Namibia.
On the bright side, Cutifani said sales continued to improve amid midstream restocking following an encouraging holiday selling season for diamond jewellery in major global markets. Cutifani said, “demand for rough diamonds in Q1 2021 recovered to pre-Covid-19 levels reflecting the replenishment of the depleted midstream, and renewed confidence by the midstream in response to the return of consumer demand for diamond jewellery in the US and China in the second half of 2020.”
Anglo American boss further said rough diamond sales totaled 13.5 million carats in the third quarter of 2020 from three Sights, compared with 8.9 million carats in the first quarter of the same year as well as 6.9 million carats in the fourth quarter of 2020.