Anglo American plc today (Thursday) announced that De Beers’ diamond production dropped by 6 percent to 8 million carats during the second quarter, ended June 30. Results for the first six months of the year also showed a decline of 3 percent, from 16 million carats in 2014 to 15.6 million carats in the first half of 2015.
The quarterly decline was mainly due to lower grades and reduced plant availability at Orapa. In addition, Anglo American said that operational flexibility at the Venetia and Jwaneng tailings treatment plants was used to reduce production marginally in response to softer trading conditions.
Debswana’s production decreased by 6 percent to 5.9 million carats, mainly due to reduced output at Orapa.
Production at DBCM (South Africa) decreased by 5 percent, largely as a result of lower grades at the Venetia open-pit mine.
Production in Namibia also decreased slightly as a result of lower grades and throughput at the land operations, due in part to short-term industrial action.
In Canada, production decreased by 11 percent, which Anglo American said was due mainly to lower grades at Victor, together with lower volumes from Snap Lake which was affected by water management challenges.
The company said that total rough diamond sales volumes for the first six months of 2015 decreased on the prior half year by 26 percent to 14 million carats, while consolidated sales volumes decreased by 27 percent to 13.3 million carats. According to Anglo American, this result reflected relatively low levels of restocking by the midstream in 2015, compared to particularly strong sales conditions in the first half of 2014.
The De Beers rough price index was an average of 4 percent lower for the first half of 2015 compared to the first half of 2014. Despite this, sales prices rose 7 percent to $206 due to a higher quality product mix sold relative to the comparable period in 2014.