The De Beers Group reports that its rough diamond production for Q2 was down 14 percent to 7, 7 million carats recovered, attributing the performance to mine closures, lower grades, and planned maintenance schedules.
According to the Group, production at the Debswana mine in Botswana fell 9 percent to 5.7 million carats due to a planned plant shut down; while Namibia production dropped 35percent to 0.3 million carats, due to the Elizabeth Bay transitioning onto care and maintenance in the fourth quarter of 2018; and planned maintenance for the Mafuta crawler vessel.
In Canada, De Beers said the production was down 9 percent to 1.1 million carats due to planned lower grades at Gahcho KuÃ©. Production at the Victor mine, which closed earlier this year, decreased to 0.2 million carats.
South Africa (DBCM) production decreased by 44 percent to 0.6 million carats due to lower mined volumes at Venetia as it approaches the transition from open pit to underground. In addition, the Voorspoed mine’s production came to an end as it was placed into care and maintenance in the fourth quarter of 2018, in preparation for its closure.
Rough diamond sales were 9.0 million carats from three sales cycles compared with 10.0 million carats from the same number of sales cycles during the second quarter of 2018.
De Beers revised its production guidance down to 31 million carats due to challenges in the midstream with higher polished inventories, and caution due to macro-economic uncertainty, including the US-China trade tensions.