Debswana production flat in the third quarter

Kabelo Adamson
SLOW THIRD QUARTER: Rough diamond mining goes flat

Rough diamond production at Debswana Diamond Mine was flat in the third quarter of 2019 with 5.7 million carats mined.

Even though the diamond company experienced a22 percent increase in production at Orapa mine, overall production for Debswanaremained flat.

This is primarily because of an 18 percent decrease at Jwaneng Mine due to planned lower grade.

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The spike at Orapa is attributed to a planned increase in the grade of material treated.

The figures were availed by Anglo American mining giants, De Beers, which operatesDebswana mines in a 50/50 joint partnership with the Botswana government.

Of the total 7.4 million carats which De Beers realised, the majority came from Debswana at 5.7 million while the balance came from South Africa, Canada and Namibia.

De Beers diamond production also saw a decline, going down14 percent from the 8.8 millionmined in the third quarter of 2018.

The drop is said to be mainly down to planned reductions in South Africa and Canada as well as weaker market demand due to macro-economic uncertainty and continue midstream weakness.

In South Africa, production plummeted by 60 percent to 0.5 million carats due to lower mined volumes at its Venetia enterprise as it approaches transition from open pit to underground.

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During the third quarter of 2019, De Beers rough diamond sales amounted to 7.4 million carats from three sale cycles compared to 5 million carats from two sales in the same period last year.

This is attributed to the extra sales cycle held this year.

De Beers says overall demand for rough diamonds remains subdued as a result of challenges in the midstream with higher polished inventories and caution due to macro-economic uncertainty.

Meanwhile,the diamond trader says its production guidance remains unchanged for the year at 31 million carats subject to trading conditions.

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