JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Diamond giant De Beers’ rough diamond production increased by 8% to 7.4-million carats in the first quarter of the year, reflecting the contribution of the Gahcho Kué mine, in Canada.
The joint venture mine reached commercial production on March 2 and contributed 600 000 ct to De Beers’ production for the quarter.
De Beers Consolidated Mines (DBCM), in South Africa, increased production by 19% to 1.1-million carats, largely as a result of higher grades at the Venetia site.
Namdeb Holdings, in Namibia, recorded a 6% increase in diamond production, to 500 000 ct.
However, the miner noted that, in Botswana, Debswana’s production decreased marginally to 5.2-million carats, while production at Jwaneng decreased by 8% owing to expected lower grades. This was partly offset by Orapa, where production increased by 5% owing to higher grades.
Total rough diamond sales volumes for the quarter reached 14.1-million carats, reflecting stronger demand, particularly for lower-value goods in stock at December 31.