|The De Beers Group has published its production report for the second quarter (Q2) and first half (H1) of 2017, reporting overall diamond production of 16.142 million carats in H1 - 21 percent higher than the corresponding period in 2016. Production for Q2 reached 8.742 million carats - 36 percent higher than Q2 2016. The company says this increase in production is in line with the higher production forecast for 2017, reflecting stable trading conditions as well as the contribution from the ramp-up of the Gahcho Kué mining operations in Canada.
In Botswana, production from Debswana's operations (Botswana) for Q2 is reported at 5.9 million carats - 14 percent higher than in Q2 2016. The company notes that production from the Orapa mine increased 44 percent in Q2, driven by the ramp-up of Plant 1, which was previously on partial care and maintenance in response to trading conditions in late 2015. This was marginally offset by Jwaneng where production decreased by three percent.
Namibia's Namdeb Holdings' production in Q2 increased 32 percent to 0.4 million carats as a result of Debmarine Namibia's Mafuta vessel being on planned extended in-port maintenance in Q2 2016.
De Beers Consolidated Mines (DBCM) in South Africa produced 1.4 million carats in Q2 - an increase of 71 percent over Q2 2016, largely as a result of higher grades recovered at the Venetia mine.
Production in Canada in Q2 increased almost six-fold to one million carats due to the ramp-up of Gahcho Kué to nameplate capacity.
De Beers' rough diamond sales from the two Sights in the second quarter of 2017 are reported at 5.4 million carats from two Sights, significantly less when compared with 9.6 million carats from three Sights in Q2 2016. The company notes that apart from the additional Sight in Q2 2016, the decrease was expected given the strong levels of midstream restocking which took place in the first half of 2016.
De Beers' sales for the first half of 2017 were 19.1 million carats , compared with 17.2 million carats in H1 2016.
The average realized price achieved per carat in H1 2017 was $156, a drop of 12 percent compared with H1 2016. This reflected strong demand in the first Sight of 2017 for lower value goods held in stock at 31 December 2016, following a recovery from the initial impact of India's demonetization program in late 2016, says De Beers.De Beers confirms that full year production guidance remains unchanged at 31-33 million carats, subject to trading conditions.