|Anglo American's Interim Financial Results for its De Beers Group for the first half of 2016 show an 8 percent increase in total revenue, which reached US$3.3 billion, compared with H1 2015's US$3 billion. The increase was driven, says the company, by an 11 percent increase in rough diamond sales during the period.
In terms of volume, De Beers sold 17.2 million carats in H1 2016, 29 percent more than in H1 2015. Carat prices were down 14 percent, however, achieving an average of US$177 compared with US$206 average per carat in H1 2015.
Operating profit (EBIT) for the Group reportedly reached US$585 million for H1 2016, a 2 percent improvement year-over-year.
Anglo confirms an intentional decrease in De Beers' overall rough diamond production for H1 2016 to 13.3 million carats, 15 percent lower y-o-y, following the decision to reduce production in response to prevailing trading conditions in H2 2015.
The company reports that construction of the Venetia Underground mine in South Africa continues to progress, with the decline advanced to more than 1,550 metres. First production from the underground operation is scheduled for 2022.
The Gahcho Kué project in Canada is reportedly progressing according to plan, with the project now 96 percent complete and on track for first production during H2 2016, with commercial production expected to be reached in Q1 2017.
Although the Interim Financial Results for De Beers' Element Six were not detailed in the report, Anglo notes that: "Owing to continuing depressed markets in key industrial sectors (principally oil and gas), Element Six experienced a challenging first six months. The reduction in contribution arising from lower sales has been partially offset by a comprehensive cost-reduction programme."The company's diamond production forecast (on a 100% basis) for 2016 remains unchanged in the range of 26-28 million carats.