Rough diamond production decreased by 4% to 7.2 million carats driven by planned reductions in production to reflect the lower demand for rough diamonds due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Covid-19 related measures remain in place to safeguard the workforce while maintaining operational continuity.
In Botswana, production decreased by 15% to 4.8 million carats due to the planned treatment of lower grade material at both Jwaneng and Orapa, with production targeted at levels to meet lower demand.
Namibia production decreased by 43% to 0.2 million carats as the marine fleet suspended production for part of Q3 to reflect lower demand and one vessel was in dock for planned maintenance during the period.
South African production increased to 1.2 million carats due to an expected change in ore mix, with more ore sourced from the higher grade material from the last cut of the open pit (rather than from low grade stockpiles) as the mine transitions to the underground.
Production in Canada increased by 17% to 0.9 million carats, due to treatment of higher grade material at Gahcho Kue.
Demand for rough diamonds showed signs of improvement in the quarter as Covid-19 restrictions gradually eased in cutting and polishing centres and consumer markets ahead of the key end of year holiday season.
Rough diamond sales totalled 6.6 million carats (6.5 million carats on a consolidated basis) from three sights compared with 0.3 million carats (0.2 million carats on a consolidated basis) from two sights in Q2 2020 and 7.4 million carats (7.1 million carats on a consolidated basis) from three sights in Q3 2019.
FULL YEAR GUIDANCE
Production guidance is unchanged at 25-27 million carats (100% basis), subject to continuous review based on the disruptions related to Covid-19 as well as the timing and scale of the recovery in demand.