De Beers in its Q1 2021 reports says; Rough diamond production decreased by 7% to 7.2 million carats, driven by operational challenges, including excessive rainfall in southern Africa and a Covid-19-related shutdown in Canada, as well as planned maintenance in Namibia.
In Botswana, production decreased by 12% to 5.0 million carats, driven by a 24% reduction at Orapa due to a lower grade feed to the plant in response to heavy rainfall and operational issues, including continued power supply disruptions.
Namibia production decreased by 34% to 0.3 million carats, primarily as the Mafuta vessel was under planned maintenance and another vessel remained demobilised as part of the response to lower demand implemented in Q3 2020.
South Africa production increased by 55% to 1.2 million carats due to planned treatment of higher grade ore from the final cut of the open pit.
Production in Canada decreased by 16% to 0.7 million carats, primarily as a result of a Covid-19-related suspension of operations in February.
Demand for rough diamonds in Q1 2021 recovered to pre-Covid-19 levels reflecting the replenishment of the depleted midstream, and renewed confidence by the midstream in response to the return of consumer demand for diamond jewellery in the US and China in the second half of 2020.
Rough diamond sales totalled 13.5 million carats (12.7 million carats on a consolidated basis) from three Sights, compared with 8.9 million carats (8.3 million carats on a consolidated basis) from two Sights in Q1 2020 and 6.9 million carats (6.4 million carats on a consolidated basis) from two Sights in Q4 2020.
FULL YEAR GUIDANCE
Production guidance is unchanged at 32-34 million carats (100% basis), subject to trading conditions and the extent of further Covid-19-related disruption.