De Beers has raised its production forecast for 2018 and the following years as the mine anticipates strong demand from consumers.
The diamond company expects production of 35 million to 36 million carats for the current year, the highest level since 2008, while it extracted 33.5 million carats in 2017, said it’s parent company Anglo American on Tuesday, December 11th.
Extraction levels will fall to between 31 million and 33 million carats in 2019 as the Venetia mine in South Africa will move from an open well to an underground operation, but also because of the closure of the Victor Mine in Canada. However, production will continue to rise until reaching 33 million to 35 million carats in 2020, then 35 million to 37 million carats in 2021.
The increases are mainly due to De Beers’ planned progress in Venetia during asset transition, in addition to increased production at its Botswana mines, a spokesman for the company told Rapaport News. It plans to operate a high-grade section at Venetia in 2021 which will cause a jump in total production for that year.
“Indeed, the consumer demand is also to be taken into account because, for us, demand forecasts are an integral part of the planning of our production,” added the spokesman.
De Beers had planned to extract 34 million to 36 million carats this year and 32 million carats in 2019 and 2020. Bruce Cleaver, the CEO of the mining, had predicted earlier this year a peak in global production, without any significant increase for “some time“.
De Beers’ production increased 3 percent year-over-year to 26.2 million carats in the first nine months of 2018, while its sales volume declined 11 percent to 23.9 million carats for the first nine months of the year, said Anglo American in October.