De Beers’ rough diamond production increased by 4% to 9.57 million carats during Q3 2022, primarily due to the treatment of higher grade ore at both Orapa (Botswana) and in South Africa, and continued strong performance in Namibia. Year-to-date output was 8% higher, at 26.45 million carats.
In Botswana, production increased by 4% to 6.6 million carats, primarily driven by treatment of higher grade ore at Orapa, partly offset by processing lower grade ore at Jwaneng.
Namibia production increased by 33% to 0.5 million carats, primarily driven by continued strong performance from the Benguela Gem vessel. South Africa production increased by 5% to 1.7 million carats, driven by the treatment of higher grade ore and the benefit of plant upgrades. Production in Canada decreased by 7% to 0.7 million carats, due to the treatment of lower grade ore and the impact of tight labour markets.
De Beers said demand for rough diamonds remained steady, with rough diamond sales totalling 9.1 million carats (8.5 million carats on a consolidated basis) from three Sights, compared with 7.8 million carats (7.0 million carats on a consolidated basis) from two Sights in Q3 2021 and 9.4 million carats (8.3 million carats on a consolidated basis) from three Sights in Q2 2022. While consumer demand for natural diamonds continues to be robust, a deterioration of global economic conditions, reduced consumer spending and continued Chinese Covid-19 lockdowns have the potential to impact demand for diamond jewellery, it added.
De Beers’ production guidance for 2022 remained unchanged at 32–34 million carats (100% basis), subject to trading conditions and the extent of further Covid-19 related disruptions. “In line with normal seasonal trends, we anticipate that sales in the final quarter of the year will be affected by the normal temporary closure of cutting and polishing factories for the religious holidays in India,” the company noted.
Unit cost guidance for 2022 is unchanged at c.$65/ct.