De Beers’ rough diamond production increased by 15% to 7.7 million carats for Q4 2021, reflecting planned higher production of rough diamonds to meet continued strong levels of demand.
In Botswana, production increased by 23% to 5.2 million carats primarily as a result of the planned treatment of higher grade ore at Jwaneng, partly offset by lower production at Orapa due to the planned closure of Plant 1 in late 2020.
Its Namibia production increased by 16% to 0.4 million carats reflecting a reduction in the scheduled maintenance time for the marine fleet. In South Africa, production was in line with the prior year at 1.3 million carats, as planned plant maintenance in Q4 2021 was offset by processing of higher grade ore.
Production in Canada was broadly flat, it noted.
“Demand for rough diamonds remained robust, with positive midstream sentiment and strong demand for diamond jewellery continuing over the holiday period, particularly in the key US consumer market. Rough diamond sales totalled 7.7 million carats from three Sights, compared with 6.9 million carats from two Sights in Q4 2020, and 7.8 million carats from two Sights in Q3 2021.
The full-year consolidated average realised price increased by 10% to $146/ct (2020: $133/ct), primarily as a result of positive market sentiment which gave rise to a strengthening of the rough price index, De Beers noted.
De Beers’ production guidance for 2022 is 30-33 million carats (100% basis), subject to trading conditions and the extent of further Covid-19-related disruptions.