Debswana production slumps 29%

Debswana production slumps 29%

In the 12 months ending December 2020, Debswana’s overall production decreased by 29 percent to 16.6 million carats (2019: 23.3 million carats), after volumes at Jwaneng reduced by 40 percent to 7.5 million carats (2019: 12.5 million carats), Anglo American the mother company of De Beers announced.

Production at Orapa decreased by 16 percent to 9.0 million carats (2019: 10.8 million carats), Anglo says this was largely due to a nationwide lockdown from 2 April to 18 May, and the planned treatment of lower grade material at both Jwaneng and Orapa, following their restart, as a production response to lower demand. Both mines substantially reconfigured their mining operations to preserve costs in light of the lower levels of production, thereby preserving the mining margin.

In Namibia, production decreased by 15 percent to 1.4 million carats (2019: 1.7 million carats), primarily due to the suspension of marine mining during part of the third quarter in response to lower demand. Production at the land operation decreased by 21 percent, principally as a result of the Covid-19-related shutdown.

In South Africa, production increased to 3.8 million carats (2019: 1.9 million carats) as the reductions experienced in the first half due to the national shutdown were more than offset by an expected increase in grade as the ore from the last cut of the open pit is processed as the mine transitions to underground operations.

In Canada, production decreased by 15 percent to 3.3 million carats (2019: 3.9 million carats) principally reflecting Victor reaching the end of its life in the first half of 2019. Gahcho Kué production decreased by 4 percent to 3.3 million carats (2019: 3.5 million carats) as a result of the implementation of Covid-19 workforce protection measures.

De Beers’ rough diamond production decreased by 18 percent to 25.1 million carats (2019: 30.8 million carats) owing to lower demand due to the pandemic and the Covid–19-related shutdowns in southern Africa during the first half of the year.