Feb 09, 2024

Rough diamonds used for the Talisman collection. © De Beers Jewellers, NYC

De Beers’ 2023 Diamond Output -8% To 31.9 Million Carats

De Beers recorded a 3% decline in rough diamond production to 7.9 million carats, primarily due to the planned reduction in South Africa as Venetia transitions to underground operations, partly offset by higher production from Botswana.

The company’s full-year 2023 diamond output decreased 8% to 31.9 million carats from 34.6 million carats in 2022.

In Botswana, Q4 production increased by 6% to 6.1 million carats, principally driven by increased plant throughput at Orapa due to planned lower maintenance. Full-year Botswana output was 2% to 24.7 million carats.

Production in Namibia decreased by 4% to 0.6 million carats in Q4, due to marginally lower grades at the land operations, but full-year output grew 9% to 2.32 million carats.

In South Africa, Q4 production decreased by 54% to 0.4 million carats, due to the planned end of Venetia's open pit operations in December 2022. Venetia will continue to process lower grade surface stockpiles as the underground operations ramp-up production over the next few years. Full-year output from South Africa plummeted 64% to 2.00 million carats.

Q4 production in Canada decreased by 3% to 0.79 million carats, due to planned treatment of lower grade ore, and 2023 output grew 1% to 2.83 million carats.

De Beers offered full flexibility for rough diamond allocations in Sights 9 and 10, as Sightholders continued to take a cautious approach to their purchasing during the quarter as a result of the prevailing market conditions and extended cutting and polishing factory closures in India; this followed a two-month voluntary import moratorium on rough diamonds into India during the period. Consequently, rough diamond sales totalled 2.7 million carats from two Sights, compared with 7.3 million carats from two Sights in Q4 2022, and 7.4 million carats from three Sights in Q3 2023.

The full-year consolidated average realised price decreased by 25% to $147/ct (2022: $197/ct), reflecting a larger proportion of lower value rough diamonds being sold, as well as a 6% decrease in the average rough price index.

De Beers said its production guidance for 2024 remained unchanged at 29-32 million carats with a unit cost guidance of c.$80/carat.