De Beers' 3rd quarter diamond production falls by 31 pct due to mine accident in BotswanaComtex News Network
GABORONE, Oct 25, 2012 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- World diamond giant De Beers'production fell 31 percent to 6.37 million carats in the thirdquarter of 2012 from 9.3 million carats in the same period of lastyear.
De Beers' parent company Anglo American said in a statement onThursday that the significant fall is largely in response tomarket conditions and slope failure in its Jwaneng mine inBotswana in June 2012 which temporarily prevented access to themain ore body.
The company said market conditions reflect a combination of asoftening in the polished diamond market and a credit-constrainedrough diamond market.
De Beers continues to focus its operations on maintenance,waste stripping and safety improvements, which has been itsstrategy since the fourth quarter of 2011 and will help ensurethat its mines are well positioned to respond to an increase indemand once market conditions improve.
As a result, De Beers production fell 20 percent to 19.82million carats during the first nine months of 2012.
As production has declined, De Beers said earlier that it willbe unable to meet sight holder short-term demand as expressed bytheir initial applications for goods for the year.
De Beers rough sales to sight holders have decreased by 17percent to 4.74 billion U. S. dollars in the first 10 months of2012, according to Rapaport estimates.
Anglo American owns 85 percent of De Beers with Botswana'sgovernment holding the remaining 15 percent.
Botswana's Jwaneng diamond mine was hit by a collapse of themine walls in at the end of June, trapping 16 workers, and 15 ofthem was rescued not long after rescue team got to work, while theremaining miner died on site.
Following the mishap, Jwaneng Mine has suspended its dailyproduction until the recent completion of investigations into theaccident. Jwaneng mine's spokesperson Louis Baseki told mediarecently that the mine is currently engaging various internalstakeholders on the findings.
Baseki said the affected area of the pit has been barricaded,with mining now being done at other parts of the mine.
Jwaneng mine is one of the four big diamond mines operated byDe Beers in Botswana. It is the world's richest diamond mine byvalue.