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Q4 2017

Rough diamond production for Q4 2017 increased five per cent to 8.1 million carats, reflecting stronger trading conditions as well as the contribution from the ramp-up of Gahcho Kué in Canada.


Production increased marginally to 5.5 million carats. Orapa’s production increased 14 per cent, mainly due to planned increases in plant performance, and the ramp-up of Plant 1, which was previously on partial care and maintenance in response to trading conditions in late 2015. This was partially offset by Jwaneng where production decreased 15 per cent due to expected lower grades.


Production increased 14 per cent to 488,000 carats, mainly due to higher grades at Namdeb’s land operations.


Production decreased 17 per cent to 1.1 million carats largely as a result of planned sequencing of ore sources at Venetia, where the increase in tonnes treated was more than offset by a reduction in grade.


Production doubled to 993,000 carats due to the ramp-up of Gahcho Kué, which reached nameplate capacity in Q2 2017.


Consolidated rough diamond sales volumes2 in Q4 2017 were 7.5 million carats (2016: 7.5 million carats). Total sales volumes (100 per cent),2 which are comparable to production, were 8.2 million carats in Q4 2017 (Q4 2016: 8.0 million carats).

For the full year, consolidated sales volumes2 were 33.1 million carats (2016: 30.0 million carats). Total sales volumes (100 per cent),2 which are comparable to production, were 35.1 million carats (2016: 32.0 million carats).

The full year consolidated average realised price3 of US$162/ct was 13 per cent lower than in 2016. This reflected strong demand in Sight 1 2017 for lower value goods held in stock at 31 December 2016, following a recovery from the initial impact of India’s demonetisation programme in late 2016, as well as the ramp-up of production from lower value per carat but high margin operations, including Orapa and Gahcho Kué. The lower value mix was partially offset by a higher average rough price index, up three per cent compared with 2016.


1 De Beers production is on a 100 per cent basis, except for the Gahcho Kué joint venture which is on an attributable 51 per cent basis.
2 Consolidated sales volumes exclude De Beers’ JV partners’ 50 per cent proportionate share of sales to entities outside De Beers from the Diamond Trading Company Botswana and the Namibia Diamond Trading Company, which are included in total sales volume (100 per cent basis). Both measures include pre-commercial production sales volumes from Gahcho Kué. Full year consolidated sales volumes excluding pre-commercial production sales volumes from Gahcho Kué were 32.5 million carats (2016: 30.0 million carats).
3 Consolidated average realised price based on 100 per cent selling value post-aggregation and excludes pre-commercial production sales from Gahcho Kué.