Anglo American’s latest production report says total De Beers production decreased by 8% to 7.9 million carats during the first quarter of 2019. This drop in output was largely credited by the Group to the by a reduction in South Africa (DBCM). Debswana, a 50:50 joint venture with the Botswana government saw production increase by 2% to 6.0 million carats.
This was driven by Jwaneng production increasing by 12%, as planned, to 3.3 million. Orapa production decreased by 7% as a result of a plant shutdown in the period. Debswana is the world’s number one diamond producer in terms of value and the world’s number two in terms of volume. The Production Report is for the first quarter ended 31 March 2019. "Improving global macroeconomic conditions remain supportive of consumer demand growth for polished diamonds in 2019," De Beers has said.
In Namibia, Namdeb Holdings’ production decreased by 9% to 0.5 million carats. This was driven by the land operation transitioning Elizabeth Bay to care and maintenance. Debmarine Namibia production was in line with Q1 2018 at 0.4 million carats. As for South Africa, DBCM production reduced by 65% to 0.4 million carats due to lower mined volumes at Venetia as it approaches the transition from open pit to underground. Voorspoed was placed onto care and maintenance in Q4 2018 in preparation for closure.
Meanwhile the Canada production reduced by 3% to 1.0 million carats due to planned lower grades at Gahcho Kué. Rough diamond sales volumes were 7.5 million carats (7.2 million carats on a consolidated basis(3)) from two sales cycles compared with 8.8 million carats (8.4 million carats on a consolidated basis(3)) from the same number of sales cycles in Q1 2018 as overall demand for low value rough diamonds remained subdued in the quarter.
Mark Cutifani, Chief Executive of Anglo American, said: “Production is 6% lower in the quarter, with two planned longwall moves at Metallurgical Coal accounting for 80% of the reduction. Isolated production issues at Venetia (De Beers), Kumba Iron Ore and Platinum Group Metals made up the balance, mitigated by stronger operational performance from Copper, with a 4% production increase, and the ramp-up at Minas-Rio, which is ahead of plan following the restart of operations in December 2018.
By the end of the quarter we had increased our production run-rate, are on track to deliver this year’s production targets and our guidance is unchanged.” The company this week also announced that full year production guidance of 31-33 million carats, a slight decline when compared to 2018 Q1 which was projected at 34-36 million carats, subject to trading conditions.
According to the report, rough diamond sales volumes were 7.5 million carats (7.2 million carats on a consolidated basis) from two sales cycles compared with 8.8 million carats (8.4 million carats on a consolidated basis3) from the same number of sales cycles in Q1 2018 as overall demand for low value rough diamonds remained subdued in the quarter.
Meanwhile Copper production increased by 4% to 161,100 tonnes due to strong plant performance and planned higher grades. On the other hand Platinum and palladium production decreased by 5% to 471,900 ounces and by 6%(2) to 326,600 ounces, respectively, due to operational challenges as well as one-off benefits in Q1 2018. The Anglo American report further states that the Kumba’s iron ore production decreased by 12% to 9.5 million tonnes due to plant maintenance.
Minas-Rio’s iron ore production increased by 61% as its ramp-up progresses well, facilitated by access to higher grade ore in the Step 3 licence area. As for Metallurgical coal, production decreased by 25% to 4.2 million tonnes with two longwall moves in the period compared to only one in Q1 2018. Thermal coal export production decreased by 2% to 6.6 million tonnes, with solid operational performance across the South African mines offset by lower production at Cerrejón due to dust management.
Production from Los Bronces increased by 8% to 91,700 tonnes, driven by higher grades (0.80% vs. 0.71%), in line with the mine plan. At Collahuasi, attributable production decreased by 5% to 57,300 tonnes reflecting planned lower grades (1.16% vs. 1.24%), partially offset by continued strong plant performance. The planned three-month shutdown of Line 3 (responsible for around 60% of plant throughput), to replace the stator motor at the second ball mill, commenced during Q2 2019. El Soldado production increased by 30% to 12,100 tonnes as a result of planned higher grades (0.84% vs. 0.67%).
China’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expanded by 3% year-on-year to 121.02 trillion yuan ($17.93 trillion) in 2022 despite being mired in various growth pressures, according to data from the National Bureau Statistics.
The annual growth rate beat a median economist forecast of 2.8% as polled by Reuters. The country’s fourth-quarter GDP growth of 2.9% also surpassed expectations for a 1.8% increase.
In 2022, the Chinese economy encountered more difficulties and challenges than was expected amid a complex domestic and international situation. However, NBS said economic growth stabilized after various measures were taken to shore up growth.
Industrial output rose 3.6% in 2022 over the previous year, while retail sales slightly shrank by 0.2% data show that fixed-asset investment increased 5.1% over 2021, with a 9.1% hike in manufacturing investment but a 10% fall in property investment.
China created 12.06 million new jobs in urban regions throughout the year, surpassing its annual target of 11 million, and officials have stressed the importance of continuing an employment-first policy in 2023.
Meanwhile, China tourism market is a step closer to robust recovery. Tourism operators are in high spirits because the market saw a good chance of a robust recovery during the Spring Festival holiday amid relaxed COVID-19 travel policies.
On January 27, the last day of the seven-day break, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism published an encouraging performance report of the tourism market. It said that domestic destinations and attractions received 308 million visits, up 23.1% year-on-year. The number is roughly 88.6% of that in 2019, they year before the pandemic hit.
According to the report, tourism-related revenue generated during the seven-day period was about 375.8 billion yuan ($55.41 billion), a year-on-year rise of 30%. The revenue was about 73% of that in 2019, the Ministry said.
The state of the art jewellery manufacturing plant that has been set up by international diamond and cutting company, KGK Diamonds Botswana will create over 100 jobs, of which 89 percent will be localized.
Local diamond and metal exploration company Tsodilo Resources Limited has negotiated a non-brokered private placement of 2,200, 914 units of the company at a price per unit of 0.20 US Dollars, which will provide gross proceeds to the company in the amount of C$440, 188. 20.
According to a statement from the group, proceeds from the private placement will be used for the betterment of the Xaudum iron formation project in Botswana and general corporate purposes.
The statement says every unit of the company will consist of a common share in the capital of the company and one Common Share purchase warrant of the company.
Each warrant will enable a holder to make a single purchase for the period of 24 months at an amount of $0.20. As per regularity requirements, the group indicates that the common shares and warrants will be subject to a four month plus a day hold period from date of closure.
Tsodilo is exempt from the formal valuation and minority shareholder approval requirements. This is for the reason that the fair market value of the private placement, insofar as it involves the director, is not more than 25% of the company’s market capitalization.
Tsodilo Resources Limited is an international diamond and metals exploration company engaged in the search for economic diamond and metal deposits at its Bosoto Limited and Gcwihaba Resources projects in Botswana. The company has a 100% stake in Bosoto which holds the BK16 kimberlite project in the Orapa Kimberlite Field (OKF) in Botswana.