De Beers “’ looking
forward to a revival
in the demand for
diamonds
 
Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 08 February 2010 – Diamond giant De Beers “’ the largest diamond mining company in the world “’ is looking forward to a revival in the demand for diamonds this year.

Managing director of De Beers Consolidated Mines (DBCM) David Noko is quoted by Fin24 as saying that he would like to see the demand for diamonds again reach the 51 million carats sold in 2008. In 2009 diamond sales fell 30% owing to the global recession.

Noko said he was not overoptimistic that the recession was completely over, although demand for diamonds had increased in January. The increased demand could be ascribed to a number of factors.

Noko added that at this stage it was not clear whether there was a welcome recovery in demand, or whether the demand was simply the result of low stocks. During the recession many dealers had sold the stocks that they had and had not replenished them. It could be that they were now restocking in order to offer a wider product range.

In October and November production at DBCM’s mines was increased after having been tremendously downscaled earlier last year. Noko said that in last year’s difficult conditions the company’s operations had been restructured.

From time to time every business requires adjustments in order to survive and ensure sustainability, which ultimately leads to growth, Noko explained.

At De Beers’ Kimberley mines 2.6 million tonnes of ore from old mine dumps were processed last year, producing 397 011 carats of diamonds.

Kimberley mines operations manager Christie Pisane said the old mine dumps could be worked until 2018 if processing costs could be reduced. Should both processing costs be reduced and processes improved, the dumps could be worked until 2030, he added.

De Beers will announce its results for the financial year to end-December this week.