London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 28 April 2010 – Diamond mining giant De Beers “’ the producer of about 40% of the world’s rough diamonds “’ says demand for gems at its fourth sale of the year was strong, and that production in 2010 may increase by 30%.
“Output may extend gains in 2011 to 40 million carats from a projected 30 million this year,” the company added in an e-mailed response to questions from Bloomberg News. “First-quarter sales were almost three times higher than last year,” it said.
De Beers cut production 91% at the start of 2009 as recessions in the U.S. and Europe slashed prices for the stones. “Rough diamond prices have since jumped 28%,” a De Beers presentation posted on parent Anglo American Plc’s Web showed.
“As the economic recovery continues, our production levels are increasing,” the company said in its e-mail. “Our current production plan is appropriate for the market.”
Global industry output peaked at about 160 million carats in 2007 and may decline to about 120 million carats in the next 10 years or so as “no new material production is expected to come on line in the near future,” according to a copy of the analysts’ presentation.
De Beers’ production may peak at about 40 million carats a year from 2011, the Financial Times reports, citing De Beers managing director Gareth Penny.
“Given the sale of some of the De Beers assets over recent years the fact is we don’t have the capacity to produce those sort of historic highs that we have seen in the past,” De Beers said in the email.