Windhoek, Namibia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 02 October 2009 – Namibia’s diamond production more than doubled in the second quarter of 2009, compared with the first three months of the year, according to Bank of Namibia deputy governor Paul Hartmann.
Revealing this to reporters in the Namibian capital, he pointed out that second-quarter output of the gems had nevertheless declined by 48%, compared with production a year earlier. He also did not reveal the actual number of carats mined in the second quarter of 2009.
“This production increase for the second quarter of 2009 is attributed to the fact that on-shore mining operations resumed during this period after the production holiday since the fourth quarter of 2008,” Hartmann explained. “Output during the remainder of 2009 is expected to be lower than in 2008 as the world financial crisis continues to depress demand,” he added.
Namibia is the only country where diamonds are mined offshore. Namdeb “’ the country’s biggest producer of the gems “’ is a joint venture between the Namibian government and De Beers, the world’s largest diamond producer. Diamonds vie with tourism and fishing as Namibia’s biggest foreign-exchange earners.
Hartman went on to reveal that output at AngloGold Ashanti Limited’s Navachab Gold Mine declined 19% in the quarter, compared with a year earlier, while quarter-on-quarter production fell 33% to 410 kilograms “’ the lowest in three years, according to the central bank. “This resulted from operational problems experienced by the mine during the second quarter of 2009,” Hartman said.