Diamonds “’ Namibian
production doubles
 
Windhoek, Namibia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 08 October 2010 – Diamond production in Namibia over the first eight months of 2010 doubled compared with the same period last year due to a recovery in overseas demand, according to Ministry of Mines and Energy.

A statement issued by the ministry here said Namibia mined close to 1.1 million carats between January and August, compared with 552 000 for the same period in 2009. Month-on-month production increased by 29.3% in August and by 59.5% compared to the same month last year.

Meanwhile, the value of carats sold between January and August was close to US$3 billion (R21 billion), a gain of 21.6% from the same period last year.

“The higher production and sales figures are caused by growing demand, not by new resources,” Windhoek bank economist John Steytler said.

“Recessionary conditions eased a bit and diamond prices also recovered, driving up demand. Still, the sales increase is lower than the production increase, indicating stockpiling on the side of the industry,” he added. “This is in anticipation of yet better demand and prices in the future.”

Namdeb “’ a 50-50 joint venture between De Beers and the Namibian government “’ said in August that it would invest US$1 billion (R7 billion) in the next 10 years to extend the life of its diamond mining operations near the coastal town of Oranjemund.

De Beers is 45% owned by mining giant Anglo American.