De Beers Rough diamond production increased by 6% to 8.2 million carats, reflecting strong operational performance across the assets, partially offset by the planned completion of the final cut at Venetia open pit.
In Botswana, production increased by 11% to 5.8 million carats, primarily driven by strong plant performance, particularly at Jwaneng.
Namibia production increased by 51% to 0.6 million carats, primarily driven by the continued strong performance of the Benguela Gem vessel and the treatment of higher-grade ore at the land operations.
South Africa’s production decreased by 27% to 0.9 million carats, due to the planned completion of the final cut at Venetia open pit. The mining of the open pit was completed in December and the mine will transition to underground operations in 2023.
Production in Canada increased by 7% to 0.8 million carats, primarily driven by the treatment of higher-grade ore. Midstream polished diamond inventories continued to build in the fourth quarter, as retailers restocked more cautiously amidst the growing economic uncertainty. This led to downward pressure on wholesale polished prices. However, demand for De Beers’ rough diamonds remained steady, with rough diamond sales totaling 7.3 million carats (6.6 million carats on a consolidated basis (2) from two Sights, compared with 7.7 million carats (7.2 million carats on a consolidated basis) 21 from three Sights in Q4 2021 and 9.1 million carats (8.5 million carats on a consolidated basis|21 from three Sights in Q3 2022.
The full-year consolidated average realized price increased by 35% to $197/ct (2021: $146/ct), driven by a 23% increase in the rough diamond price index, as well as selling a larger proportion of higher value rough diamonds in the first half of the year. The increase in the rough price index reflected overall positive consumer demand for diamond jewellery and was supported by De Beers’ proposition of provenance-assured diamonds.
Production guguidanceor 2023 is 30-33 million carats (100% basis), subject to trading conditions.
Unit cost guidance for 2023 is c.$80/ct.
(1) De Beers Group production is on a 100% basis, except for the Gahcho Kué joint venture which is on an attributable 51% basis.
(2) Consolidated sales volumes exclude De Beers Group’s ]V partners’ 50% proportionate share of sales to entities outside De Beers Group from the Diamond Trading Company Botswana and the
Namibia Diamond Trading Company, which is included in total sales volume (100% basis).