Africa: Global Diamond Production Declines

Global diamond output in 2011 declined by 3,4 percent to 123, 989 million carats from 128,3 million carats the year before, latest statistics from the Kimberley Process show. The diamond industry has been struggling as major mines in top producing countries begin to age, coupled with the economic crisis in the eurozone, which has sapped demand.

“It should be said that the downward trend in global diamond production will continue to develop mainly due to the exhaustion of mine fields,” KP said in a report.

“Also given the difficult market conditions, we can expect that diamond miners will cut production in line with falling demand for rough gems.”

According to the figures, Russia was the top producer having upped its rough diamond production by 0,8 percent to 35,1 million carats followed by Botswana which churned out 22,9 million carats, an increase of 4 percent.

The statistics show that third placed DRC and fourth-placed Canada recorded a 13 percent and 8,8 percent decline in their production respectively. Zimbabwe, which ranked fifth, recorded a marginal increase of 0,7 percent to reach 8,5 million carats from 8,4 million carats in 2010.

Angola, South Africa, Australia and Namibia complete the top nine producers in the world for 2011, having recorded sharp declines in their production levels. Meanwhile, the KP said the total value of rough diamonds produced in 2011 increased to US$14,4 billion from US$11,39 billion in 2010 and US$8,26 billion in 2009.

However, the KP noted that Zimbabwe’s gems were not fetching favourable prices on the markets mainly due to embargoes imposed on some of its diamond mining firms by the US.

While other countries, including Namibia sold their gems for as high as US$694 per carat, Zimbabwe’s diamonds sold for US$56 per carat.

According to the KP, India and China remained the biggest consumers of rough diamonds in the world.

“India is still the largest final consumer of rough diamonds, the country imported 132 095 million carats of rough diamonds.

“The second largest diamond cutting centre is China, where net imports of rough diamonds in 2011 totaled 6 095 million carats.”

Zimbabwe, with a huge resources base of between 60 000 and 70 000 hectares in the Marange diamond fields, has potential to supply 25 percent of global demand and has also been tipped to become the third largest producer by the end of this decade.

But its potential is being stifled by Western countries led by the United States which have been trying to block Harare from marketing its diamonds.

This is in spite of the green light that the country has obtained from the global diamond watchdog, the Kimberly Process, to freely market its gems on the international markets.


New Ziana



Posted by on Aug 12 2012. Filed under Business. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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