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De Beers Q3 Rough Sales -27.5% To 5M Cts.; Production -5% To 8.7M Cts.

De Beers reported that its rough diamond sales volumes were 5 million carats (4.6 million carats on a consolidated basis) from two sales cycles in the third quarter of 2018, a 27.5 percent drop compared with the 6.9 million carats (6.5 million carats on a consolidated basis) from two sales cycles in Q3 2017.

Rough sales volumes were down as a result of Sightholders being given the opportunity during the seventh Sight of 2018 to re-phase the allocation of some smaller, lower value rough diamonds. Rough sales revenues were broadly in line with Q3 2017.

Rough diamond production for the quarter decreased five per cent to 8.7 million carats due to planned volume reductions in Botswana (Debswana) and South Africa (De Beers Consolidated Mines).

In Botswana, production declined six per cent to 5.7 million carats due to the planned processing of lower grade material at Jwaneng. Production at Orapa remained in line with Q3 2017 at 2.6 million carats.

In Namibia, production was flat at 460,000 carats, while in South Africa, production decreased 14 per cent to 1.3 million carats due to a planned shutdown at Venetia to upgrade the processing plant ahead of the transition from open cut to underground operations.

At its Canadian operations, De Beers said production increased five per cent to 1.2 million carats, driven by higher grades at Victor, which is approaching the end of its life. Gahcho Kué production was in line with Q3 2017. 

The company said its full year production guidance remains at 34 to 36 million carats, but is expected to be at the higher end of the range.

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