De Beers diamond production slid 10 percent to 6.9 million carats in the first quarter as the miner reduced output in response to market conditions.
Production from Debswana, a joint venture with the Botswanan government, fell 5 percent to 5.3 million carats in the three months to March 31, De Beers said. Output from the Orapa project in the African country slumped 23 percent, outweighing a 15-percent increase in production at the Jwaneng mine.
Output from Namdeb and De Beers Consolidated Mines, the company’s joint ventures in Namibia and South Africa respectively, also declined. Gem recovery from De Beers Canada dived 68 percent as the Snap Lake mine was put on care and maintenance in December 2015.
De Beers also reported consolidated sales by volume dropped 10 percent to 7.6 million carats, reflecting one fewer sight in the quarter compared with a year ago. Sequentially, the quarterly sales rose from 3.6 million carats as trading conditions in the January-March period were better, according to the miner.