De Beers's Gahcho Kué mine in Canada
De Beers reported a 14 percent drop in rough diamond production in the third quarter of the year, which it attributed to weak demand due to macroeconomic uncertainties and a challenging midstream market.
Output was down to 7.4 million carats in Q3 2019 from 8.7 million in the same period last year. Year-to-date figures also showed a 12 percent decline to 23 million from 26.2 million.
The miner said planned reductions in South Africa and Canada also contributed to lower production.
Rough diamond sales amounted to 7.4 million carats from three sales cycles, compared to 5 million carats from two sales cycles in Q3 2018.
“Rough sales volumes were therefore higher due to an additional sales cycle in the period compared with the previous year; however, overall demand for rough diamonds remains subdued due to challenges in the midstream with higher polished inventories and caution due to macroeconomic uncertainty,” noted De Beers.
The company’s full-year production guidance remains unchanged at approximately 31 million carats, subject to trading conditions.