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De Beers Botswana targets highest diamond production since 2014

Miner aiming for 22 million carats this year, above target.

De Beers, the world’s biggest diamond producer by value, said its unit in Botswana is on track to produce the most since 2014 this year, exceeding its annual production forecast.

Debswana, as the local division is known, will likely produce 22 million carats this year, exceeding its 20.5 million-carat target, Gareth Mostyn, De Beers’s executive head of strategy, said in a July 27 interview in Gaborone, the capital. De Beers, which also has operations in Canada, Namibia and South Africa, kept its total forecast for the year at 31 to 33 million carats.

Global diamond sales edged up 0.3% last year to $80 billion as rising demand from the US, which accounts for more than half of the world’s purchases, offset declines in India and China, according to a De Beers report in June. The Anglo American unit is forecasting more demand from Asia this year, leading to “marginal” growth.

“The market has been looking quite robust and we have decided to produce in order to supply that,” Mostyn said.

Botswana production has been helped by the return of a 46-year-old processing plant at Orapa, which was partially idled in December 2015 due to weak demand.

© 2017 Bloomberg

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