De Beers' diamond mines produced 16% less in the first quarter of the year as compared to the same period in 2011, while it focused its efforts on waste stripping and mine maintenance. Diamond mining company Anglo American, the largest owner of shares of De Beers, announced the results in its interim management statement, according to a report in National Jeweler.
While De Beers mines produced 7.4 million carats of rough diamonds between January and March 2011, their output fell to only 6.2 million carats during the same months in 2012. The figure was also 4% lower than the fiscal quarter immediately preceding it, during which De Beers mines produced 6.5 million carats.
Anglo American will soon own a full 85% of diamond company De Beers, since the Oppenheimer family announced in November 2011 that they planned to sell their own 40% share in De Beers to Anglo American, who already own 45% to begin with. Two more South African regulatory boards need to give their approval to the sale in order to make it final.