Rough diamond production increased by 134% to 8.2 million carats, reflecting planned higher production to meet stronger demand for rough diamonds, as well as the impact of Covid-19 lockdowns across southern Africa in Q2 2020.
In Botswana, production increased by 214% to 5.7 million carats, reflecting the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown in Q2 2020.
Namibia production decreased by 6% to 0.3 million carats, primarily due to planned maintenance of the Mafuta vessel which completed in the quarter and another vessel remaining demobilised.
South Africa production increased by 130% to 1.3 million carats due to planned treatment of higher grade ore from the final cut of the Venetia open pit, as well as the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown in Q2 2020.
Production in Canada increased by 14% to 0.9 million carats, primarily reflecting the impact of the Covid-19 measures implemented in Q2 2020.
Consumer demand for polished diamonds continued to recover, leading to strong demand for rough diamonds from midstream cutting and polishing centres, despite the impact on capacity from the severe Covid-19 wave in India during April and May. Rough diamond sales totalled 7.3 million carats(2) (6.5 million carats on a consolidated basis)(2)(3) from two Sights, reflecting the impact of the reduced Indian midstream capacity on Sight 4, compared with 0.3 million carats (0.2 million carats on a consolidated basis)(3) from two Sights in Q2 2020, and 13.5 million carats (12.7 million carats on a consolidated basis)(3) from three Sights in Q1 2021.
The H1 2021 consolidated average realised price increased by 13% to $135/ct (H1 2020: $119/ct), driven by an increased proportion of higher value rough diamonds sold. While the average price index remained broadly flat, the closing index increased by 14% compared to the start of 2021, reflecting tightness in inventories across the diamond value chain as well as positive consumer demand for polished diamonds.
Full Year Guidance
Production guidance(1) is tightened to 32–33 million carats (100% basis) (previously 32-34 million carats (100% basis)), subject to trading conditions and the extent of any further Covid-19 related disruptions.