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Report: Global diamond output decreasing

May 16, 2012

HARARE: Global diamond output has declined by at least 20% as major mines struggle to find new reserves to replace depleting assets, according to a report from the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme (KPCS).

The production of rough diamonds worldwide has depleted by about 20% at 120 million carats last year compared to 150 million carats in 2007, New Ziana quoted the report as saying.

Production at many of the world’s biggest mines was falling as supplies of more accessible diamonds near the surface are depleted.

The fall in reserves has been particularly noted in large diamond producing nations like Botswana where mining began in 1971.

Sanjay Kothari, vice-chairman of Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) of India, said diminishing diamond output was worrisome.

“Depleting diamond production in the world is a cause for concern. But we have Zimbabwe and other African countries where the rough diamonds reserve is quite high and remain largely unexplored. We have to tap these countries in order to satisfy the needs of the diamond industry,” he said.

India is the world’s largest consumer of rough diamonds, having imported at least US$11 billion worth of unpolished diamonds.

A recent research by US consultancy firm Bain and Co stated that the use of diamonds may grow at double the pace of supply through 2020 due to an expanding middle class in India and China.

An estimated 65% of the world’s diamonds come from African countries.

Currently, Botswana is the top diamond producing nation in the world by value followed by Russia and Canada.

Zimbabwe is the world’s seventh largest diamond producer and is tipped to become the world’s third largest producer by the end of this decade.



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