Archive for June, 2007

De Beers announced its amended production for CY2006 (from the February 9, 2007 figures). The company produced a record 51.13 Million carats in the 2006 calendar year. This was a 4.3% rise from 2005, and constitutes a world record for diamond production. The Diamond Trading Company (DTC), which is a subsidiary of De Beers Consolidated Mines, LTD; has announced its second highest profit year ever, reflecting that $6.15 Billion worth of rough stones were sold through DTC for De Beers. The DTC was set up by De Beers to handle rough diamond sales on behalf of De Beers for that parent company, and was part of De Beers answer to the world spotlight on its one time monopoly. The $6.15B figure does not reflect the sale of the 2006 production, but rather a smaller percentage of rough stones that were sold by DTC for De Beers, keeping in mind that most important and large stones are kept off the market.

De Beers also signed an 8 year with the Namibian government which is a 50/50 joint venture for Namibia, now known as the Namibian Diamond Trading Company (NDTC). In addition De Beers has continued an existing contract with Botswana for 25 more years, and has established the Diamond Trading Company Botswana (DTCB).

Even in light of recent heightened awareness of conflict stones by consumers worldwide, the world has reaffirmed that it has an unquenchable desire for diamonds. As of 2007, De Beers guarantees that 100% of its diamonds are conflict-free stones. The De Beers Group of Consolodated Mines, LTD., publication to this effect can be found here.

China and India have shown strong demand and sales growth, as well as continued growth in the US market. It is interesting to note that in the Asian markets, consistent demand for top quality diamonds is growing, particularly in the D-F color range and IF-VVS clarities. Historically Asian markets have always been a place to sell top quality diamonds for top dollar year in and year out.

It’s interesting to note that the DTC only showed a net profit of $730 Million on the books for 2006. This figure is for the entire sales year of rough diamonds for the DTC, but does not include De Beers umpteen joint ventures such as De Beers LVMH, which is a venture between the diamond cartel and Moet Hennessey Louis Vuitton SA. The most visible ties with this partner can be seen through the De Beers retail locations. This small venture which Nicky Oppenheimer – Chairman of De Beers – has said it has barely even begun the process of building, reported nearly the same amount of net profit in a 6 month period…. 2 years ago…. when it sporadically advertised the venture.

Worlds 15th largest diamond found in 2006.

The “Lesotho Promise”, a 603 Ct. perfect D color stone found at the Letsing Mine in 2006 is the world’s 15th largest rough diamond found.

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