Namibia’s diamond production jumped year-on-year by 8.7% to 368 331 carats in the second quarter of 2020, according to the country’s central bank.
The Bank of Namibia said in its latest quarterly report that the increase in diamond production is a result of more carats mined offshore largely owing to base effects, stemming from the return of the mining vessel that had gone for maintenance during the corresponding quarter in the previous year.
However, quarter-on-quarter production dropped by 28.7% from 516 597 carats, mainly due to a halt in production in the first three weeks of April 2020, owing to the stage one lockdown that was imposed by Windhoek late March 2020, to help curb the further spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mining activities were allowed to resume last April as they were reclassified as essential.
Meanwhile, the central bank said Namibia’s diamond export earnings increased both on a yearly and quarterly basis during the second quarter, mainly driven by higher volumes exported and the favourable exchange rate.
The value of rough diamond exports increased by 13.2% year-on-year to N$2.3 billion in the second quarter of 2020.
“This was mainly attributed to an increase in volumes exported as well as the depreciation of the Namibia Dollar against the US Dollar,” it said.
“The rise in volumes exported was due to the resumption of mining activities following the maintenance of one of the mining vessels in the second quarter of 2019.”
Export receipts from rough diamonds also increased quarterly by 34.5% from N$1.7 billion recorded in the preceding quarter.
This, it said, was partly attributed to the resumption of sales following the COVID-19 travel restrictions and lockdowns that had halted diamond auctions as well as the weak local currency during the period under review.
Mathew Nyaungwa, Editor in Chief of the African Bureau, Rough&Polished
Source: Rough Polished 21-10-2020