De Beers sees 14,7-milllion carats in 2007

South Africa’s unit of the world’s top diamond producer De Beers said on Monday it expects to produce 14,7-million carats in 2007, and saw a decline in output of two million carats in 2008.

“We are projecting 14,7-million carats for 2007, with a reduction of two million carats in 2008 as a result of the lost volume from those operations that we are disposing of,” David Noko, managing director of De Beers Consolidated Mines told Reuters.

“Very soon we will level at 12-million carats into the future,” Noko said.

De Beers is 45% owned by Anglo American.

Noko said the company would see a rise in output later in 2007 when its sea mining operations start contributing about 240 000 carats.

He also said the company’s Voorspoed mine would start production in 2008, and would produce one million carats when in full production.

De Beers sold off its loss-making Kimberley Underground mine in the Northern Cape province, which it closed in late 2005, to Petra Diamonds and has said it also intends to dispose of its Cullinan mine. - Reuters

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