De Beers Group, the world’s largest diamond mining company, has published the results from its second sales cycle for 2023, identifying another decrease in sales.
De Beers hosts 10 sales cycles each year, with the second running from 20 February through 7 March.
Provisional sales totalling $US495 million ($AU750.6 million) were completed, a significant decline compared with the $US652 million ($AU988 million) in sales realised in 2022.
New De Beers CEO Al Cook was unperturbed by the 24 per cent year-on-year decline in sales and said he expects sightholders to purchase more aggressively in the later stages of the year.
“In this, my first sight update to the market, I am pleased to see continued steady demand for rough diamonds in line with our expectations for sales as the year progresses.
“For example, we know that sightholders planned more of their purchases for later in 2023, given the economic uncertainty at the time they were taking their planning decisions at the end of 2022. It is also encouraging to see some positive trends in end client demand for diamond jewellery at the start of the year.”
Cook has assumed the role of CEO from Bruce Cleaver, who has transitioned to a new role with parent company Anglo American.
Prior to joining De Beers, Cook was executive vice president of exploration and production international at Equinor, Norway’s state-owned petroleum company.
Cook released a statement on LinkedIn on his first day as CEO and highlighted a number of key objectives for his time as leader of the world’s largest diamond mining company.
“Although today is my first as an employee of De Beers, I have spent as much time as possible building my understanding of the industry. The more I learn, the more people I meet, the more impressed I am,” Cook said.
“My first priority in every visit will be safety. Over 27 years in the energy business, including three years in offshore operations, I’ve learned that we have to put safety first,” he said.
Once working as a geologist by trade, Cook said he has always been fascinated by gemstones and that he is looking forward to encouraging further industrial innovation.
“One thing has surprised me for a company as historic as De Beers, there is a strong spirit of innovation,” he continued.
“Whether it’s pioneering the use of blockchain so that a customer knows exactly where their diamond has come from, building the world’s most advance diamond recovery vessel, or exploring for new kimberlite pipes deep inside the earth, I keep finding amazing technology everywhere.”
Attention now turns to the third De Beers sales cycle (27-31 March) in light of recent suggestions by US trade bodies that further sanctions will be placed on Russian diamonds mined by De Beers rival Alrosa.
Sales performance overcomes sluggish second half for De Beers
US diamond traders told to prepare for new sanctions
Weakened demand impacts De Beers sales
De Beers extends sightholder contracts
Modest sales for De Beers amid interruptions
De Beers releases eighth cycle outcome, discovery in Zimbabwe
De Beers CEO forecasts Diwali disruption to diamond sales
Strong sales for De Beers amid robust demand