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1990: Diamond Mining Journal Expects Rise in Diamond Production in 21st Century

Summer 1999

Two sets of figures are shown here, one from the prestigious, authoritative London-based publication the Mining Journal, which has connections to mining companies all over the world, including De Beers. On the right are figures from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the successor of the U.S. Bureau of Mines, which has experts for each country or region and has at its disposal the U.S. embassies and State Department information. Each set of figures tells a different story.

As one can see from the figures in most cases, they are very close with one notable exception, the Congo where the difference is 10 million carats. The DRB has posed the question of the discrepancy to both organizations and the replies have been inconclusive, as neither organization has particularly firm information for that area.

Chris Hinde, Editorial Director of the Mining Journal said, “The diamond production figures for Congo are only estimates. Our correspondent provides what he believes is the actual figure whilst the USGS must (I assume) rely upon quoted figures.”

The 1997 total according to the Mining Journal was 117.0 million carats, an 8.8 million increase. On the other hand, if one is to believe the USGS numbers, in 1997 the total was 121 million carats and this year 115 million, a drop of 6 million carats. In short, the USGS shows world production as down and the Mining Journal shows it to be up.

Neither organization has an absolute number, both agree that the Congo remains a question mark due to possible smuggling and unreported production from individual mining concerns. In any case, for 1999 we expect the total figures to be quite a bit higher with the new Canadian mines coming on-line and with the Diavik mine and others coming into full production in the 21st century we can expect production to continue to rise.

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