The New York Times article on Alrosa, which I blogged about the other day, has stirred a lot of talk in the trade, particularly this statement: “Russia quietly passed a milestone this year: surpassing De Beers as the world’s largest diamond producer.”
De Beers begs to differ, as you can hear from spokeswoman Lynette Gould:
It is unclear what criteria inform this statement but we believe it to be untrue. De Beers continues to hold around 40% of the market share and is proud to be industry leader. There might be some confusion between “producer” and “seller” in the NYT article. De Beers is, without doubt, the world’s leading diamond mining and marketing company. Given that production levels in Q1 were an anomaly, and 7 months remain in 2009, we believe it’s premature to have made this statement.
Debswana, the biggest contributor to the Group, had a production holiday for most of Q1 which of course had an impact on our production figures, but we expect higher production levels to prevail for the remainder of 2009 as Debswana go back to work.