05/05/2021 – Mining / Diamond / Russia / Australia / DRC / Botswana / Finbold

Russia and Australia account for more than half of all diamond mined in 2020
Russia and Australia account for more than half of all diamond mined in 2020

Data analysed by Finbold indicates that just three countries produced nearly 80 per cent of all the estimated 54 million carats of natural diamond produced in 2020 globally – with Russia and Australia combined accounting for more than half of all mined diamond last year.

Russia tops with a share of 35.18 per cent (19 million carats), followed by Australia with 22.22 per cent (12 million carats) – the two countries thus cumulatively accounting for more than half (57 per cent) of all mined diamonds in 2020. The Democratic Republic of Congo also produced 12 million carats of diamond.

Botswana ranks fourth with a share of 9.25 per cent (five million carats), ahead of South Africa with 5.55 per cent (three million carats) global share of mined natural diamonds. 

Elsewhere, Zimbabwe mined two million carats (or 3.7 per cent), while other countries combined accounted for a share of 1.85 per cent or one million carats.

Pandemic disrupts diamond-mining operations

The report overviews the conditions of diamond mining in 2020, and how the sector was affected in general. 

According to the research report: “In general, global industrial diamond production faced various challenges as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Leading mining companies were forced to suspend operations as governments imposed lockdowns aiming to contain the spread of the virus. Similarly, with mining being a non-essential operation, workers were sent home as a safety measure.”

Before the pandemic hit, the diamond sector looked forward to a bullish future, giving miners optimism to extract more of the precious stone. 

The report notes that: “Overall, most miners began the year on a bright note, backed with improving customer sentiments across critical markets with soaring demand. However, the pandemic halted demand after miners cancelled and delayed sales. Furthermore, major diamond shows were scrapped due to health and travel restrictions as prices dropped.”

Russia also top dog for diamond reserves

Alongside heading up the list as the top diamond producer, Russia also accounts for the highest share of natural diamond reserves globally at an estimated 650 million carats. Botswana comes a distant second with reserves of 310 million carats.

Elsewhere, the Democratic Republic of Congo ranks third with estimated 150 million carats in reserves, while South Africa has 130 million carats in diamonds. Australia has an estimated reserve of 25 million carats, while other countries collectively account for 120 million carats.

Read the full story with statistics here

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