HONG KONG (AFP) – The De Beers diamond cartel warned Tuesday that global production will decline from 2020, a trend that could spell pricier bling for consumers.
A dearth of major new diamond finds means that production might not keep up with ever-increasing demand.
“Unless major new discoveries are made in the coming years, supply can be
expected to decline gradually from 2020,” De Beers said, forecasting rocky times ahead for the $85 billion a year industry.
Existing mines in Botswana, South Africa and Namibia are becoming depleted and the need to dig deeper has made operations less profitable.
De Beers said exploration has now turned to Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, Arctic Siberia and Canada.
But the last major mine discovery came a decade ago in India, at Rio Tinto’s yet to be completed Bunder project.
Still, a shortage of supply might not necessarily be bad news for the Luxembourg-based firm, which accounts for around 33 per cent of overall rough diamond sales.