De Beers Increases Diamond Production to Meet Expected Demand


De Beers Canada has ramped up output at its Snap Lake diamond mine in Canada's Northwest Territories following a forecast that says demand for diamond should rise in 2010.

In 2008 De Beers lowered output at the Snap Lake and Victor mines due to declining demand.

De Beers Canada chief executive Jim Gowans told Reuters the company is predicting a 10% or more hike in diamond demand in 2010 compared to this year.

"We're anticipating what I would call a slow steady rebound over about two, three years, maybe four years," Gowans said.

In September this year, De Beers cancelled a previously proposed one-month shut-down of the mine in winter.

Gowans said the Snap Lake mine is back on target to achieving full production.

"We never actually did get Snap Lake ramped up to full production, because we brought it into production in 2008 and promptly put it on restricted production," Gowans said.

"It'll take about one and half, two years to get it back up."

The mine is expected to generate 500,000 carats this year and eventually produce slightly more than 1.5 million carats per annum.