Rough diamond production in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is projected to increase to 17 million carats (Mct) by 2020, driven by demand from the jewellery industry and an increase in global supply, says a report by Timetric.
Entitled 'Diamond Mining in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to 2020', the report reveals that the country suffered a slight fall of 0.2% in rough diamond production in 2014 due to a reduction in production from artisanal mining operations.
However, it remained the leading producer and exporter of rough diamonds worldwide with 15.7Mct production in 2014.
Rough diamonds in the country are produced mainly through artisanal and small-scale mining and roughly one-third of it is smuggled to neighbouring countries every year.
With rich deposits of diamond, coal, gold, copper, cobalt, zinc, uranium, tin, silver, manganese, tungsten and cadmium, the Congolese mining industry is the mainstay of the country's economy. It accounted for 21% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014.
The country has important diamond reserves located in the Kasai Occidental and Kasai Oriental provinces. With 150Mct of diamond reserves, the Democratic Republic of the Congo had the world's second biggest diamond reserves in 2014, which represented 20.5% of the total global reserves.
The Congolese Ministry of Mines governs the country's diamond industry, with Mwana Africa Plc being a leading mining company.