Namibian diamond production increased 102% in 2010 as diamond sales value rose, signalling a post-downturn recovery.

Figures released by the Namibian Ministry of Mines and Energy show that diamond production for the first five months of 2010 was 580,000 carats, compared with 929,006 carats for the whole of 2009, a 102% jump from the same period last year.

Output in Q1 2010 was 298,000 carats, a 2.9% gain from its previous quarter and a 138.1% rise, compared to the corresponding period last year.

Although sales over the first quarter fell 6.2%, the value of diamonds rose by 13.4% compared to its previous quarter.

Sales in Q1 2010 were N$951m compared to N$838m in the last three months of 2009, signalling a recovery in diamond prices.