[VIDEO] 2015: First half results for De Beers
Diamond extraordinaire De Beers announced its 2015 first half financial results last week, reporting a total sales decrease of 21 percent to $3 billion in the first six months.
The company, which is 85 percent owned by Anglo American, saw a 21 percent fall in the sale of rough diamonds to $2.7 billion, but said it this was offset by lower operating costs and positive exchange rates.
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“De Beers saw a continuation of the market weakness of late 2014 during the first six months of 2015, resulting in a 25 percent underlying EBIT decrease. In response to these market conditions, the business has revised production guidance for 2015 to 29 to 31 million carats, while continuing to focus on its operational metrics. De Beers also reduced unit costs by 10 percent in dollar terms,” said Mark Cutifani, CEO of Anglo American.
De Beers 2015 First Half highlights
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In its press release, De Beers said construction of its Venetia underground mine in South Africa is 18 percent complete, with production and services shaft pre-sink completed, and remains on track for first production in 2021.
Watch members of De Beers' leadership team give an update on the company's performance during the first half of 2015 and the outlook for the remainder of the year.
Barrick profit beats expectations as copper, gold prices up
Barrick Gold has reported a 78% jump in first-quarter profit, beating analyst expectations thanks to rising gold and copper prices, and said it was on track to meet annual forecasts.
Production in the second half is expected to be higher than the first, the gold miner said, thanks in part to the ramp-up of underground mining at the Bulyanhulu mine in Tanzania and higher expected grades at Lumwana in Zambia, reports Reuters
Barrick’s first-quarter gold production fell to 1.10 million from 1.25 million ounces due partly to lower grades at its Pueblo Viejo mine in Dominican Republic.
Adjusted profit surged 78% to $507mn in the quarter ended March 31, from $285mn a year earlier, and Barrick announced a 9 cent per share quarterly dividend.
Stronger prices helped boost Barrick’s revenue from its copper mines in Chile, Saudi Arabia and Zambia by 31% from the fourth quarter. Overall earnings per share were $0.29, ahead of analysts’ estimate of $0.27.
“We expect a positive stock reaction to the earnings beat and strong cash flow,” said Credit Suisse analysts.
Potential for South Africa merger
Barrick CEO Mark Bristow, who has championed mergers across the gold industry, said he backed the idea of South Africa-listed miners Goldfields and AngloGold Ashanti combining.
Speculation has been swirling around the two companies and Sibanye-Stillwater, whose CEO Neal Froneman floated the idea of a three-way merger.
“I’m a South African, and this country has such a great mining history and it would be great to see a real gold business come out of the many failed discussions that we’ve seen,” said Bristow.
Goldfields declined to comment. In a statement, AngloGold Ashanti said it was focused on delivering on its growth plan to unlock value from its portfolio of gold assets.
Bristow also said he had met with the Democratic Republic of Congo’s new mines minister and other officials and was continuing to work on getting $900mn belonging to its Kibali mine joint venture out of the country.
“We have a solution, it just needs to be sanctioned by the appropriate authorities which haven’t been around for a while,” he said, referring to a recent government overhaul by President Felix Tshisekedi.