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Catoca Mine's Production +1% in 2011

Aug 6, 2012 5:10 AM   By Avi Krawitz
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RAPAPORT... Production at the Catoca mine in Angola rose 1 percent year on year to 6.780 million ‎carats in 2011, but the volume of carats sold fell 1 percent to 6.758 million.  Sales rose 16 percent year on year to $611.3 million with ‎the average price per carat up 18 percent to $90.45.  Catoca’s net profit increased 27 percent to $141.6 million during the year. ‎

Management noted that prices for rough diamonds remained volatile during the year, with the average price achieved at its sale in January 2011 at ‎‎$88.09 per carat; by June it had increased to $95.22 per carat and then to $97.51 per carat in ‎September before falling to $89.55 at its final sale of the year in December. ‎

‎The main reasons cited by the buyers of Catoca diamonds for price swings came from the reduction of prices in the secondary market and the high cost of credit due to the financial  crisis in ‎Europe and North American markets, trends which should continue in the short-to-medium ‎term, according to Catoca.

In July, Catoca’s general director Jose Ganga Junior said the mine has reduced its ‎revenue forecast for 2012 by 20 percent to $400 million, from previous estimates of $550 ‎million, the Angolan information agency Angop reported. The forecast was changed ‎because of a 5 percent reduction in sales of rough diamonds at the end of the first half of ‎‎2012. The drop in sales was due to the financial crisis in Europe and the United States, ‎Ganga Junior said.‎

Catoca noted a partial recovery in the U.S. from 2011 while Europe’s debt crisis continues to ‎present challenges for the market. Management reported that China increased its ‎consumption of rough diamonds during 2011, while India maintained its consumption in ‎recent years. ‎

In addition, the company said it has faced increased competition from the large reserve ‎of diamonds held at the Marange mines in Zimbabwe.  ‎

In 2011, Catoca shareholders included Angola’s state mining company, ENDIAMA, and ‎Russian miner ALROSA, which each held a 32.8 percent stake in the mine. Lev Leviev’s ‎China-based LLI Holding held 18 percent and the Brazilian company Odebrecht had a ‎‎16.4 percent stake.‎

Catoca sales represented 87 percent of Angola’s total rough diamond sales by volume ‎and 64 percent by value. ‎
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Tags: Alrosa, Avi Krawitz, Catoca, diamonds, ENDIAMA, Leviev, LLI, Marange, Odebrecht, Rapaport
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