Namibia emerged as one of the top ten producers of diamonds in terms of value last year, statistics released yesterday by the Kimberley Process showed.
The country produced gems totalling US$744 million, or N$5 billion, in 2010.
According to the diamond website Rapaport, Botswana was the world’s top producing country by value in 2010 at US$2,59 billion for 22 million carats, but Russia was the top producer by volume at 34,86 million carats valued at US$2,38 billion. Russia held the top spot for both categories in 2009.
Canada ranked third in terms of value for rough diamonds produced last year at US$2,3 billion followed by South Africa with US$1,8 billion. Other top countries by value included Angola with US$976,3 million, Zimbabwe at US$339,8 million and Australia with US$251,7 million.
Global rough diamond production rose 39 per cent by value to US$12 billion, still below the peak year of 2008 when production totalled US$12,73 billion.
In terms of volume, rough diamond production rose nearly seven per cent to 133,12 million carats. The average price per carat produced rose 30 per cent to US$90,13.
Other top diamond producers by volume in 2010 included the Democratic Republic of the Congo with 20,17 million carats, South Africa with 13,67 million carats, Canada reported 11,8 million carats, Zimbabwe mined 8,44 million carats and Angola produced 8,36 million carats.
The total rough exports by all Kimberley Process member states jumped 51 per cent to US$37,6 billion while rough imports also rose 51 per cent to US$37,78 billion.
The European Union was the world’s top rough exporter in 2010 with rough diamonds valued at US$14,3 billion leaving the region; Israel came in second place with US$3,74 billion in rough exports; Dubai was third place with US$3,54 billion followed by Botswana at US$2,88 billion, Russia at US$2,78 billion and Canada at US$2,41 billion.
Europe was also the top rough importer in 2010 with US$13,59 billion worth of goods followed by India at US$11,23 billion, Israel with US$4,43 billion, Dubai with US$2,06 billion and China with US$2,02 billion.
There was little surprise, considering the high-value stones coming out of Lesotho that they produced the highest per-carat value of any country, by far, at US$1 816,63 in 2010.