Diamond miner Alrosa’s Q1 production dropped 7.5%

Russian diamond miner Alrosa announced Friday its rough diamond production fell 7.5 % year on year to 7.5 million carats for the first quarter that ended on March 31. However, rough and polished diamond sales in the first quarter climbed 5% to $1.22 billion.

Market conditions favoured higher rough demand as global supplies decreased, said the firm.

The miner’s executive committee met Friday to review the first quarter results and the implementation of its consolidated budget. Having "insignificantly adjusted" rough diamond prices in the first quarter, Alrosa fixed its current cost levels of rough diamonds as demand moderated in April, according to the meeting minutes.

Capital investments amounted to $128 million, with $57 million for construction of underground mines at Mir, Aikhal and Udachny.

Geological and onsite exploration operating expenses accounted for almost $43 million.

Alrosa reported that its rough diamond reserves grew by 13.6 million carats during the period boosted by exploration at its operating mines as well as those being prepared for production.

The company’s mines generate 25% of the world's diamond output and the firm competes with De Beers, a unit of Anglo American (LON: AAL), to rank as the world's leading diamond miner.