BHP Billiton reported that its diamond production fell 21 percent year on year to 433,000 carats during the three months that ended on March 31, 2012. The company explained that the lower production was in line with expectations as operations at the Ekati mine are constrained to extract lower grade material in the medium term.
During the first nine months of the fiscal year, BHP Billiton’s diamond production declined 29 percent to 1.371 million carats.
BHP Billiton owns 80 percent of the Ekati mine in Canada, which is its only diamond asset. The company announced in November that it intends to divest from the diamond business.