Anglo American reported sharply higher first-quarter diamond sales from its subsidiary De Beers along with improved production performances from all of its divisions apart from copper and nickel. Anglo American, which has told the market its core focus is platinum, diamonds and copper, reported a solid first-quarter operating performance compared with the same period a year earlier, with the standout performance being diamond sales. De Beers, the world’s largest diamond producer by value, increased its sales in the first three months of this year to 14.1-million carats in three sales events called sights compared with 8.1-million carats in two sights a year earlier. "De Beers’s total sales volumes of 14.1-million carats reflected improved demand for lower value goods in stock at December 31 2016," said Anglo CEO Mark Cutifani. Analysts said the sales performance meant De Beers had cleared stocked diamonds after a very difficult 2015 and that this was "good for cash generation". De B...

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