De Beers’ rough diamond sales for the 2017 fourth cycle have slightly gone down as compared to the previous cycle. This time around the diamond mining company has registered $520 million, a decrease from $586 million seen in the third cycle; figures from parent company Anglo American availed this week have shown. The value is from both global sightholders sales and auction sales. In comparison to the same cycle last year, total sales have also gone down significantly when De Beers recorded $636 million. The diamond mining group holds 10 sightholders’ sales in Gaborone, Botswana’s capital each year and now it remains with six before it wraps up sales for this year. De Beers which runs a 50/50 joint venture with Botswana government – Debswana Mining Company – sees demand continuing to be steady as the marker enters a typically quitter season. Commenting on the current market performance, De Beers Chief Executive Bruce Cleaver expressed optimism about the times ahead with the company looking towards “important’ Las Vegas trade show in the U.S. “We are continuing to see steady demand for rough diamonds, despite the industry entering a typically quieter season. Sentiment remains positive as we head towards the important Las Vegas trade show in early June,” said Cleaver. Regardless of the mining industry, in particular diamond mining going through mixed fortunes over the past few years, De Beers recently announced that it has increased returns to governments, communities, supply chain partners and its joint venture partners by 26 per cent to US$5 billion in 2016. The amount involves payments in taxes and dividends to stakeholders, including government of Botswana which also holds a 15 percent direct stake in De Beers while the remaining is in the hands of multinational mining group, Anglo American. De Beers and its joint ventures have also announced that they have spent more than P4 billion in Botswana in 2016 purchasing goods and services from local businesses.