De Beers, the world's largest diamond producer, expects banks to renew its $1.5 billion debt facility before it comes due in March next year, the firm said on Friday.

We started the discussions early. Those discussions have been going very well, and we're pretty confident that we'll be able to renew, De Beers spokeswoman Lynette Gould said.

We'll be ready to make an announcement early in the new year.

De Beers, 45 percent owned by mining group Anglo American , posted a 99 percent plunge in first-half net profit in July due to tough markets but said it would not need any more shareholder loans.

Gould declined to comment on a report by news agency Bloomberg saying that De Beers discussed with shareholders the possibility of selling a stake ahead of the March deadline to refinance the facility.

The report, which cited two people familiar with the proposal, said talks had taken place with Anglo, South Africa's Oppenheimer family, which owns 40 percent of De Beers, and the Botswana government, which holds the remaining 15 percent stake.

Anglo American declined to comment.

(Reporting by Eric Onstad, editing by Will Waterman)