It plans to put the first parcels of Koffiefontein production on tender soon.
“Our first diamond recoveries are very positive, and Petra is confident that Koffiefontein will deliver substantial production and revenue growth to the Petra group,” said chairperson Adonis Pouroulis.
“Petra has historically only focused on production from fissure mines, but over the last 2 years or so we have built up the management capability to successfully run underground mines such as Koffiefontein.”
Petra has been running the Koffiefontein plant over the past few weeks to test plant modifications, and has, so far, recovered 16 700 ct, including one exceptional stone of 60 25 ct, as well as a further 35 stones larger than 10 carats each, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.
“The quality of Koffiefontein production is well known in the rough diamond buying market, and Petra expects there to be substantial interest in the tenders, bearing in mind the special stones recovered together with there having not been a sale of Koffiefontein production since early last year when De Beers ceased operations.”
Petra will also now be able to start processing the large ore stockpile that has been accumulated since it took over care and maintenance of the cave at Koffiefintein in mid-2006, which it expects will yield at least 30 000 ct.
The company expects annual sales from Koffiefontein of approximately 95 000 ct and gross revenues of $20-million, of which 70% will be attributable to Petra, and 30% to its empowerment partners.