JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Despite a challenging year for the diamond mining industry, LSE-listed Gem Diamonds on Tuesday reported a “strong” set of results for the 2015 financial year.
Underlying earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization decreased by 2% year-on-year to $103.5-million, while earnings a share rose 26% year-on-year to $0.30 apiece and attributable profit increased 57% year-on-year to $52-million.
Revenue was 8% lower year-on-year at $249.5-million.
An ordinary dividend of $0.05 a share was recommended, along with the recommendation of a special dividend of $0.035 a share.
“It is pleasing to see that the prices achieved for Letšeng's diamonds during 2015 have remained robust, despite the sharp downturn in the global market. The high-quality diamonds for which Letšeng is renowned, have contributed to the strong results at an average price of $2 299/ct for the year,” said Gem Diamonds CEO Clifford Elphick.
He added that the group continued to implement its strategic objectives of capital discipline by investing in low-cost, high-return capital projects.
The increase in the recoveries of the important larger than 100 ct diamonds from an average of six a year to 11 in 2015 demonstrated the success of the initiatives, he noted.
Meanwhile, the key objectives for the development of Phase 1 at the Ghaghoo mine, in Botswana, had been achieved.
In this regard, the average grade recovered during the year met the expected reserve grade and following the commissioning of the surge bin in January, the key metric of 2 000 t/d through the processing plant was achieved.
However, given the depressed market conditions, which had negatively impacted the prices achieved for the diamonds produced at the Ghaghoo mine, Gem would downsize the operation for this year to reduce cash consumption.