Petra maintains ‘cautious’ approach to diamond sales

Petra Diamonds' Finsch mine

Petra Diamonds' Finsch mine

16th January 2024

By: Marleny Arnoldi

Deputy Editor Online


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London-listed Petra Diamonds is heading into the second half of its 2024 financial year with caution, as the rough diamond market continues to stabilise following actions taken by producers and midstream value chain participants last year.

The company is positioning itself to take advantage of any market improvements in the near term, particularly as it increased its revolving credit facility from $53-million to $93-million in the first half of the 2024 financial year ended December 31, 2023.

Petra’s production for the six months to December 31 increased by 2% year-on-year to 1.43-million carats, while full-year guidance has been set at between 2.9-million and 3.2-million carats.

The company continues to make good progress on the CC1E development project at the Cullinan mine and the 78-level Phase II development project at the Finsch mine, both of which are based in South Africa.

Petra reports that its deferred capital programme remains on target for July, with replanning and value-engineering work associated with the deferred capital programme continuing.

The company successfully ramped up production at the Williamson mine, in Tanzania, resulting in an 8% year-on-year increase in ore processed to 5.8-million tonnes.

Thirteen per cent lower like-for-like diamond prices in the six months under review resulted in lower revenue of $187-million, compared with $208-million in the first half of the 2023 financial year.

Notably, the company says no profit share uplifts were effected during the period and revenue for the prior corresponding period included $1.4-million from profit share arrangements.

Petra’s consolidated net debt increased to $212-million as at December 31, owing to the timing of closing of sales tenders, working capital funding related to the Williamson mine and the low diamond price environment.

In the period under review, the Williamson mine produced 160 589 ct, the Finsch mine 536 706 ct and the Cullinan mine 730 246 ct.

The company has 483 142 ct in inventory, valued at $53-million, as at December 31.

The Koffiefontein mine, in South Africa, remains on care and maintenance in preparation for sale or closure.

Petra’s focus remains on value rather than volume production by optimising recoveries from its asset base to maximise efficiency and profitability.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online




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