London-listed Petra Diamonds achieved good revenue growth of 48% year-on-year to $114.9-million for the quarter ended September 30 – the first quarter of Petra's 2022 financial year.
"The company has delivered a very strong revenue result due to the contribution of exceptional diamond sales, supported by the continued strength in the diamond market," CE Richard Duffy reports.
He adds that, while production for the quarter is lower year-on-year, it is an improvement on the prior quarter.
Production for the first quarter was 861 991 ct, 8% higher than the 794 952 ct produced in the fourth quarter of the 2021 financial year, but 12% lower than the 974 346 ct produced in the first quarter of the 2021 financial year.
Petra, which operates mines in South Africa, attributes the quarter-on-quarter improvement in production to the steps taken to deal with the impact of waste ingress at the Finsch mine.
It also points out that the Finsch mine achieved high levels of production in the first quarter of the 2021 financial year, prior to the start of waste ingress during the second quarter of the 2021 financial year.
Meanwhile, Petra says its Cullinan mine, at the end of the first quarter, experienced tunnel convergence in Tunnel 41 on the eastern side of the C-Cut block cave, impact 18 of 187 draw points.
Mitigating steps are being evaluated and the group's production guidance for the 2022 full-year remains unchanged at between 3.1-million and 3.4-million carats.
Its capital expenditure guidance for the South African operations also remains unchanged at between $70-million and $82-million.
Re-engineering projects at Finsch and Koffiefontein, which were initiated in July 2021, continue.
As at September 30, Petra had net debt of $207.6-million, compared with $228.2-million as at June 30.
Discussions with Petra's South African lender group about the possible refinancing of the first lien debt are under way and are expected to be concluded in the quarter ended December 30.