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Petra Diamonds may take 5-10 years to clear Cullinan debt – report

15 february 2019

petra_diamonds_logo.pngPetra Diamonds, which acquired the Cullinan mine from De Beers in 2008, said it will take between five and 10 years from the opening of the new section to clear the debts related to the South African mine.
This, according to Reuters, goes beyond the 2022 maturity of Petra’s bond notes.
Debts from the mine were said to be around 65 percent of its overall $650 million in borrowing, which would represent about $420 million. 
The miner borrowed heavily to revamp the facility and began mining a new section of ore last July. 
It was, however, expected to generate free cash flow this year and start reducing its debts.
Cullinan general manager Juan Kemp was quoted as saying that one thought kept him awake at night: “When will we get that next big stone?” 
A mining analyst at Liberum, Ben Davis, was also quoted as saying that Petra achieved diamond prices that were below market expectations. 
“Everyone is very much hoping, for the sake of the equity holders and debt holders, it will deliver more higher-quality stones,” he said.
The diamond industry had been recording poor demand, especially for small stones. 

Mathew Nyaungwa, Editor in Chief of the African Bureau, Rough&Polished