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Petra Diamonds H1 output, revenue dip

22 january 2021
Image credit: Petra Diamonds

Petra Diamonds says its first-half production for the financial year 2021 eased 16% to 1,7 million carats compared to 2 million carats, a year earlier.
The decline was as a result of the Williamson mine in Tanzania remaining on care and maintenance. Petra said increased production at Cullinan was offset by decreased production at Finsch due to waste ingress in a number of the upper levels of the Block 5 Sub Level Cave, negatively impacting the recovered grade and corrective measures to address the waste ingress restricting the volume of run-of-mine (ROM) tonnes being mined.
Meanwhile, the company's first-half revenue also dropped 8% to $178.1 million from 1,7 million carats sold compared to $193.9 million from 1,74 million carats sold the previous year.
It said the $40.4 million proceeds from the Letlapa Tala Collection of blue diamonds were offset by weaker prices following the COVID-19 outbreak and the deferral of sales to January 2021 of some 382 000 carats yielding $30.5 million at the company's first tender of 2021, which closed on 15 January 2021. 
"Diamond pricing on a like-for-like basis increased by a further 8% at this tender, confirming that pricing has now returned to pre-COVID-19 levels," said Petra.
The company said the diamond market has continued to show improved demand for rough diamonds, as evidenced by the recent strong sales from De Beers and ALROSA, further to continued robust demand from the midstream, following positive consumer sales during the holiday retail season. It said there are expectations that this improved demand will continue throughout the first quarter of the calendar year 2021. 
"However, the current resurgence of COVID-19 in many countries poses a significant risk to the logistics and timing of sales in H2 FY 2021," said Petra.
"Due to the ongoing uncertainty around the impact of COVID-19, production guidance for FY 2021 remains suspended. Furthermore, the Williamson mine remains on care and maintenance, as has been the case since April 2020; this situation remains under continual review."

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