|Diamond mining company Petra Diamonds Limited (Petra) has published an unaudited trading update for the period fromá1 July 2017 to 20 October 2017, covering production and sales for the first quarter of the company's Financial Year from 1 July 2017 to 30 September 2017 (Q1 FY 2018).
The company reports Q1 total production was down 4 percent to 1,053,817 carats compared with the similar FY 2017 period, mainly due to reduced production at Finsch, and Kimberley Ekapa Mining Joint Venture. Looking at a breakdown of total production, Run-of-Mine (ROM) production for Q1 increased 17 percent to 842,809 carats, while tailing and alluvial diamond production was down 44 percent at 211,008 carats.
Revenue for the quarter is reported at US$78.7 million, from sale of 711,277 carats, down 17 percent by value compared with Q1 FY 2017. The company attributes the drop in revenue to the fact that no sales from the Williamson mine in Tanzania were included, due to a parcel of diamonds from the mine being detained by the Tanzanian government.
Diamond prices for the period are reported down by around 3 percent when compared with the second half of Financial Year 2017. The company notes that results of a second tender held in October 2017 were down by a further approximately 2 percent, which was partially offset by the improvement in product mix achieved from a higher proportion of ROM carats versus tailings carats.
Commenting on the results, Petra's CEO Johan Dippenaar says, "Despite the labour disruptions at Finsch, Koffiefontein and KEM JV, the Group has made a strong start to FY 2018, delivering close to 1.1 Mcts for Q1. The Group is continuing its production build up and it is encouraging to see the increasing contribution of ROM production." The company reports that all components of the Cullinan plant are now fully operational, with ramp-up and optimisation activities ongoing. The plant is expected to achieve nameplate capacity of 6 million tonnes per annum during the second half of FY 2018.