Petra Diamonds reported revenue slumped 28 percent year on year to $154 million in the first half that ended December 31. Excluding exceptional precious stones, sales dived 18 percent to $144 million.
Production rose 2 percent from a year ago to 1.6 million carats, above the company’s target of 1.5 million carats, according to a statement January 25. Petra remains on track to reach its full-year output guidance of 3.3 to 3.4 million carats to June 30, 2016.
Sales volume fell 7 percent to 1.3 million carats. In the second half, sales volume is expected to hit 1.9 million to 2 million carats because of timing of tenders.
Rough diamond prices declined about 9 percent compared with the fourth quarter of the previous financial year that ended June 30, 2015 on a like-for-like comparison. A significant weakening of the South African rand mitigated the impact of price drops on Petra’s financial results, the statement said.
The Finsch mine in South Africa, the company’s largest mine by value and volume, saw production increase 8 percent to 1.1 million carats, driven by continued improvements in the run-of-mine tonnes and grade achieved.
The company’s expansion programs remain on track to deliver the “first significant input” of undiluted ore from the new mining areas in the second half of the fiscal year ending June 30, according to Johan Dippenaar, Petra’s chief executive officer. This will result in improved run-of-mine grades and a better product mix, he added in the statement.
“Also, the construction of the new plant at Cullinan is on track, and we look forward to the significant benefits this new plant will bring to bear at the mine. As always we remain focused on operational delivery, while maintaining a tight control of our cost base.”