Petra Diamonds see production surge by 24 percent

Petra Diamonds
Petra Diamonds saw an 24 percent rise in production levels.

Petra Diamonds (LON:PDL) posted its unaudited market update on Monday, revealing a surge in production of 24 percent for the six months to end-of-December.

The company, which is part of the FTSE 250 index, saw production rise by almost a quarter to 2,015,087 across the period. This was attributed to undiluted return-of-mine ore leading to improved return-of-mine grades, and supplementary production from Kimberley Ekapa Mining.

In light of these figures, the company announced that it was in line to meet full year production levels, between the ranges of 4.4 million to 4.6 million carats. As of a result of the rise in production, this in turn led to revenue increases of around 8 percent to $228.5 million.

“Due to the increased contribution in [the first half] from undiluted ore, we have delivered strong operational results, reporting significant increases in production and revenue,” said chief executive Johan Dippenaar, in a statement.

“We continue to advance our expansion programmes and, from this point onwards, will see a meaningful reduction in capex as the capital projects, which were first set out in 2009, come to fruition.”

The commissioning of the new Cullinan Plant is set to start development towards the latter part of the third quarter. Expenditure relating to expansion initiatives was recorded at $134.9 million, a decrease from $139.8 million the year previously, and totalling around 60 percent of total annual forecasted spending.

With regards to maintaining “historically excellent” safety records, Mr Dippenaar commented:

“Safety remains our highest priority at Petra and we are placing renewed focus on this vital area and relentlessly striving for a zero harm workplace.”

Nevertheless, across the first period, the company did however record one fatality, alongside initial injuries reported in the first quarter.

Shares in Petra Diamonds were down 0.19 percent in early morning trading, as of 10.11 AM (GMT).