Rockwell Diamonds reported that revenue fell 20 percent year on year to $34.2 million for its fiscal year 2012, which ended on February 29, 2012. Sales from rough diamonds dropped 30 percent to $26.4 million, while revenue from beneficiation --representing profit from cut and polished sales through Steinmetz Diamond Group-- jumped 64 percent to nearly $7.9 million. Production costs fell 2 percent to $26.9 million.
The junior miner's net loss grew to $13.7 million compared with $5 million the previous year. The comprehensive loss, however, grew to $17.9 million or 29 cents per share up from 15 cents per share. Cash and equivalents improved to $10.7 million compared with $4.8 million one year ago.
Diamond production fell 33 percent year on year to 17,416 carats. Rockwell sold 19,174 carats during the year, which was also a drop of 33 percent; however, the average price per carat sold rose 2.6 percent to $1,400.
The majority of rough diamond revenue came from Rockwell's Saxendrift operation where sales jumped 26 percent year on year to $17.5 million and the average value per carat sold improved 22 percent to $2,444. At the company's new Tirisano project, which was only brought into the pipeline in the third fiscal-quarter, rough diamond sales contributed revenue of $1.8 million.
Rockwell placed its Holpan mine on care and maintenance during the year and ended its trial mining project at the Klipdam extension, both decisions resulted from the company's strategic review to focus on high-value projects. As Tirisano's production gears up to full capacity in the year ahead, Rockwell expects to nearly close the product gap observed this year.
James Campbell, Rockwell's chief executive, said, "The diamond value management strategy is leading to an improvement in Rockwell's carat production and during the past year, the new management team has made good headway with the corporate turnaround. This is still work in progress as is evident in our financial performance for fiscal 2012.
''A number of the decisions taken to strengthen Rockwell's long term sustainability have impacted these results, such as putting Holpan on care and maintenance, the costs incurred at Tirisano during the ramp up phase and ensuring that our fixed assets are fairly reflected on the balance sheet,'' Campbell said. ''Rockwell is now in a much stronger position than it was a year ago, having addressed the majority of the legacy issues. We have concrete plans to deal with the remaining tasks to complete our turnaround.''