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Price Rise Lifts Petra Rough Sales

Apr 24, 2018 8:49 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Petra Diamonds saw a jump in revenue in the third fiscal quarter amid a stronger rough market.

Revenue surged 44% year on year to $172 million for the three months ending March 31, while sales volume increased 28% to 1.4 million carats, the miner reported Monday. The average selling price rose 12% to $125 per carat.

Rough prices increased 5% on a like-for-like basis at the two tenders the company held in the quarter, compared with the July-to-December period, Petra said.

“The diamond market remained relatively strong in the third quarter, boosted by the continued festive retail selling season, incorporating Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day, which in turn led to restocking in the pipeline and resultant good demand for purchasing of rough diamonds,” the company said.

The miner will hold a further two tenders in the fourth fiscal quarter, its strongest sales period in terms of carat volumes, it said.

Production for the third quarter increased 20% to 1.2 million carats, a record for the miner. Output at the Finsch mine climbed 13% to 530,578 carats, while Cullinan spiked 56% to 354,403 carats. Williamson production grew 40% to 72,063 carats, with output at the Kimberley asset rising 9% to 202,632. Production at the Koffiefontein mine dropped 8% to 12,180 carats.

“The makeup of our production is transforming, with higher-value run-of-mine production representing...82% of our carat volume,” said CEO Johan Dippenaar. “The future focus of the company will move away from volume targets to value optimization.”

Illegal mining activities at Petra’s Kimberley operations during the third quarter affected production, the company noted. Petra is currently working with the local government on an eviction order to solve the problem. Petra expects to meet its initial production estimate of 4.6 million to 4.7 million carats for fiscal 2018.

The company has also suffered from its inability to sell a parcel of 71,654 carats of rough diamonds that the Tanzanian government seized in September. Authorities are still holding the goods, Petra said.

The performance of the rand continues to affect Petra’s financial position, the miner also noted. A stronger local currency results in higher expenses in dollar terms. 
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Tags: Cullinan Mine, Finsch mine, Johan Dippenaar, Kimberley Ekapa, Koffiefontein, petra, Petra Diamonds, Rapaport News, Williamson Mine
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