Petra Diamonds reported a 2% surge in diamond production, reaching 1.43 million carats for the six months ending December 31, 2023. This growth was fueled by the reopening of its Williamson mine in Tanzania, previously suspended due to a government dispute, and increased contributions from the Finsch mine in South Africa.
Additionally, Petra highlighted advancements in development projects at its flagship Cullinan mine in South Africa, investing to prolong mine life and tap into higher-value ore. The company anticipates completing the re-planning and value-engineering work associated with deferred capital projects by July 2024, with forthcoming updates on its anticipated impact on future guidance.
Despite facing challenges from a subdued global diamond market amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, leading to a 10% revenue dip to $187.8 million, Petra remains cautiously optimistic. Richard Duffy, Petra's CEO, noted a 13.3% drop in the average selling price, contributing to a net debt increase to $212.3 million. While recognizing positive signs of price recovery, Duffy emphasized a prudent market approach in the short term, despite ongoing stabilization efforts at Finsch, Cullinan Mines, and Williamson's gradual return to full production. The company maintains its FY 2024 production guidance of 2.9 - 3.2 million carats, leaning toward the lower end as announced on November 1, 2023.