Petra Diamonds reported that revenue fell 41 percent year on year to $96.1 million in the third quarter that ended on March 31. The company sold 826,815 carats during the period, representing a 9 percent decline. Production rose 6 percent to 791,443 carats.
Petra contended that the diamond market stabilized during the period as prices for rough stones were on par with the previous quarter. Still, the market faces a shortage of credit options and currency pressure due to the stronger dollar, according to its statement.
The mining company lowered guidance slightly and now expects to produce 3.2 million carats in the fiscal year, down from an original estimate of 3.3 million carats; however, it maintained its commitment for dividend payments with a maiden dividend of 2 pence per share this year.
During the quarter, the company's beneficiation partner completed cutting and polishing a 122-carat blue diamond, which yielded a 26.10-carat radiant-cut, intense fancy blue; an 11.30-carat pear-shape; a 10.30-carat radiant-cut fancy blue and a 7.00-carat cushion-cut fancy blue stone. Petra will retain a 15 percent share of the sales price of these stones and is currently evaluating the best route to market.
Johan Dippenaar, the CEO of Petra Diamonds, said, “We have delivered production growth in third-quarter by an increase in tonnes treated at all operations. The current reliance on production from the mature mining areas at our underground mines is expected to change over the coming quarters as the company passes through this transitional period and starts to access undiluted ore.
“The 122-carat blue diamond that Petra retains an interest in has produced some exceptional polished stones and the company looks forward, with its partner, to the marketing of these stones over the coming months,” he said.