Petra Diamonds' Finsch mine in South Africa
Petra Diamonds said production increased by 24% to 2 015 087 carats in the six months ending December 2016; the group will reach full year production of 4.4 to 4.6 Mcts.

Petra Diamonds said that revenue increased by 48% to $228.5 million during the period due to increased sales volumes and diamonds sold rose 47% to 1 910 113 carats.

Petra Diamonds said that underground expansion projects remained on track with Finsch’s block 5 SLC and Cullinan’s c-cut phase 1 delivering initial production. What is more, the new Cullinan plant will be commissioned towards the end of third quarter 2017.

Expansion and sustaining capital expenditure was $134.9 million, representing 60% of the total forecasted capex for financial year 2017.

Johan Dippenaar, CEO, commented: “Due to the increased contribution in the first half of 2017 from undiluted ore, we have delivered strong operational results, reporting significant increases in production and revenue. 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.

“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.”

Petra Diamonds is an independent diamond mining group and an increasingly important supplier of rough diamonds to the international market. The company has interests in five producing operations: three underground mines in South Africa (Finsch, Cullinan and Koffiefontein), the Kimberley Ekapa Mining joint venture (including the Kimberley underground mine and extensive tailings retreatment operations) and one open pit mine in Tanzania, Williamson. It also maintains an exploration programme in Botswana.

Petra has a core objective to steadily increase annual production to 5.3 million carats by financial year 2019. The group has a significant resource base in excess of 300 million carats.