London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 21 September 2010 – Petra Diamonds (Petra) – one of the world’s largest independent diamond groups by resources – says it is in talks with diamond giant De Beers to buy its Finsch and Namaqualand mines in South Africa.
Petra CEO Johan Dippenaar confirmed a Miningmx report in July that the company was assessing whether to bid for more assets from De Beers, having already bought Kimberley underground mine and a stake in the Cullinan operation.
Dippenaar was commenting after announcing record profits of US$70.2 million (R512 million) for Petra in the year ended 30 June 2010 “’ an impressive turnaround from the US$89 million (R650 million) loss reported in the previous financial year.
“This has been an exceptional year for Petra, in which we have delivered the financial results of our superior growth profile, following the downturn experienced by all commodities groups in 2009,” said Dippenaar.
Petra expected diamond prices to be firmer for the 2011 financial year, should the market and global economy remain stable. Extensive growth plans were on the cards to more than double production by 2014 and push production three times higher come 2019.
Demand from the United states, which makes up about half of the global diamond jewellery market, had improved, Dippenaar revealed. Consumption from China and India was expected to continue growing, and would also be supported by rising diamond content in jewellery as those markets developed.
“Petra’s strategy is to continue to increase rough diamond production steadily, and to develop our stature as an important supplier to the world market,” said Dippenaar. “The group expects to produce about 1.3 million carats in the current financial year.”