London, England — 1 August 2012 – LSE-listed leading independent diamond mining group Petra Diamonds has ended another impressive operational year, accelerating its production in the 12 months to 30 June 2012 to double that for the previous financial year.
Revealing this here in a trading update for the 2012 financial year, the company said production recorded had risen to 2.2Mcts from 1.1Mcts the previous year, driven mainly by the completion of the Finsch acquisition in September 2011.
Petra CEO Johan Dippenaar commented: “Petra continues to deliver on the Group’s stated growth plan. Its various expansion projects have also progressed according to plan during the year and this, together with the production growth recorded, puts the Group in a strong position to deliver on its longer term objectives,” he added.
Other highlights of the company’s performance include:
- Revenue of US$316.9 million, an increase of 44% over FY 2011 (US$ 220.6 million)
- Cash operating unit costs/t remained well controlled (details to be provided in Petra’s financial results on 24 September 2012)
- Capital expenditure of US$134.0 million (FY 2011: US$110.6 million), is within the company’s expectations and in accordance with the roll-out of the Group’s expansion programmes.
- Cash at bank at year-end of US$37.4 million (FY 2011: US$324.9 million) and diamond inventory at year-end of circa US$24.3 million (FY 2011: circa US$13.3 million)
- Loans and borrowings at year-end of US$69.2 million (FY 2011: US$75.5 million); facilities undrawn at 27 July 2012 and available to the Group of US$79.0 million.
- Fourth quarter production up 143% to 632,800cts from 260,169cts, primarily due to the contribution from Finsch.
- Petra successfully recommenced production at its Williamson mine in Tanzania in Q4 of FY 2012 and the mine contributed 42,855cts from the main pit at a ROM grade of 5.2 cpht.
The Group’s expansion projects at Finsch, Cullinan and Koffiefontein are progressing well.
At Finsch, the programme is in the detailed planning and design phase. At Cullinan, the shaft deepening contractor has commenced development work on site, with the first blasts having taking place. The construction of the new tailings plant is nearing completion and is on track for commissioning in Q1 of FY 2013, with the re-crush section to follow later in the year.
At Koffiefontein, the revised mining lay-out has been finalised and detailed design has commenced, while development work on the underground tunnel infrastructure is on-going.
And at Williamson, in line with Petra’s previous statements, the company continues to revisit the Phase 2 expansion project, which will be dependent upon appropriate water and electricity supply.
The company will be publishing analyst guidance for the 2013 financial year on 15 August 2012, and will announce its full financial results for the year on 24 September 2012.
Source: Petra Diamonds. For more information, click here.