London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 28 July 2008 – Petra Diamonds Limited – a member of the international diamond mining group Petra Diamonds, which has operations in South Africa, Angola, Botswana and Sierra Leone – has come out with a most impressive and encouraging set of sales and revenue figures for the past year.
A trading update for 12 months to 30 June 2008 released here today reveals that mine revenue for the period had amounted toUS$76.6 million (R610 million) – a 359% increase on the year to 30 June 2007 (US$16.7 million (R130 million). This revenue included US$5.4 million (R40 million) in respect of four exceptional diamonds that were each sold for more than US$1 million (R8 million).
The update added that substantial revenue growth had been mainly due to Koffiefontein sales coming on stream in July 2007, supported by strong diamond prices across all operations
It went on to reveal that 230 172 carats had been sold for the period – an 87% increase on the year to 30 June 2007 (122 821 carats). Koffiefontein had yielded excellent values at an average of US$478 (R3 800) per carat; and average value per carat from the fissure mines had increased substantially to US$210 (R1 680) – a 54% increase on the previous year’s US$136 (R1 088).
Koffiefontein prices continue to strengthen in line with market demand for high-end diamonds and operational improvements implemented by Petra – the last tender in June 2008 achieved an average price per carat of US$726 (R5 800).
Turning to production, the update said it had amounted 200 287 carats – an 11% increase on the year to 30 June 2007 (180 474 carats). Fissure Mine production was lower than 2007, largely due to reduced tonnages hauled at the Helam mine. The Company is focusing on the substantial US dollar potential of its recently acquired underground pipe operations (Koffiefontein, Cullinan and Kimberley Underground)
It added that operating costs at Koffiefontein were in line with expectations. Costs across the fissure mines had increased due to escalations of certain direct production costs (diesel, electricity, raw materials), combined with the effect of the reduced tonnages
Petra chairman Adonis Pouroulis commented: “Petra has delivered superior growth this year. In its first year of operation in Petra’s hands, Koffiefontein has proven to be an exceptional acquisition, and it is now classed as one of the world’s top kimberlite mines by average value per carat and profit margin.
“Our aim to become a world leading diamond producer will take a further step forward with the integration of the Cullinan mine and the Kimberley Underground mines into the Petra group, which will raise production fourfold to over 1 million carats per annum by the financial year to June 2009,” he concluded.