Rockwell Diamonds has delivered record quarterly carat production with improved revenue from diamond sales for the sixth successive quarter.

“We are pleased that our production and sales figures for the third quarter show that our strategy to focus on the Middle Orange River region is bearing fruit. We more than doubled our carat production and sales from these properties while the value of sales increased almost threefold to US$7.8 million and the average price per carat increased 24%,” said James Campbell, Rockwell CEO and President.

“Our total value of sales from Company properties increased 45% to US$10.7 million, showing a sixth consecutive quarter of US dollar denominated growth. Furthermore, the extra ordinary recovery of the five rough diamonds exceeding 115 carats since the end of August 2013, the largest of which was 287 carats, reinforces the merits of this Middle Orange strategy.

Rockwell reported a 33% increase in third quarter volumes of gravel processed to 1,034,966m3, of which 763,332m3 was mined from its own Middle Orange River operations2 and the balance from royalty mining contractors operating at Tirisano. Total carat production grew 54%, made up of 5,153 carats from own operations and 3,995 carats from contractors.

Total carat sales from Rockwell’s properties for the quarter increased 50% to 6,066 carats at an average price of US$1,764 per carat, translating into 45% growth in total revenue to US$10.7 million compared to the prior year’s third quarter (excluding beneficiation).

Rockwell’s MOR operations delivered a 117% increase in carat sales, which together with a 24% increase in average carat value to US$2,198 from that region translated into a 169% increase in value of sales to US$7.8 million. The value of sales from Tirisano mining contractors amounts to US$2.9 million, of which 12.5% or US$357,500 accrues to the Company.

Volume production from Rockwell’s three MOR mines, key to Rockwell’s organic growth focus, increased by 65% due to the commissioning of new mining infrastructure at Saxendrift Hill Complex and Niewejaarskraal (currently in ramp up) during the first half of fiscal 2014. The average grade improved 27%, underpinning the substantial improvement in MOR carat production from a year ago.

These results confirm Rockwell’s strategic focus on its MOR operations, as the Company delivers on milestones towards its mid term target to increase monthly production volumes to 500,000m3 to smooth its production profile and increase the recovery of large diamonds. At the same time, the results of the royalty mining contractor agreements at Tirisano have increased again, with consistent recoveries at this property and enabling the Company to continue assessing the future options of some of its non-core assets.