Petra improves diamond production!

Nov 23, 2023

Richard Duffy, Chief Executive Officer of Petra, commented, “With stabilising operations at Cullinan Mine and Finsch, and Williamson resuming production ahead of schedule, production increased 12% from the previous quarter. This was accompanied by a continuation of our strong safety performance from Q4 FY 2023 following our renewed safety focus.

We believe the actions taken by the major producers to curb supply and the two-month Indian diamond import moratorium will assist in stabilising the market and supporting prices as inventory levels reduce. Whilst we continue to see support for the market in the medium to longer term as a result of the structural supply deficit, we are taking prudent steps to enhance our business resilience in light of these market challenges and uncertainties that are expected to continue over the coming months.

By bringing forward our second tender of FY 2024 we were able to sell 75% of our goods ahead of the moratorium, with the balance sold shortly after. We are in discussions with our first lien lender to upsize our existing Revolving Credit Facility and are evaluating options to provide further financial flexibility, such as optimising our operational expenditure and deferring capital spend.

We are confident these actions will enable us to navigate this period of market weakness whilst limiting the impact on our value-led growth strategy.”

With the highlights over the Q4 FY 2023, Petra said; we maintained our improved safety performance with LTIs and LTIFR remaining at 2 and 0.12, respectively. Total diamond production increased 12% to 696,639 carats mainly due to Williamson successfully resuming operations ahead of schedule.

Production at Cullinan Mine was largely in line with expectations, with a small increase in tonnes treated offset by grade trending towards the lower end of expectations. At Finsch, tonnes treated decreased 23% from the preceding quarter, largely offset by a 26% increase in ROM grade, reflecting increased quarter-on-quarter volatility associated with the sub-level cave maturity. Production guidance for FY 2024 remains unchanged.

Revenue totalled US$97.6 million, which included Tender 1 sales of US$79.3 million and a portion of Tender 2 sales concluded prior to 30 September, with the balance of Tender 2 adding a further US$22.2 million post period end.

Unrestricted cash balances amounted to US$56.5 million (30 June 2023: US$44.1 million), with a further US$33.0 million (30 June 2023: US$8.9 million) cash received from diamond debtors shortly after period end. Cash balances include a ZAR850 million (US$45.0 million) drawdown from the Company’s ZAR1 billion (US$53.0 million) Revolving Credit Facility.

Consolidated net debt increased to US$192.4 million (30 June 2023: US$176.8 million) due to the timing of closing the Company’s sales tenders, the continued lower diamond pricing environment, working capital funding for the resumption of mining at Williamson and the increasing capex spend profile, as previously announced, to extend the life of our operations at Cullinan Mine and Finsch.

 

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