Petra Diamonds hikes Q1 production by 30%

Petra Diamonds has issued a production and sales update for Q1, which ended Sept. 30.

HIGHLIGHTS:

– Q1 production up 30% to 1,097,523 carats (Q1 FY 2016: 842,796 carats), due to increased contribution from undiluted ROM ore, improving ROM grades and additional tailings production from Kimberley Ekapa Mining.

– Q1 revenue US$94.7 million from 745,447 carats sold (Q1 FY 2016: no tender held).

– Following the Period end, Petra closed its second tender of FY 2017 yielding ca. US$66.4 million (ca. 574 kcts sold), with a third and final tender for H1 FY 2017 scheduled for early December 2016. Prices achieved during the second tender held firm with year-to-date rough diamond prices remaining flat on a like for like basis in comparison to H2 FY 2016.

– Expansion programmes, including the Cullinan plant project, remain on track and in line with expectations. The new caves being installed at Cullinan and Finsch are both starting to deliver undiluted ore and will result in a continued increasing ROM grade profile and improved product mix.

– Net debt at Period end of US$463.9 million (30 June 2016: US$384.8 million) within expected levels and excludes cash from the October diamond tender. The Company has undrawn bank facilities of US$70.0 million (30 June 2016: US$110.0 million), with an additional unrestricted cash balance of US$30 million (30 June 2016: US$36.7 million) available at Period end. Petra remains on track to become free cash flow positive from H2 FY 2017 onwards.

– Tragically, despite historically having an exceptional safety record, it is with deep regret that the Company announces that three unrelated incidents lead to four Petra employees being fatally injured during the Period.

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