Overall carat production increased 1% to 1,082,764 carats (Q1 FY 2019: 1,068,140 carats), with a 4% increase in ROM production to 1,059,329 carats (Q1 FY 2019: 1,022,571 carats) offset by planned reductions in overburden stockpile material at Finsch and tailings production at both Cullinan and Finsch.
Richard Duffy, Chief Executive of Petra Diamonds, commented:
“We have reported another quarter of solid operational performance putting us on track to achieve our full-year production target of ca. 3.8 Mcts. The diamond market remains challenging, however, we will benefit from the sale of the exceptional 20.08 carat Type II blue diamond from Cullinan recovered at the end of the quarter. The implementation of Project 2022 is now underway, targeting US$150 – 200 million free cash flow over the next three years. We are expecting benefits to be realized from H2 FY 2020 and will provide regular updates on our progress.”
Finsch overall carat production decreased by 5% to 482,452 carats (Q1 FY 2019: 505,821 carats) due to ROM carat production decreasing by 4% to 468,639 carats (Q1 FY 2019: 486,806 carats) and tailings carat production decreasing by 27% to 13,813 carats (Q1 FY 2019: 19,015 carats). The contribution from Block 5 SLC to the ROM carat production increased by 17% to 460,431 carats (Q1 FY 2019: 394,334 carats) whilst the contribution from the high-grade ROM overburden dumps reduced to 8,208 carats (Q1 FY 2019: 92,472 carats). The higher carat contribution from Block 5 SLC was largely driven by an increased volume treated of 784,576 tonnes (Q1 FY 2019: 596,696 tonnes) with ROM grade at the upper end of guidance of ca. 54 – 57 cpht.
Cullinan overall carat production increased by 5% to 462,919 carats (Q1 FY2019: 440,667 carats) due to ROM production increasing by 10% to 457,104 carats (Q1 FY 2019: 417,249 carats), whilst tailings production decreased by 75% to 5,815 carats in line with our plan (Q1 FY 2019: 23,418 carats). The higher ROM carat production was largely driven by an increased volume treated of 1,206,433 tonnes (Q1 FY 2019: 1,031,446 tonnes) with ROM grade at the lower end of guidance of 38 – 42 cpht.
Koffiefontein’s overall production continued its improving trend with ROM production up 12% to 20,420 carats (Q1 FY 2019: 18,238 carats). ROM tonnes treated improved by 35% to 314,302 tonnes (Q1 FY 2019: 232,589 tonnes).
Williamson’s ROM production increased 13% to 113,166 carats (Q1 FY 2019: 100,278 carats), demonstrating the continued steady operational delivery of the mine. The Company remains in discussions with the Government of Tanzania and local advisers in relation to the overdue VAT receivables and the blocked parcel.