Petra Diamonds, one of the world's largest diamond miners, has announced that its diamond output rose by 2% in the second quarter compared to the previous three-month period. This increase was driven by a ramp-up of production at its Williamson operation in Tanzania and a higher contribution from the Finsch mine in South Africa, the second-largest diamond operation in the country.
Despite the increase in production, Petra Diamonds experienced a decline in revenue during the quarter, with a 7.6% decrease to $90.2 million. The half-year revenue also dropped by 9.3% to $187.8 million. The primary factor behind this decline was the low diamond price environment.
Chief Executive Richard Duffy acknowledged the challenging market conditions, stating, "While we are seeing encouraging indications of price recovery and some stabilization in the rough diamond market... we continue to adopt a cautious approach to the market in the near-term."
In terms of its fiscal-year guidance, Petra Diamonds remains on track to meet its production target of 2.9 million-3.2 million carats by June 30. However, it is expected to be towards the lower end of this range.
The company's net debt also increased to $212.3 million as of December 31, compared to $176.8 million on June 30. This was mainly due to the timing of closing its sales tenders, the low price environment, and increased working capital and capital expenditure.
As of 0819 GMT, Petra Diamonds' shares were down 6.3% at 60.90 pence.