Adonis Pouroulis, the Chief Executive Officer of Petra Diamonds, said southern Africa holds the prospects of getting the next biggest diamond mine in the world which will answer concerns of demand and supply gap in the markets.
The South African-based company, which has been on a growth path in the last 18 months by acquiring three diamond mines assets pushing its mine assets to six, is also doing some explorations in the southern African region.
“We are doing exploration in Botswana and we expect that the next biggest mine will probably be in Botswana, South Africa or DRC because the biggest mines are currently there. And we have to play in that space,” he said.
Petra Diamonds has bought Kalahari Diamonds Limited ÔÇöowned by the mining giant BHPÔÇöwhich gave it an access to a concession of 52,000 km2 and so far has found 34 carats within that area.
The company is also involved in exploration exercises in the DRC where it said the results that are coming are very encouraging. So far, regarding its DRC project, they have found 77 carats.
“We have acquired three diamond assets in the last 18 monthsÔÇösix diamond mines in South Africa, three of which were bought from De Beers,” Pouroulis said.
The move by Petra Diamonds to embark on a massive exploration exercise comes at a time when the shortage of rough diamonds in the international markets is attributed to the fact that no major mines have been discovered in years. Even if a new big mine is to be discovered now it would take close to seven years before it gets into full production.
However, the demand has been growing at a compound of five percent per annum in the recent years pushed by the emerging economies of China and India to support the softening growth in the USA.
The move has also contributed to price spikes in recent years as some countries opted to put their produce on tender system to derive a premium.
Jewellery demands have also been on the increase as it recorded a growth rate of between 2.5 percent to three percent, according to provisional figures from DTC London.