Petra Diamonds, the parent company of Kalahari Diamonds, said this week that it is on track to achieve the 1.2 million carat target set for its 2010 financial year as the company prepares to publish its half year results┬ánext month.
The company has some exploration rights in Botswana with┬áits survival heavily dependent on┬áSouth African operations and, to a certain extent, to Tanzania’s Williamson mine.
“The company is on track to achieve target of 1.2 million carats for the 2010 financial year ( FY 2009 actual: 1,099,367 gross carats), with group sales and production for the period up 43 percent and 12 percent respectively on the six months to December 2008,” the company said, adding that in the longer term is aiming for 3 million carats.
Petra Diamonds is currently operating Cullinan, Koffientein, Sedibeng, Star, Helam and Williamson mines’ 75 percent stake — that were originally owned by De Beers. The company is also negotiating with De Beers to buy Kimberly Underground mines. While in Botswana it is prospecting what it termed potentially economic resources in the Kalahari area under the flagship Kalahari Diamonds.
“Petra has continued to consistently meet its operational targets and our production growth is on track for the 2010 year. The rough diamond market has improved significantly over the last six months and we have seen prices come back strongly at each┬á of our six production mines.
“Having recapitalized the business and consolidated the Cullinan Holding in December, Petra is on a strong platform as we continue to grow annual production to over three million carats and increase our stature as a significant diamond producer,” Chief Executive Officer of Petra Diamonds, Johan Dippenaar said on Wednesday.
The rough diamonds market was largely supported by the┬á emerging markets of China and India for the better part of the six months with the USA ÔÇô traditional marketÔÇöbouncing back from the recession break during the festive holidays.
The recent developments are in line with what Dippenaar indicated during the course of 2009 when he said that his company has ┬ámanaged to ┬áestablish itself as a significant diamond producer.
We ┬áhave grown our production substantially, continue to find world class stones, effectively managed our cost base and expanded our geographic footprint,” ┬áDippenaar has said.
The mid tier miner has been hit by the global recession which saw diamond prices falling as much as 65 percent between September last and the lows reached in early 2009. However, he said, Petra has since experienced a general price recovery in the region of 25 percent in line with the improvement noted by commentators in the industry.
As a result of the global economic crisis Petra was forced to ┬ápull out of Angola ┬áhence selling its assets Alto Cuilo and Luangue projects and realized US 3.8 million cash.
The company has some concession area ┬ánear the Central Kgalagadi Game Reserve and Jwaneng.