London-listed Petra Diamonds that operates the Williamson mine, in Tanzania has expressed optimism that with resumption of production in the first quarter of financial year 2024, Petra is well positioned to increase production by about one-million carats to 3.9-million carats in financial year 2025, the company’ Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Richard Duffy says.
Petra’s Williamson diamond mine’s operations in Tanzania remain suspended following a tailings dam breach on November 7 last year.
The company reported higher diamond production for the quarter ended March 31 – the third quarter of the company’s 2023 financial year – following improved run-of-mine (RoM) grades and tailings production at the Cullinan mine, in South Africa, and increased throughput at the Finsch mine, in South Africa.
According to Duffy the company expects to deliver on its revised guidance of 2.75-million to 2.85-million carats for the full-year to end June 30.
“The key mitigating actions initiated over the last six months have been successful and occurred against a backdrop of recently improved diamond pricing, which we largely attribute to a post-Covid-19 recovery in demand from China.
“We continue to expect a supportive diamond market in the medium to longer term as a result of the structural supply deficit, while noting potential volatility in the near-term owing to recent geopolitical and macroeconomic uncertainty,” Duffy outlines.
Compared with the previous quarter, lost-time injuries and the lost-time-injury frequency rate increased to 8 and 0.47, respectively, owing largely to a single incident at the Cullinan mine in which four employees were injured. Petra has renewed its safety focus to address the quarter-on-quarter regression.
Total diamond production increased by 3% to 653 700 ct as production improved by 14% at Finsch following the introduction of new equipment, despite some ground handling challenges.
Production at the Cullinan mine increased by 7%, supported by higher tailings and RoM grades. Together, this more than offset the temporary suspension of production at Williamson and the placing of Koffiefontein on care and maintenance, Petra notes.
Ore processed decreased by 25% to 1.65-million tonnes, largely owing to the temporary suspension of production at Williamson mine in Tanzania.
Source: Mining Weeky