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Petra diamond production up 30% as diamond market ‘holds firm’

Mining firm Petra Diamonds has reported a 30% increase in diamond production in its latest trading update for the first quarter of the 2016-2017 financial year.

The company’s production increased to 1,097,523 carats – up from 842,796 carats in the same period last year. Petra said this was due to increased contribution from undiluted ROM ore, improving ROM grades and additional tailings production from its Kimberley Ekapa Mining.

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Petra said it continued to witness “strong signs” of a stabilising diamond market, with prices for the period remaining flat when compared with the second half of the 2015-2016 financial year.

Johan Dippenaar, CEO, said the diamond market was “holding firm”, He said: “Operationally, the group has made a strong start to FY 2017 delivering close to 1.1 Mcts for Q1 and we continue to expect full-year production of 4.4 to 4.6 Mcts, in line with earlier guidance.

“The newly established caves at both Finsch and Cullinan, accessing higher grade undiluted areas, are starting to meaningfully contribute to ROM production, which is continuing to ramp up in line with expectations.”

The company added that it was with “deep regret” that it had to report fatal injuries suffered by four of its employees. Petra will now focus on a “renewed safety drive”.

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