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.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe company\u2019s 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.\r\n\r\nPetra said it continued to witness \u201cstrong signs\u201d of a stabilising diamond market, with prices for the period remaining flat when compared with the second half of the 2015-2016 financial year. \r\n\r\nJohan Dippenaar, CEO, said the diamond market was \u201cholding firm\u201d, He said: \u201cOperationally, 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. \r\n\r\n\u201cThe 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.\u201d\r\n\r\nThe company added that it was with \u201cdeep regret\u201d that it had to report fatal injuries suffered by four of its employees. Petra will now focus on a \u201crenewed safety drive\u201d.