Petra sells blue diamond for $40m as market recovery confirmed with De Beers price lift

Petra Diamonds Letlapa Tala Collection

PETRA Diamonds sold a large stone discovered at its Cullinan mine for $40m, the company announced on Monday.

The stone – a 39.34 carat blue diamond – was sold for cash prior to delivery to a partnership between De Beers and Diacore.

The sale will provide a much-needed fillip for Petra Diamonds in its 2022 financial year. The 2021 financial year ended June was one of the company’s most difficult after it had to issue almost its entire share capital in order to pay down debt.

The diamond achieved a price of $1,021,357 per carat.

“This sets a new milestone for Petra in achieving its highest price for a single stone and follows the sale of the 299 carat Type IIa white diamond in March this year and the five blue diamonds comprising the Letlapa Tala Collection in November 2020, purchased by the same De Beers Diacore partnership,” said Richard Duffy, CEO of Petra Diamonds.

The Letlapa Tala collection (pictured) was sold for $40.36m. Those diamonds, weighing 85.6 carats in total, were also recovered from the Cullinan mine.

Petra reported an 8% drop in revenue to $178.1m for the first half of its 2021 financial year ended December 31, while its core earnings rose 20%.

The company appears to be through the worst of its troubles at a time when the diamond market appears to be well into a recovery.

According to a Bloomberg News report today, De Beers increased prices for its rough diamonds by about 5% at its July sale taking place this week. Most of the price increases focused on higher-quality stones, according to the report.

Buyers have been replenishing supplies and consumer demand remains strong and prices of polished gems are also rising.

Commenting following the conclusion of a $220m project financing debt package for its Karowe mine extension in Botswana, Eira Thomas of Lucara Diamond Corporation said the firm’s project “comes at the right time in the market cycle”.

Thomas said of the diamond market there was “… improving supply and demand fundamentals” which would help to “stabilise and support stronger diamond prices in the short and longer-term”.