Petra’s $387m in lifex projects underlines turnaround of once stricken diamond firm

Richard Duffy, CEO, Petra Diamonds

STRUGGLING diamond miner Petra Diamonds has turned the corner according to CEO Richard Duffy after the group reported interim results for the six months to end-December showing revenue and earnings well up and net debt significantly down.

Duffy commented: “With the strong recovery in the diamond market and the actions we have taken, Petra is now also well placed for the future.

“We have benefited from the recovery in rough diamond prices, record proceeds from the sale of exceptional stones, and the improvements we have made in our operations resulting in significantly improved safety levels, profitability and cash flow.”

Petra also announced it had approved two major projects to extend the operating lives of its Cullinan and Finsch mines. The capital estimate at Cullinan is $173m for the ‘CC1E SLC’ project which will extend the mine plan to 2031 with an anticipated IRR (internal rate of return) greater than 30% while $216m will be spent on Finsch’s 3 level SLC to extend the mine plan to 2030 at an IRR also greater than 30%.

Petra boosted revenues 49% to $264.7m (previous comparable period – $178.1m) for the six months to end-December and reported an adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) of $150.9m ($80.8m) along with an improved adjusted EBITDA margin of 57% (45%). Adjusted basic earnings a share were 29c (4.23c loss).

Duffy added that “… this strong performance and considerably improved balance sheet – supported by a robust diamond market – sets us well for the second half of the year although we may not benefit from the same levels of record contributions from exceptional stones

“Financial year 2022 is on track to meet guidance of 3.3m to 3.6m carats and capital expenditure is expected to be at the lower end of the guidance of $78m to $92m”