WILLIAMSON Mine in Mwadui, Shinyanga Region, a subsidiary of Petra Diamonds, has reported sale decrease of 18 per cent despite average increase of price per carats of four per cent.
The sales has plummeted to 80,359 carats in six months ending last December from 98,270 carats same period previous year.
While the sales went south by 18 per cent, average prices per carats headed the other direction after climbing four per cent to 366 US dollars per carat. Petra Diamonds attributed the low sales of rough diamonds market to excess polished inventory in the pipeline and liquidity issues in the midstream.
"The market continued to be impacted by... the strong US Dollar and slowdown in retail demand from China," Petra said in statement issued. Petra financial year starts in July.
However, in line with most market commentators, Petra expects market conditions to remain stable in their second half--January to June 2016. In the next first half--July to December--holds the prospect of improved trading conditions.
The report said a number of steps have been taken to address the market challenges including reduced supply from the major diamond producers, via production cuts and decreased sales volumes.
Other steps are to reduce rough diamond pricing, and increased consumer marketing both branded and generic diamond marketing. On output, the biggest diamond mine in Tanzania, reported diamond production slow down of 3.0 per cent to 95,841 carats in six months ending last December.
The mine is now implementing an expansion plan to increase production from circa 200,000 carats per annum (ctpa) in 2015 to circa 350,000 ctpa by 2017. Last financial year the Mwadui mine produced 202,265 carats.
Williamson is an open pit operation based upon the 146 hectares Mwadui kimberlite pipe, which is the world's largest economic kimberlite to have seen continuous mining.
Despite having been in operation since 1940's, the pit is only 90 meters at its deepest point due to the large size of the deposit and the pipe still contains a major diamond resource of approximately 38.1 Mcts.
Source: All Africa