Petra Diamonds’ shares fell more than 15% in early trading Monday after the miner reported a significant slide in rough-diamond prices at its flagship Cullinan asset.
The average price plunged 31% to $96 per carat at the miner’s South African asset in the first fiscal half ending December 31. That compares with an average of $140 per carat for the nine and a half years spanning July 2009 to December 2018, the miner said Monday.
The company’s net debt increased to $557.2 million as of December 31 compared to $538.9 million at September 30.
Even so, sales for the first fiscal half climbed 8% to $207.1 million from three tenders, while sales volume jumped 15% to 1.7 million carats. Production rose 10% to 2 million carats as Petra continued to ramp up output at a new portion of Cullinan.
Petra maintained its production forecast of 3.8 million to 4 million carats for the full fiscal year ending June 30, compared to the 4.6 million carats it recovered in fiscal 2018.
Image: Inspection at Cullinan prior to production. (Petra Diamonds)