Petra Diamonds sold a 20.08-carat blue diamond from its Cullinan mine in South Africa for just under $15 million, it said Friday.
“We are very pleased with this result, which is in line with our expectations and confirms the resilience in the value of very high-quality blue diamonds,” said Petra CEO Richard Duffy. “We look forward to following this exceptional stone’s journey to its polished form.”
An undisclosed leading diamond company purchased the type IIb, gem-quality stone at tender in Johannesburg, South Africa, for $14.9 million, or $741,000 per carat.
“This is an encouraging result and shows that there is still strong demand for special diamonds,” noted investment bank Berenberg. “This is positive for Petra and puts extra cash on the balance sheet to work down debt.... We believe that today’s announcement is an undoubted positive for the shares.” Petra’s stock price rose 10% Friday.
The miner recovered the stone from the western portion of Cullinan in September. At the time, Berenberg estimated the selling price at $10 million to $15 million, while Shore Capital forecast it would fetch between $13 million and $15 million.
The company also plans to restructure its operation, implementing a flatter management structure, whereby the head of each mine will report directly to Duffy. As a result, the company has eliminated the position of chief operating officer, and Luctor Roode, who held that position, will leave Petra with immediate effect, the miner said.
Image: The 20.08-carat blue Cullinan diamond. (Petra Diamonds)