Company Announcements

Petra Diamonds Ltd - H1 FY 2023 Operating Update

      16 January 2023 LSE: PDL

Petra Diamonds Limited

H1 FY 2023 Operating Update

Petra reports its operating results for the first half of FY 2023

Richard Duffy, Chief Executive Officer of Petra, commented:

Despite some challenges in the first half of FY 2023, Petra continues to benefit from the operational improvements we have made across the business which provide for greater stability and resilience. As a result, we are seeing improvements to equipment and tunnel availability at Finsch, resulting in an increase in ROM grades from December 2022. At the Cullinan Mine, we have continued to mine and recover targeted tonnes as we continue to seek to mitigate the impact of the recent grade challenges experienced. 

Although lower grades at the Cullinan Mine are now expected to continue through FY 2024, mitigating factors around the re-opening of Tunnels 36 and 41 and the completion of development of two new tunnels, Tunnels 46 and 50, are expected to start contributing to production in FY 2025 and more than offset the impact of lower grades this financial year and next. The CC1E project currently under development is further expected to contribute higher grade tonnes from the end of FY 2024 and return average grades towards the 40cpht level. At Finsch, the acquisition of new drill rigs and LHD loaders supports improved production in the second half of FY 2023.    

Strong relationships at both government and local level, as well as a robust governance framework, provided for a swift response to the regrettable tailings storage facility (TSF) breach that occurred at Williamson on 7 November 2022. With this continued cooperation and focused team on the ground, I am confident production will resume safely from the beginning of FY 2024 and that the actions taken to date by Williamson Diamonds Limited will enable the environmental and social impacts to be fully remediated.

After having commenced mining in the early 1880s and being a renowned source of gem-quality white and coloured diamonds, the Board, in ongoing consultation with its stakeholders, has taken the difficult decision to cease operations and place Koffiefontein on care and maintenance. Engagement with our key stakeholders remains constructive as we seek to ensure an inclusive and responsible process towards mine closure.

Following on from the above, we have reduced our diamond production guidance for this financial year to circa 2.8 Mcts and 3.0 to 3.3 Mcts for FY 2024, which includes the impact of lost production at Williamson and Koffiefontein. Guidance in FY 2025 remains unchanged.

With a stronger product mix offsetting the recent softness in rough diamond prices, we remain confident that we will continue to generate cash to fund capex, allow further deleveraging and pay dividends.

Highlights vs H1 FY 2022

    --  LTIFR and LTIs marginally increased to 0.19 and 7 respectively
    --  Ore processed decreased 4% to 5.4Mt, largely due to the suspension of
        production at Williamson and lower tonnes mined at Finsch
    --  Total diamond production decreased 21% to 1.4 million carats due to
        lower grades at the Cullinan Mine, lower tonnes mined at Finsch and
        production suspensions at Williamson and Koffiefontein
    --  Support from a weaker Rand and more stable diamond pricing
    --  Revenue amounted to US$212.1 million (H1 FY 2022: US$264.7 million)
        o Post the Tender 3 sales results announcement released on 13 December
          2022, additional off-tender sales of some US$4.3 million (40,246
          carats) to local South African cutting & polishing clients were
          effected, bringing total rough diamond sales for the period to
          US$210.7 million
        o Revenue includes US$1.4 million from Petra’s 50% share in the profit
          from the sale of polished stones cut from the 342.92 carat rough white
          diamond sold into a partnership for US$10 million in August 2021
        o Gross debt decreased to US$241.7 million (30 June 2022: US$366.2
          million) reflecting the successful tender offer to repurchase second
          lien notes

Safety, sales                 H1 FY 2023                    H1 FY 2022
and            Unit
production              Q2        Q1       Total      Q2        Q1       Total


LTIFR           -         0.22      0.16      0.19      0.06      0.31      0.18

LTIs          Number         4         3         7         1         5         6


Diamonds sold Carats   792,889   520,011 1,312,900 1,017,665   578,186 1,595,851

Revenue1       US$m      107.8     102.9     210.7     149.9     114.9     264.7

Contribution   US$m        0.0       0.0       0.0      27.7      50.2      77.9


ROM tonnes    Tonnes 2,198,975 3,042,017 5,240,992 2,935,488 2,466,044 5,401,532

Tailings and  Tonnes    92,375   105,715   198,090   122,699   115,593   238,292
other tonnes

Total tonnes  Tonnes 2,291,350 3,147,732 5,439,082 3,058,187 2,581,637 5,639,824

ROM diamonds  Carats   604,917   733,014 1,337,931   839,643   810,346 1,649,989

Tailings and  Carats    31,612    30,206    61,818    61,370    66,065   127,435

Total         Carats   636,529   763,220 1,399,749   901,013   876,411 1,777,424

1 Revenue reflects proceeds from the sale of rough diamonds and excludes revenue from profit share arrangements (as noted in the text above)

2 Petra classifies “Exceptional Stones” as rough diamonds which sell for US$5 million or more each

    --  Production guidance for FY 2023 & FY 2024 revised downwards from 3.3 to
        3.6 Mcts for each of these years to circa 2.8 Mcts for FY 2023,
        increasing to 3.0 to 3.3 Mcts for FY 2024. The adjustment incorporates
        the impact of production curtailment at Williamson on FY 2023 of c. 200
        kcts, cessation of production at Koffiefontein during H1 FY 2023 of c.
        40 kcts p.a. for both FY 2023 and FY 2024, lower H1 FY 2023 production
        at Finsch compared to earlier guidance of c. 85 kcts and a restated
        grade forecast for the Cullinan Mine for FY 2023 and FY 2024 given
        accelerated waste ingress of c. 200 kcts per year for each of the two

Production and guidance

    --  LTI and LTIFR increased marginally in H1 FY 2023 due to an increase in
        the number of LTIs, with the LTIFR impacted by a smaller number of hours
        worked at Koffiefontein. Petra continues to strive for a zero harm
        environment and has increased its focus on identifying and mitigating
        safety risks through behaviour-based intervention programmes.

    --  Cullinan Mine ROM grade reduced to 31.2cpht and is expected to be
        between 30cpht and 32cpht for the full year. As announced previously,
        this is attributable to the C-Cut cave maturity as the cave progresses
        from SW to NE. From March 2022, the C-Cut experienced early ingress of
        waste from the overlying depleted mining blocks. The change in ore
        makeup (lower grade and higher density) as a result of the cave
        progression also resulted in processing challenges due to the high
        process yields, causing a reduction in plant capacity to process
        tailings treatment.

Ingress of overlying waste into the extraction draw points is a natural process in block cave mining. However, the onset and rate of the observed waste ingress occurred earlier and much more rapidly than predicted by the depletion model provided by an independent external expert. The C-Cut depletion model has been recalibrated by the independent external expert and model parameters adjusted to obtain alignment between the modelled and observed waste ingress. Once the ingress of waste commences, dilution of the ore is unavoidable and will increase as the cave maturity progresses. The impact of the change in the ore makeup on treatment capacity has, however, been largely negated with changes made in the dense media separation plant.

Several mitigating action plans to reduce the loss in carats are being considered and evaluated. Tailings treatment has been optimised but, in isolation, is not sufficient to address the extent of the carat loss associated with waste ingress in the C-Cut. Other mitigation action plans include the re-opening of Tunnels 36 and 41, which have already commenced, and the establishment of two new tunnels, Tunnels 46 and 50 (C-Cut extension), which are being evaluated. The re-opening of Tunnels 36 and 41 and the establishment of Tunnels 46 and 50 are expected to provide additional volume from FY 2025 onwards. Early development spend has been approved for Tunnels 46 and 50 and the additional production from these two tunnels is expected to more than offset the impact of lower grades in FY 2023 and FY 2024. Production from the CC1E capital expansion project will contribute meaningfully from FY 2025 onwards and is expected to see grades move back towards 40cpht.

As a consequence of the continued lower grades being experienced, production guidance for the full year and for FY 2024, which was expected to be towards the lower end of guidance, is now expected to fall below previously guided ranges with an annual negative impact of around 200 to 250 kcts for both FY 2023 and FY 2024, with FY 2025 guidance remaining unchanged at 1.7 to 1.9 Mct.

    --  Finsch mined and treated 1.1Mt in H1 FY 2023. Finsch experienced further
        production challenges in Q2 FY 2023, resulting in tonnes hoisted and
        treated being significantly below target in the first half. These
        challenges included low machine availability owing to an aging
        underground fleet, challenges with the centralised blasting system and
        emulsion quality and an extended rock-winder breakdown. In December
        2022, production improved on the back of new underground equipment being
        delivered and commissioned following the previously announced increased
        lead-times, coupled with positive changes to the blasting process. These
        blasting process changes, together with the introduction of new long
        hole drill rigs and Load Haul Dump (LHDs) loaders as well as the
        appointment of individuals to a number of key positions, supports the
        expected improvement in production in the second half.

The lower production in the first half is expected to result in full year production falling short of earlier guidance by some 75kcts. Guidance for FY 2024 onwards remains unchanged.

    --  Production at Williamson was trending positively against guidance until
        the TSF breach in November 2022. Following the incident, all production
        activities were suspended, with no further production expected for FY
        2023. On-mine activities are focused on remedial steps and critical
        maintenance to allow for a smooth start-up once the TSF has been
        recommissioned. A separate announcement will be released shortly by the
        Company to provide an update on activities at Williamson since the

On 28 November 2022, the Independent Grievance Mechanism (IGM) at Williamson became operational with the commencement of the IGM’s pilot phase. A detailed update, dated 30 November 2022, of the IGM work undertaken since July 2022, the Restorative Justice Projects that are being put in place to provide sustainable benefits to the communities located close to the mine and illegal incursions onto the Williamson mine lease area during Q1 FY 2023 is set out here:  Williamson-IGM-and-RJPs-November-Update-for-website-29-November-22.pdf (

    --  As previously announced, Petra has been exploring options for a
        responsible exit at Koffiefontein as the mine approaches the end of its
        mine plan and with the sales process announced in April 2022 having not
        resulted in a potential buyer for the mine. The asset has been
        loss-making for several years and low morale remains a risk to the
        mine’s safety performance. A Section 189(3) notice was issued to all KDM
        employees during November 2022 informing them of the economic realities
        of the mine and inviting them to join a collaborative process to
        determine the optimal way forward towards achieving the mine being
        placed on care and maintenance. Operations were halted to ensure all
        assessed risks were adequately mitigated for. Our consultations with the
        mine’s key stakeholders remain constructive and we are optimistic that
        an inclusive and responsible process towards mine closure will be
        achieved. As a result, further production from Koffiefontein has been
        removed from our updated guidance.

    --  Guidance – the following items are amended, with items not shown being
        unchanged with reference to earlier guidance. Updated cost and capital
        guidance, including actual results to December 2022, will be provided
        with the Company’s interim results on 21 February 2023.

                               Original Guidance Restated Guidance

              Carats recovered
                               3.3 – 3.6 Mcts    ~2.8 Mcts
                               3.3 – 3.6 Mcts    ~3.0 – 3.3 Mcts

Cullinan Mine Carats recovered
              ROM grade        1.61 – 1.79 Mcts  1.4 – 1.5 Mcts
                               1.66 – 1.85 Mcts  1.45 – 1.55 Mcts

                               36.5 – 38.5 cpht  ~30.8 cpht
                               36.7 – 38.8 cpht  ~30.7 cpht

              Carats recovered
                               1.28 – 1.39 Mcts  1.15 – 1.25 Mcts

              Carats recovered
                               319 – 358 kcts    141 kcts

              Carats Recovered
                               47 – 52 kcts      6 kcts
                               45 – 49 kcts
                               29 – 32 kcts

More detailed guidance is available on Petra’s website at

Balance sheet further strengthened through successful debt tender offer

    --  Balance Sheet as at 31 December 2022:

o Gross debt decreased to US$241.7 million (30 June 2022: US$366.2 million)
  reflecting the successful tender offer in September/October 2022 to repurchase
  second lien notes.
  o Gross cash of US$146.6 million (30 June 2022: US$288.2 million) and
    unrestricted cash of US$130.4 million (30 June 2022: US$271.9 million)
    reflecting the repurchase of the Company’s loan notes totalling US$145.0
    million during the period.
  o Consolidated net debt of US$90.8 million (30 June 2022: US$40.6 million)
    increased due partly to timing of the Company’s tender cycles and resultant
    inventory build during the period together with the previously announced
    increase in capital expenditure for the expansion projects at the Cullinan
    Mine and Finsch.


Although the recent grade and dilution issues at the Cullinan Mine are expected to impact production for the remainder of FY 2023 and FY 2024, the impact of this on the business is expected to be more than offset from FY 2025. Production from Tunnels 46 and 50 are not included in Cullinan Mine’s current LOM plan and therefore provide incremental tonnes and carats. At Finsch, the successful commissioning of a new underground fleet and appointment of individuals to a number of key positions are expected to lead to improved production in H2 FY 2023. At Williamson, remedial steps and critical maintenance are ongoing to allow for a smooth and safe start-up once the TSF has been recommissioned, which is expected from the beginning of FY 2024. Production at Koffiefontein will remain halted while we continue to engage with our key stakeholders to determine the optimal way forward in moving towards placing the mine on care and maintenance as part of finalising a responsible process towards mine closure.

The backdrop of structural changes to the supply and demand fundamentals in the diamond market remains unchanged and we anticipate it to remain supportive going forward. We are cautiously optimistic that the resilience seen in the luxury goods market, together with the easing of lockdown restrictions in China, will lead to a stabilisation of prices in the early part of CY 2023.

This announcement includes inside information as defined in Article 7 of the UK Market Abuse Regulation No. 596/2014 and is being released on behalf of Petra by the Company Secretary.


Webcast presentation for institutional investors and analysts

09:30am GMT tomorrow, 17 January 2023  

Petra’s CEO, Richard Duffy, and CFO, Jacques Breytenbach, will host a webcast for institutional investors and analysts tomorrow to discuss this trading update at 09:30 GMT.

Please register at:

Dial in details:

United Kingdom                0800 640 6441

South Africa                      087 550 8441

United States (Local)        1 646 664 1960

All other locations             +44 20 3936 2999

09:30:  Access code:         723364

Press *1 to ask a question, *2 to withdraw your question, or *0 for operator assistance.

Link for recording (available later in the day):

Investor Meet webcast at 14.30 GMT on 17 January 2023

Petra will also present the results on the Investor Meet Company platform, predominantly aimed at retail investors. To join:


Please contact

Petra Diamonds, London                                                    Telephone: +44 207494 8203

Patrick Pittaway                                                            

Julia Stone


  1. The following definitions have been used in this announcement:

  a. Exceptional Stones: diamonds with a valuation and selling price of US$5m or
     more per stone
  b. cpht: carats per hundred tonnes
  c. LTIs: lost time injuries
  d. LTIFR: lost time injury frequency rate, calculated as the number of LTIs
     multiplied by 200,000 and divided by the number of hours worked
  e. FY: financial year ending 30 June
  f. CY: calendar year ending 31 December
  g. H: half of the financial year
  h. ROM: run-of-mine (i.e. production from the primary orebody)
  i. m: million
  j. Mt: million tonnes
  k. LHD: Load Haul Dump loaders


Petra Diamonds is a leading independent diamond mining group and a supplier of gem quality rough diamonds to the international market. The Company’s portfolio incorporates interests in three underground mines in South Africa (Finsch, the Cullinan Mine and Koffiefontein) and one open pit mine in Tanzania (Williamson).

Petra's strategy is to focus on value rather than volume production by optimising recoveries from its high-quality asset base in order to maximise their efficiency and profitability. The Group has a significant resource base which supports the potential for long-life operations.

Petra strives to conduct all operations according to the highest ethical standards and only operates in countries which are members of the Kimberley Process. The Company aims to generate tangible value for each of its stakeholders, thereby contributing to the socio-economic development of its host countries and supporting long-term sustainable operations to the benefit of its employees, partners and communities.

Petra is quoted with a premium listing on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange under the ticker 'PDL'. The Company’s loan notes due in 2026 are listed on the Irish Stock Exchange and admitted to trading on the Global Exchange Market. For more information, visit

Corporate and financial summary 31 December 2022

                        Unit  As at 31 December As at 30 September As at 30 June
                                    2022               2022            2022

Cash at bank –          US$m        146.6             154.0            288.2
(including restricted

Diamond debtors         US$m         4.3               4.2             37.4

Diamond inventories2,3  US$m        59.9               76.3            52.7
                       Carats      540,153           692,219          453,380

2026 US$336.7m loan     US$m        241.7             235.8            366.2

Bank loans and          US$m          —                 —                —

Consolidated Net Debt6  US$m        90.8               77.6            40.6

Bank facilities         US$m        58.8               55.1            61.5
undrawn and available5

Note:   The following exchange rates have been used for this announcement: average for H1 FY 2023 US$1: ZAR17.32 (FY 2022: US$1: ZAR15.22); closing rate as at 31 December 2022 US$1: ZAR17.00 (30 June 2022: US$1: ZAR16.27).


  1. The Group’s cash balances comprise unrestricted balances of US$130.4
     million, and restricted balances of US$16.2 million.
  2. Recorded at the lower of cost and net realisable value.
  3. Diamond inventories includes the Williamson 71,654.45 carat parcel of
     diamonds blocked for export during August 2017, with a carrying value of
     US$12.5 million. Under the framework agreement reached with the Government
     of Tanzania, as announced on 13 December 2021, the proceeds from the sale
     of this parcel are required to be allocated to Williamson.
  4. The 2026 US$336.7 million loan notes, originally issued following the
     capital restructuring (the “Restructuring”) completed during March 2021,
     have a carrying value of US$241.7 million which represents the outstanding
     principal amount of US$210.2 million (after the early participation phase
     of the debt tender offers as announced in September and October 2022) plus
     US$45.5 million of accrued interest and net of unamortised transaction
     costs capitalised of US$14.0 million.
  5. Bank loans and borrowings represent the Group’s ZAR1 billion revolving
     credit facility which remains undrawn and available.
  6. Consolidated Net Debt is bank loans and borrowings plus loan notes, less
     cash and diamond debtors.

Mine-by-mine tables:

Cullinan MineSouth Africa

                              H1 FY 2023                    H1 FY 2022
                        Q2        Q1       Total      Q2        Q1       Total


Revenue       US$m        45.8      56.9     102.7      74.9      92.8     167.7

Diamonds sold Carats   400,999   267,728   668,727   500,008   372,296   872,304

Average price US$          114       212       154       150       249       192
per carat


Tonnes        Tonnes 1,120,282 1,110,912 2,231,194 1,099,643 1,207,343 2,306,986

Diamonds      Carats   328,137   368,796   696,933   411,235   431,967   843,202

Grade1        Cpht        29.3      33.2      31.2      37.4      35.8      36.5


Tonnes        Tonnes    62,178    77,572   139,750   122,700   115,593   238,293

Diamonds      Carats    28,211    26,790    55,001    61,370    66,065   127,435

Grade1        Cpht        45.4      34.5      39.4      50.0      57.2      53.5


Tonnes        Tonnes 1,182,460 1,188,484 2,370,944 1 222,343 1,322,936 2,545,279

Diamonds      Carats   356,348   395,586   751,934   472,605   498,032   970,637

Note: 1. Petra is not able to precisely measure the ROM / tailings grade split because ore from both sources is processed through the same plant; the Company therefore back-calculates the grade with reference to resource grades.

Finsch – South Africa

                                  H1 FY 2023                H1 FY 2022
                             Q2      Q1      Total     Q2      Q1      Total


Revenue             US$m      32.0    23.4      55.4    46.4    19.3      65.7

Diamonds sold       Carats 283,833 177,285   461,118 474,643 201,652   676,295

Average price per   US$        113     132       120      98      96        97

ROM Production

Tonnes treated      Tonnes 522,578 572,976 1,095,554 721,741 701,378 1,423,119

Diamonds produced   Carats 234,150 260,217   494,367 351,175 350,368   701,543

Grade1              Cpht      44.8    45.4      45.1    48.7    50.0      49.3

Tailings Production

Tonnes treated      Tonnes  30,197  17,305    47,502       -       -         -

Diamonds produced   Carats   3,402   3,160     6,562       -       -         -

Grade1              Cpht      11.3    18.3      13.8       -       -         -

Total Production

Tonnes treated      Tonnes 552,775 590,281 1,143,056 721,741 701,378 1,423,119

Diamonds produced   Carats 237,552 263,377   500,929 351,175 350,368   701,543

Note: 1. Petra is not able to precisely measure the ROM / tailings grade split because ore from both sources is processed through the same plant; the Company therefore back-calculates the grade with reference to resource grades.

Williamson – Tanzania

                                 H1 FY 2023                 H1 FY 2022
                           Q2       Q1       Total     Q2      Q1      Total


Revenue           US$m      27.9      21.2      49.1    20.2       -      20.2

Diamonds sold     Carats 103,829    71,295   175,124  26,611       -    26,611

Average price per US$        269       297       280     760       -       760

ROM Production

Tonnes treated    Tonnes 520,017 1,309,359 1,829,376 988,978 365,138 1,354,116

Diamonds produced Carats  39,766   100,750   140,516  68,453  14,420    82,873

Grade1            Cpht       7.6       7.7       7.7     6.9     3.9       6.1

Total Production

Tonnes treated    Tonnes 520,017 1,309,359 1,829,376 988,978 365,138 1,354,116

Diamonds produced Carats  39,766   100,750   140,516  68,453  14,420    82,873

Koffiefontein – South Africa

                                    H1 FY 2023            H1 FY 2023
                                 Q2     Q1   Total    Q2      Q1     Total


Revenue                 US$m      2.2    1.4    3.6     8.3     2.8    11.1

Diamonds sold           Carats  4,228  3,703  7,931  16,400   4,238  20,638

Average price per carat US$       508    383    450     505     664     538

ROM Production

Tonnes treated          Tonnes 36,099 48,770 84,869 125,126 192,184 317,310

Diamonds produced       Carats  2,862  3,253  6,115   8,779  13,592  22,371

Grade1                  Cpht      7.9    6.7    7.2     7.0     7.1     7.1

Tailings Production

Tonnes treated          Tonnes      - 10,837 10,837       -       -       -

Diamonds produced       Carats      -    255    255       -       -       -

Grade1                  Cpht        -    2.4    2.4       -       -       -

Total Production

Tonnes treated          Tonnes 36,099 59,607 95,706 125,126 192,184 317,310

Diamonds produced       Carats  2,862  3,508  6,370   8,779  13,592  22,371

Note: 1. Petra is not able to precisely measure the ROM / tailings grade split because ore from both sources is processed through the same plant; the Company therefore back-calculates the grade with reference to resource grades.