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Petra Diamonds output surges

May 09 2012 09:37 Reuters

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London - Africa-focused Petra Diamonds' quarterly production more than doubled as output from its Finsch mine in South Africa was taken into account for the first time, and the miner said prices for rough diamonds rose.

Petra Diamonds, which operates mainly in South Africa, said demand from the US and Asian markets remained steady even as prices climbed up after the rough diamond market stabilised in December.

"The stronger market is due to a recovery in confidence after the initial impact of the eurozone debt crisis abated," the company said in a statement.

Rival Gem Diamonds said in April rough diamond prices would continue to increase in the second quarter.

Prices for rough diamonds jumped in the first half of 2011 on low inventories and rising Asian demand, but fell sharply in the last five months of the year as markets tumbled and investors took cover.

Petra Diamonds' production rose 126% to 622,509 carats for the third quarter, prompting the company to back its full-year production target of over 2 million carats.

The Finsch mine - South Africa's second largest diamond operation by production which Petra bought from De Beers in September last year - contributed 343,051 carats to overall output in the quarter.

Shares of the company, which was added to the FTSE 250 index earlier this year, were up 5% at 132.59 pence at 07:17 GMT on Wednesday on the London Stock Exchange.

 
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