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.