WILLIAMSON mine, a subsidiary of Petra Diamonds, production dropped by 20 per cent in three months to March, affected by pit slump that occurred at the beginning of the year.
Williamson production dropped from 87,503 carats three months to December to 70,029 carats at end of March, which is Petra's third quarter.
According to the statement issued over the weekend, the Mwadui in Shinyanga based mine, production fell after the pit slump of 1.3mt in the south western sector of the pit in January.
Petra's Chief Executive, Richard Duffy said their operations continued reflect strong first half, ended last December, performance into Q3 in large part due to delivery of throughput benefits further to the positive implementation of Project 2022, prior to the disruption caused by the outbreak of Covid-19.
"Although restrictions brought about by lockdowns implemented globally resulted in the cancellation of our May tender, we are seeing early signs of markets re-opening and are looking at the viability of holding a June tender.
"We intend to remain highly flexible in our sales approach in order to take advantage of optimal market conditions when available," Mr Duffy said.
Post Period end, the Williamson mine was placed on care and maintenance in mid-April, due to the unprecedented depressed market environment. The Company will look to resume operations once diamond prices are at a level that makes it operationally sustainable.
"Discussions with the government in relation to various issues, including the overdue VAT receivables and the blocked diamond parcel, are ongoing but have been interrupted by the Covid-19 outbreak," the statement said.
In general, Petra revenue went down 32 per cent to 91.3 million US dollars (Q3 FY 2019: 135.2 million US dollars), with the March tender being impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Post period end, a follow-up tender in Antwerp realised 6.3 million US dollars with rough diamond prices for the combined March/April tenders down ca. 27 per cent compared to February 2020 prices. Ca. 24kcts, being 5.0 per cent of the volume of goods offered for sale and comprising predominantly higher-value goods, remain unsold, further impacting prices realised, and will be offered for sale in the next tender cycle.