Petra’s Williamson sales dip due to erratic power, water supply

Williamson mine, Mwadui Tanzania
Williamson Diamonds, a South Africa’s Petra Diamonds unit, has recorded a drop in sales revenue due to the depletion of available alluvial gravels, erratic power supply and water shortage.

Sales revenues dropped from 7.5 million US dollars in the first half to 1.5 million US dollars in the half ending last December, Petra Diamonds said in the financial statement. 

The constraints also led to reduced amount of carats produced in the period under review after realising 5,044 carats against the 23,833 carats of the first half of 2011.

“Petra had anticipated lower alluvial production in 2012 due to the depletion of available alluvial gravels and the power and water constraints previously reported,” the statement for the six-month period, ending December 2011 says.

Power problems have sent the company back to drawing room to revise the timing of its long-term expansion project.

The revised timing of the project and construction of a new main plant remain subject to confirmation of secure electricity supply from Tanzania Electricity Supply Company. 

Otherwise, Petra’s overall production, revenue and mining profits were up. The firm has interests in eight producing mines, seven in South Africa—Finsch, Cullinan, Koffiefontein, Kimberley Underground, Helam, Sedibeng and Star—and one in Tanzania—Williamson.

The production rose 64 per cent to 953,553 carats from 582,102 carats mined in the first half of 2011 while revenues were up 13 per cent to 101 million US dollars. 

The company’s profit from mining activity rose 25 per cent to 30.7 million US dollars against 24.5 million US dollars in the first half.

But despite good results, the company posted after tax loss of 26.7 million US dollar from to 24.5 million US dollars profit in the first half of 2011. 

The company has blamed the unrealised foreign exchange losses of 35.7 million US dollars, of which about 16 million US dollar have reversed since the period ended due to the strengthening of the South Africa’s Rand.

Petra controls 75 per cent shares in Williamson mine in Mwadui, Shinyanga while the government of Tanzania owns 25 per cent of the mine.
Source: The Daily News,www.dailynews.co.tz, reported by Abduel Elinaza
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