Mwadui production down by 10 per cent

Petra Williamson Diamond mine production has decreased by 10 per cent, attributing the trend some changes to the treatment plant.

The mine, in Mwadui, Shinyanga, said the first quarter, covering July-September this year, saw the production slipped to 34,976 carats from 38,780 carats of the same quarter in previous year.

The statement attributes the output declining to "plan downtime to implement certain changes to the treatment plant." However, it went on saying: "Williamson's full year production forecast remains in line with guidance."

The total tonnes treated in the first three months of Williamson's financial year starting July were 678,199 down by 6.0 per cent compared to 719,407 tonnes of same quarter last year.

But the firm said it is adamant that would beat the last year production that stood at 3,115,319 tonnes coming next June, when it closes the year.

Nevertheless, Petra's overall performance registered a 27 per cent in revenue for the quarter one to 65.1 million US dollars against 51.1 million US dollars last year, though sales volumes were up 85 per cent to 589,233 carats.

"Revenue growth was affected by weaker prices, as well as by the product mix," the statement, which was made available to 'Daily News,' said.

In addition to seasonal weakness, the market was further impacted by liquidity constraints in the Indian market, which is the world's most significant diamond cutting and polishing centre and which has been affected by a sustained period of weakness in the Rupee.

"Petra is now seeing firmer market conditions, in line with the usual seasonal pick-up towards the festive period and anticipates a stronger calendar year end," the statement said.

Last month, Petra closed sales for both its South African and Tanzanian production, recording combined revenue of 55.7 million US dollars for 442,566 carats sold.

The firm has seven operations-six in South Africa and one in Tanzania-which total production in the said quarter was up 25 per cent to 816,735 carats against last year's 654,690 carats of same quarter previous year.

"This strong production rate was achieved despite the challenging labour conditions in South Africa-is testament to the strength and perseverance of Petra's operations team," the statement said.
Source: Daily News, reported from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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