Miner Petra Diamonds plans to have a positive cash flow by the second half of 2019, the company said today even as production fell in the third quarter of the financial year.
The company’s mines spat out 924,000 carats of diamonds, down 6.9 per cent on the year before as production decreased at its Finsch mine.
Output at the mine dropped 30 per cent to 387,000 carats, around 55,000 below expectations. The mine faced delays to a winder upgrade and the belt on a conveyor tore in January, the firm said.
However, production for the financial year to date is still up four per cent to 2.9m carats, the company revealed.
Chief executive Richard Duffy, who took the position two weeks ago, said the firm aims to be cash flow positive in the second half of 2019. His short-term focus is on “stabilising the operations as we transition from a stage of high capital investment,” Reuters reported.
“We expect to announce strategy towards the end of the calendar year,” Duffy added.
It is also in negotiations with authorities in Tanzania which seized a parcel of diamonds in 2017 in an attempt to get more revenue from foreign mining companies.
“We’re continuing to engage with the authorities. It’s difficult to talk about time, but we are having constructive conversations,” Duffy said.
Shares were trading up around 1.8 per cent to 17.47p in the afternoon.
Petra has faced a tough time in recent months, losing around 55 per cent of its share value since the beginning of the year. In late 2016 the firm traded at 171p per share.