PETRA DIAMONDS ISSUES A “LOAN BREACH” WARNING
Petra Diamonds issued a warning Monday (October 9) informing shareholders it was “likely to breach lending covenants at the end of this year”. This, according to Mining Weekly, is “owing to labor disruptions at its South African mines and uncertainty around sales volumes from its Williamson mine in Tanzania”.
Last month, Petra said that its “debt facilities” for the period to December 2017 remained “sensitive to diamond prices, exchange rates and expected production from its mines”.
In late September, Petra reached a new three year salary agreement with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) in South Africa. Miners at the Finsch, Koffiefontein and Kimberley Ekapa Mining JV operation operations went on strike on September 26, and labor disputes were resolved on September 29.
In late August, Tanzanian officials at Dar es Salaam airport confiscated a Petra consignment of 71,645-carat of diamonds The diamonds were sourced from the Williamson mine, of which Petra owns 75%, and the government the remaining 25%. The diamonds were being exported to Antwerp, but Tanzanian officials claim they had been undervalued. On September 27, Petra announced that it has received authorization from the Tanzanian government to resume diamond exports and sales from the Williamson.