Petra Diamonds CEO Johan Dippenaar will leave the company after it recorded a huge loss during the fiscal year, it said Monday.
The company reported a net loss of $203.1 million for the period ending June 30, as opposed to a profit of $20.7 million the year before. This was due to the combination of an impairment charge — a permanent reduction in the value of an asset — on its Koffiefontein mine, and a loss stemming from the ceasing of operations and sale of its Kimberley asset. That divestment was part of an effort to raise money to pay off debt.
“Learning from past challenges, the group’s focus is to regain investor confidence by the continued optimization of operations, thereby delivering consistent production output with efficient operating and capital expenditure,” Dippenaar said.
The miner is currently in the middle of a succession plan that includes a review of its board, committee and senior-management structures, Petra explained. Dippenaar will leave as part of this plan once the nomination committee has found a successor.
“Johan has led Petra through a long period of significant growth, taking the company’s annual production from approximately 175,000 carats in [fiscal 2006] to 4.6 million carats in [fiscal 2018], and establishing the company as a leading independent diamond producer,” said Petra chairman Adonis Pouroulis. “As Petra now approaches the final stage of its expansion plans, it is positioned to reap the benefits and, in line with the nomination committee’s succession plan, a successor for the CEO position will be appointed in due course.”
Revenue at Petra increased 25% to $495.3 million for the year. Production rose 19% to 3.8 million carats. The miner realized sales of $78 million from its September tender, which occurred after the end of the second half, as prices fell 5% on a like-for-like basis compared with the same period last year. Petra plans to hold six more tenders in the 2019 fiscal year.
Petra operates the Cullinan, Finsch and Koffiefontein mines in South Africa, as well as the Williamson mine in Tanzania.