BlueRock Diamonds reported the first annual profit in its history, as sales grew amid increased production and a higher average price, the miner said Tuesday.
The improvement was the result of a new initiative the miner implemented at its Kareevlei deposit in South Africa to stabilize production and offset the impact of the rainy season, during which operations are difficult.
Revenue for the year nearly tripled to GBP 4.1 million ($5.4 million) from the sale of 12,675 carats, compared with 5,805 carats in 2018. The average price rose 24% to $415 per carat, as BlueRock mined from higher-value portions of the deposit, it noted. Total output was 14,033 carats, versus 6,247 carats the previous year, as the majority of production stemmed from the company’s higher-grade KV1 pipe. That figure fell within BlueRock’s guidance of between 13,000 and 15,000 carats.
“I am very pleased with the continued success at Kareevlei, having achieved the aggressive guidance for 2019, and operational profitability for the first time,” said BlueRock executive chairman Mike Houston. “We are proud of this key milestone, which is a testament to the revised production strategy…which focuses on stabilizing production ahead of maximizing the exploitation of the resource.”
Based on the results, the company intends to implement further changes in order to increase production and lower costs, Houston added. It also plans to raise its guidance for the 2020 fiscal year following finalization of these initiatives.
BlueRock began operations in October 2012, and listed with the London Stock Exchange in October 2013.