For the first quarter of fiscal 2014, Rockwell Diamonds has announced a 31% increase in revenue from diamond sales.

 James Campbell, CEO and President, Rockwell stated: “The high quality of diamond sales for the first quarter provides further justification of our strategy to focus Rockwell’s production growth to high potential assets in the Middle Orange River region. We are pleased to produce a 31% increase in revenue from diamond sales from our own operations – before any beneficiation income. This performance is underpinned by a 109% increase in our average diamond values, more than making up for the 38% reduction in total carats sold. It included several high quality diamonds from our flagship Saxendrift operation and the newly commissioned Saxendrift Hill Complex mine. As the operations at Saxendrift Hill Complex and Niewejaarskraal (currently in commissioning) are established and reach their nameplate capacity, we are positioned to make up the sales shortfall from Tirisano and Klipdam.”

This increase over the same quarter last year occurs even though the company placed its Tirisano mine onto care and maintenance late in 2012 and sold its Klipdam mine early in the quarter.

As a result of sales of high quality diamonds, Rockwell’s flagship Saxendrift mine achieved a 48% year-on-year increase in average price per carat received, with the value of sales up 56% year-on-year in the first quarter.

In addition, the first diamond sales from the newly-commissioned Saxendrift Hill Complex were recorded, at an average price per carat of US$3 668 from the sale of 130 carats. Royalties in the first quarter to the Company totalled $134 749 on diamond sales by the three royalty mining contracts at Tirisano on revenue of $1.1 million.

Total revenue of US$6.6 million was recorded for the company’s own operations (excluding royalty mining contracts) from the sale of 3 257 carats at an average price of US$2 018 per carat compared to US$5.0 million at an average value of US$962 for the same period in fiscal 2013. Total carats sold from its own operations declined by 38% from 5 229 carats as the company transitioned its production focus exclusively to operations in the Middle Orange River region which typically yield gem-quality diamonds. The sale of several large, high-valued diamonds recovered in this region contributed to the 109% increase in average price per carat from a year ago.

Rockwell is engaged in the business of operating and developing alluvial diamond deposits, with a goal to become a mid-tier diamond production company. The Company has two operational mines, which it is progressively optimising, as well as a third mine which will come into production in the first quarter of 2013. Rockwell also has two development projects and a pipeline of earlier stage properties with future development potential.