South Africa labour disputes drag Petra Diamonds shares down

Petra’s Finsch mine, South Africa’s second largest diamond operation by production. (Image courtesy of Petra Diamonds)

Shares in Petra Diamonds (LON:PDL) dropped almost 6% Tuesday after the company reported fresh labour disruptions at two of its mines in South Africa, amid talks to reach a new wage agreement.

Petra revealed there had been disruption at its Finsch mine and Kimberley joint venture operations since Monday night.

Workers at Petra’s Finsch mine and the Kimberley Ekapa joint venture have gone on a strike, Petra said in the statement. Underground and surface mining have been affected at both sites but its treatment plant is running “near normal” capacity, it added.

The news came just a day after the company logged disappointing results for its financial year and updated the market on an ongoing legal wrangle in Tanzania.

The stock fell roughly 6% to close at 74.50p adding to the nearly 6% it had already lost on Monday after Petra warned it might be in danger of breaching its banking covenants if it cannot resume exports from Tanzania.

Petra has borrowed heavily to expand its historic diamond mines in South Africa, previously owned by top producer De Beers.

The strikes at the South African operations come as the diamond miner, known for some major recent findings, is negotiating a new three-year wage agreement with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM). It has already reached an agreement at its Cullinan mine.