Petra Diamonds, the owner and operator of the Cullinan mine, the diamond source
that more than a century ago produced the world’s largest rough diamond ever, is
planning to clear its debt with the production of the mine’s new section. Speaking to
Reuters, Cullinan’s general manager Juan Kemp said it could take between five and
10 years to achieve that goal.
Reuters reported Petra’s debt is currently around $420 million, representing 65
percent of its total $650 loan. The company expects to generate a free cash flow and
to begin reducing debt during this calendar year - a delay of almost two years, due to
strikes and technical difficulties that hit the company in 2017 and 2018. The junior
miner acquired Cullinan at the beginning of the century - at that time it was still called
Premier - from De Beers and to do so borrowed heavily to modernize and expand the
The Premier Mine is an underground diamond mine, situated in the town of Cullinan,
40 kilometer east of Pretoria, in Gauteng Province, South Africa. Established in 1902,
Petra renamed it the Cullinan Diamond Mine in November 2003, in celebration of its
Found on January 26, 1905 and weighing 3,106.75 carats, the Cullinan Diamond
remains the largest gem-quality rough diamond ever found. Petra Diamonds’ GM
Kemp told Reuters he keeps dreaming about “when will we get that next big stone?”