OREANDA-NEWS. Petra Diamonds Limited announces the recovery of a 121.26 carat white diamond at the Cullinan mine in South Africa. 

The stone is a Type II diamond of exceptional colour and clarity, and is an outstanding example of the large, high quality diamonds for which the mine is known - see the 'Notes to Editors' section for more information. 

The diamond will be sold in the last tender of Petra's 2016 financial year ("FY 2016"), which is currently underway in Johannesburg. This, along with a number of other high quality stones that will also be included in the tender, will deliver an improved product mix at the mine in the last quarter of FY 2016.

About Petra Diamonds Limited

Petra Diamonds is a leading independent diamond mining group and an increasingly important supplier of rough diamonds to the international market. The Company has interests in six producing operations: four underground mines in South Africa (Finsch, Cullinan, Koffiefontein and Kimberley Underground), extensive tailings operations in Kimberley (via its interest in the Kimberley Mines) and one open pit mine in Tanzania (Williamson). It also maintains an exploration programme in Botswana.                                                                                            

Petra has a core objective to steadily increase annual production to ca. 5 million carats by FY 2019. The Group has a significant resource base of ca. 300 million carats. 

Petra conducts all operations according to the highest ethical standards and will only operate in countries which are members of the Kimberley Process. Petra is quoted with a premium listing on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange under the ticker 'PDL' and is a constituent of the FTSE4Good Index.

About the Cullinan mine

Located at the foothills of the Magaliesberg mountain range, 37 kilometres north-east of Pretoria in South Africa, Cullinan is one of the world's most celebrated diamond mines. 

It earned its place in history with the discovery of the Cullinan diamond in 1905, the largest rough gem diamond ever found at 3,106 carats. This iconic stone was cut into the two most important diamonds which form part of the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London - the First Star of Africa, which is mounted at the top of the Sovereign's Sceptre and which at 530 carats is the largest flawless cut diamond in the world, and the Second Star of Africa, a 317 carat polished diamond which forms the centrepiece of the Imperial State Crown. 

Cullinan is a famous source of large white diamonds and frequently yields diamonds larger than 10 carats.  Furthermore, it has produced over 800 stones weighing more than 100 carats, 140 stones weighing more than 200 carats, and around a quarter of all diamonds weighing more than 400 carats. 

Notable diamonds historically produced from Cullinan include the Premier Rose (353 carats rough), the Niarchos (426 carats rough), the De Beers Centenary (599 carats rough), the Golden Jubilee (755 carats rough) and the famous Taylor-Burton diamond (69 carats polished).  More recently, the Cullinan Heritage (507 carats rough) was recovered by Petra and sold for US$35.3 million in February 2010, being at the time the highest price on record for a rough diamond. 

Cullinan is also renowned as the world's most important source of blue diamonds, providing the collection of 11 rare blues displayed in 2000 at London's Millennium Dome alongside the Millennium Star and which included the fancy vivid blue 'Heart of Eternity' (27 carats polished). Petra has recovered a number of important blue diamonds since acquiring a majority stake in the mine in 2008, including the Blue Moon of Josephine (12 carats polished, cut from a 29.6 carat rough diamond) which sold for US$48.5 million at auction in November 2015 (a world record price per carat for any polished diamond of just over US$4 million) and the Cullinan Dream (24 carats polished, cut from a 122.5 carat rough diamond), which sold for US$25.4 million at auction in June 2016. 

About Type II Diamonds

Type II diamonds have no measurable nitrogen impurities, meaning they are often of top quality in terms of colour and clarity.