WITH mining blood running thick in his veins, Pouroulis chairs arguably the most aggressively successful diamond companies around. Where others have cut back on production, notably De Beers, Petra - which Pouroulis founded and then listed in 1997 - has been growing at a dizzying rate. It has snapped up old De Beers mines like a child in a sweet shop. It promises a five-fold increase in diamond output in 2009 to more than a million carats from the former De Beers mines. The one set back Petra has had is BHP Billiton’s decision not to invest in the Angolan Alto Cuilo exploration project. Adonis, which is Greek for ‘Lord’, first entered the diamond sector in 1994 when he founded Blue Diamond Mines. Pouroulis showed a lapse in judgement when he lined up Petra to take over controversial diamond company Oryx and list it on AIM in 2000. That failed after advisor Grant Thornton threatened to walk out because of concerns about the role diamonds had in funding wars in Africa. Oryx had secured the large Mbuji-Mayi diamond mine in the Congo. It was reported in Britain’s Independent newspaper at the time that the Zimbabwean government owned 40% of Oryx.
LIFE OF ADONIS
Born in 1970, Pouroulis has a mining degree from the University of Witwatersrand. He spent a year working on South Africa’s gold mines and another year assessing mining propositions in Russia.
- Web Address: http://www.petradiamonds.com