Tanzania : Petra Diamonds fails to export 71,654.45 carats of diamonds

Publié le mardi 12 septembre 2017, par Rutilance.com

Petra Diamonds Ltd, LSE-listed diamond company, failed to export 71,654.45 carats of diamonds from open pit Williamson mine in Tanzania to marketing office in Antwerp, in Belgium.

The company having 75% ownership of the mine confirmed, on 11 September, that a parcel of diamonds, 71,654.45 carats from the Williamson mine in Tanzania, has been blocked from export to marketing office in Antwerp. It also said that “certain key personnel from Williamson are currently being questioned by the authorities” of Tanzania. This follows alleged findings of an investigation into the Tanzanian diamond sector by a parliamentary select committee. But Petra Diamonds said the “grounds upon which these actions have been taken have not been formally made known to the Company as yet”.

According to company, all operations related to the mine are conducted in a transparent manner and in full compliance with legislation in Tanzania and the Kimberley Process. The Government of Tanzania owns 25% the mine and has complete oversight of the diamonds produced. A number of different Government representatives in conjunction with Petra physically control the diamond produced, from the point of recovery until the point of sale.

The company underscored that it has no responsibility for the provisional valuation of diamond parcels from Williamson before they are exported to Antwerp, as this is carried out by the Government’s Diamonds and Gemstones valuation agency. This provisional valuation is used to calculate the Company’s provisional royalty payments to the Government, however adjustments to final royalty payments based on the actual sales proceeds for the diamonds, once sold in Antwerp, are then made at the end of the tender process.

Williamson mine is based upon 146 hectare Mwadui kimberlite pipe which is the world’s largest economic kimberlite to have seen continuous mining. The pit is in operation since 1940 but it is only 95 m at its deepest point due to the large size of the deposit. Williamson is renowned for beautifully rounded white goods and ‘bubblegum’ pink diamonds, including the 23 carat Williamson Pink (54 carat rough stone), which is considered to be one of the finest pink diamonds ever recovered. Petra’s current mine plan for Williamson has a life extending to 2033, but given that the Mwadui kimberlite hosts a major resource of 40.4 million carats, there is potential to extend the life of mine considerably. 

Petra Diamonds is a leading independent diamond mining group and an increasingly important supplier of rough diamonds to the international market. It has interests in five producing operations : three underground mines in South Africa (Finsch, Cullinan and Koffiefontein), the Kimberley Ekapa Mining joint venture (including the Kimberley Underground mine and extensive tailings retreatment operations), and Williamson mine in Tanzania. It also maintains an exploration programme in Botswana. Petra has a core objective to steadily increase annual production to 5.0 - 5.3 million from financial year 2019 onwards. The Group has a significant resource base in excess of 300 million carats.