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In 2019, Tanzania was the 9th largest diamond producer in Africa with 402,329 carts sold that year, after Botswana (21 million ca), the Democratic Republic of Congo (19 million ca), Angola (10 million ca), South Africa (9.5 million ca), Namibia (1.7 million ca), Zimbabwe (1.5 million ca), Sierra Leone (0.66 million ca), and Lesotho (0.6 million ca).

Williamson Diamonds Mine

Tanzania’s diamond extraction is concentrated mainly at the Williamson diamond mine located south of the town Mwanza in northwest Tanzania.

The mine is an open-pit operation based upon the 146-hectare Mwadui kimberlite pipe, which is the world’s largest economic kimberlite to have seen continuous mining. The potential life of the mine is more than 50 years, while diamond resources stand at approximately 38.1 million ca.

Petra Diamonds (LSE:PDL), through its subsidiary Williamson Diamonds Limited, holds 75% of the ownership rights over the mine, while the remaining 25% are owned by the Government of Tanzania.

In FY 2019, the company achieved the highest level of production at the mine in over 40 years, with 399,615 carats produced (FY 2020: 298,130 carats).

The total amount of diamond carats sold fell by 26%, from 402,329 in FY 2019 to 297,245 in FY 2020. During the same period, the average price per carat fell from USD 231 to USD 177.

In December 2021, Petra Diamonds announced that its effective interest in Williamson Diamonds Limited (WDL) is due to decrease to 63% and the Government of Tanzania’s to increase to 37%.

In addition, the company has executed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to sell 50% (less one share) of the entity that holds Petra’s shareholding in WDL, to Caspian Limited-the long-term technical services contractor at diamond mine-for a total consideration of USD 15 million.

Last Updated: 20th December 2021