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Tanzania’s Williamson Diamond Mine Expects to Restart Operations in Q1 FY 2024 as Chinese Demand Boosts Sales


Petra Diamonds (LSE: PDL), the mining company that owns–together with the Government of Tanzania (GOT)–and operates the Williamson diamond mine in Tanzania, has recently published its sales results for the 4th tender of the Financial year 2023 which indicate an increase of 12.5% from the previous tender.

CEO Richard Duffy explains that “Petra’s fourth tender for FY 2023 saw a 12.5% increase in like-for-like prices on Tender 3 FY 2023, confirming the improving trend observed in the previous tender. We ascribe the positive pricing trends to a recovery in demand from China as COVID-19 restrictions continue to dissipate, coupled with a more buoyant outlook from the recent Hong Kong International Jewellery Show. Stronger demand from major jewellery brands has also supported prices for smaller goods. Solid demand for coloured stones across all size ranges was evident in this cycle leading to improved pricing.”

The announcement also confirms that Petra plans to restart operations at the Williamson diamond mine in Q1 FY 2024.

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Petra Diamonds Operations in Tanzania

Petra’s portfolio incorporates interests in three underground mines in South Africa (Finsch, Cullinan Mine and Koffiefontein) and one open pit mine in Tanzania (Williamson).

Williamson is Tanzania’s only important diamond producer. The mine is an open pit operation based upon the 146-hectare Mwadui kimberlite pipe, which is one of the world’s largest economic kimberlites.

Production at Williamson is currently temporarily suspended, following the breach of one of its Tailing Storage Facilities on 7th November 2022, resulting in flooding away from the pit which has extended into certain areas outside of the mine lease area.

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A TSF is used to store waste materials, known as tailings, that are produced during the processing of minerals such as gold, copper, or iron. Tailings are made up of finely ground rock, water, and other chemicals used in the extraction process, and they can pose environmental risks if not properly managed.

TSFs enable the separation and removal of valuable minerals from the ore while minimizing the impact on the environment. However, they can also pose risks if not properly designed, constructed, and maintained.

No fatalities or serious injuries occurred as a result of the incident at Williamson. The cause of the breach has not yet been confirmed.

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