Diamond production at Mwadui goes up

Petra Diamonds has said total production at its Williamson Mine is expected to increase to 2.5 tonnes per annum next year before climbing to 3.6 tonnes annually by 2016.
This increase (excluding alluvials) follows the rebuilding of the existing plant, major pit reshaping works, which were completed and started production this quarter, the company said in a statement.

The production was boosted “following the introduction of a re-crush system into the plant circuit,” Petra said in this year’s financial statement. 

The statement shows that contract mining of alluvial, made up of materials that are left by tailings, is planned to contribute 14,000 carats in the next year with production levels thereafter to be reviewed annually.

Tonnes treated will exceed ore mined year 2013 to 2016 further to the processing of the run of mine (ROM) stockpile— estimated to be 700,000 tonnes and to contain 40,000 carats established after pit-shaping operations.

The company, which has several diamond mines in South Africa, said for the brief operating period in this financial year, the mine contributed 42,855 carats from the main pit at a grade of 5.2 carats per hundred tonnes of ore (cpht).

“Although the initial ROM grade is lower than management’s expectations (6.0 cpht), the overall quality of the production observed to date was encouraging,” Petra said. 

The re-crush circuit in the plant will be commissioned in the second quarter of next year and it is anticipated that along with other continual improvements on plant efficiency, will lead to an improvement in ROM grade.

Meanwhile total production at the mine went up by 93 per cent to 57,050 carats during the financial year 2012 when compared to the previous year’s 29,510 carats. 

Of the total output, 14,195 carats came from contract alluvial operations while the remaining 42,855 carats emanated from its Kimberlite operations.

During the year under review, Petra said the Williamson Mine recorded revenue of 11.6 million US dollars after selling 49,153 carats during the period under review from 9.5 million US dollars a year earlier. Some 31,555 carats were sold in 2011.

The diamonds were sold at an average price of 236 US dollars per carat down 22 per cent from 302 US dollars realised a year earlier. 

 Williamson Mine at Mwadui in Shinyanga is the world’s largest economic Kimberlite by surface area. It contains a major diamond resource of approximately 39 million carats. The mine life span is estimated at 50 years.
Source: The Daily News, http://www.dailynews.co.tz,reported by Abduel Elinaza in Dar es Salaam
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