Williamson Diamond on record stone sales

Tanzania's Williamson Diamond, a subsidiary of Petra Diamond, sold large 35.8 carat stones, generating 1.3 million US dollars (over 2bn/-), the largest auction since the South Africa-based miner took over the mine about five years ago.

The auction that took place in June this year has encouraged the mining firm with high quality of diamonds produced in Mwadui, Shinyanga.

The mine life has been extended to 20 years. Petra Diamond has said in its full year financial statements that ended last June that it was encouraged by high quality of Williamson production. 

“…(the stone was) sold for 1.3 million US dollars during the June 2013 tender, being the first 1.0 million US dollars plus stone from Williamson under Petra’s stewardship,” the statement says.

On development plan last month, Petra announced plans to increase run-of-the mine (ROM) production to 3.6 metric tonnes per annum in 2014 financial year. 

The production is envisage to climb steadily ramping up to 5.0mtpa by 2017, which at a grade of 6.0 carats per hundred tonnes annum (cpht) will deliver 300,000 carats.

“This is an increase from previous guidance of 3.6 mtpa, due to a focus on the plant design to deliver energy efficiency and water recovery circuit improvements, resulting in the ability to increase throughput,” Petra said.

However, production beyond 5.0 mtpa and above this level is dependent upon security of appropriate electricity and water supplies.

Petra’s current mine plan for Williamson has a life of 20 years, but given that the Mwadui kimberlite hosts a major resource of 39.4 million carats (mcts), there is potential to extend the life of mine considerably.

Williamson delivered 150,342 carats of ROM production in 2013 compared to 42,855 carats of 2012, supplemented by 14,035 carats of alluvial production which is carried out by contractors.

Alluvial diamonds are those found under water having been washed away from the volcanic pipe where they erupted from the earth’s mantle by flowing water.

Tanzania’s mineral wealth is not limited to diamonds. The country has vast resources of coal, cobalt, nickel, uranium, and is Africa’s fourth-largest producer of gold.
Source: Daily News, reported from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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