Mwadui ups production, mine life span

Williamson Diamond Mine production has increased by 15 per cent this year, while mine development plan show further increment in the near future.

The mine life span has also been extended to 19 years. The mine is operated by South Africa’s Petra Diamond. The recent report for Petra’s financial year that ends in June, shows that the mine delivered increased production of 188,465 carats in 2014 compared to 164,376 carats in 2013.

The reports says: “The mine delivered increased productionÉ, further to the increase in tonnes treated in line with the progression of the mine’s development plan”.

Petra’s financial year last quarter that ends in June, the harvest 1.0 million tonnes of run-of-mine (ROM) material was treated, giving an annualised equivalent production level in excess of 3.6 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa).

However, the expansion plan at Williamson will see tonnage throughput ramp up to circa 5 Mtpa from 2017, which at a grade of circa 6.0 carats per hundred tonnes (cpht) is expected to deliver 300,000 carats per annum (ctpa).

Petra’s current mine plan for Williamson has a life of 19 years, but given that the Mwadui kimberlite hosts a major resource of 33.1 million carats (Mcts), there is potential to extend the life-of-mine considerably. “The Williamson expansion plan is on track,” the report indicates.

The 2015 ROM tonnage throughput guided at circa 3.7 Mt, ramping up to 4.3 Mt in 2016 and then reaching steady state production of circa 5 Mtpa from 2017 onwards.

“The ROM grade is expected to be circa 5.6 cpht for 2015, rising to circa 6.0 cpht from 2016 onwards further to improved plant efficiencies,” the report says.

Williamson, in Shinyanga, is an open pit operation, based upon the mining of the 146 hectare Mwadui kimberlite. The mine produces high quality diamonds, as evidenced by the average value of US$ 303 per carat sold in this year.
Source: Daily News, reported from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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