Tanzania: Williamson Full-Year Production Falls 34pc

PETRA Diamond's Shinyanga based Williamson mine production has dropped by 34 per cent in the year ending June, impacted by the pit slump in January.

Production has also been affected by the firm's move to place the mine under care and maintenance due to the impact of low pricing on its liquidity.

A Petra statement issued on Thursday showed that Williamson production for a full year to June totalled 298,130 carats compared to 399,615 carats during a similar period the previous year.

[The production was] impacted by the pit slump of approximately 1.3 million tonnes that occurred at the mine in January in an area on the south western sector of the pit... "... As well as the decision to place the mine on care and maintenance during [in] April," Petra, controlling the largest diamond mine in the country, said.

The statement further said the mine in Tanzania remains under care and maintenance and recommencement of operations "is dependent on improved market conditions and rough diamond pricing."

For the year up to June, Williamson capital expenditure (Capex) of 8.0 million US dollars mainly related to in-pit waste removal and concurrent slimes dam extensions, and the extension of the tailings disposal infrastructure.

For 2021, Capex is guided at ca. 7.0 million US dollars, primarily related to the on-going waste removal, focused mainly on removal of the pit slump material, and concurrent slimes dam extensions, and the completion of the tailings disposal facilities.

It also includes Stay in Business capex. Production fell 7.0 per cent year-on-year, partly because Petra's Williamson mine in Tanzania has been shut since the start of April.

The Group reported a full-year revenue to June drop 36 per cent as the Covid-19 pandemic dealt a fresh blow to a struggling diamond industry.

Petra sold 2.9 million carats in its full year, down from 3.7 million in the previous year, while revenues dropped to 295.8 million US dollars from 463.6 million US dollars.

The falls reflect already weaker diamond prices to February this year, which were exacerbated when the pandemic disrupted sales cycles.

Petra cancelled May and June tenders because of travel restrictions and low demand from the midstream. It plans to hold its next tender in September.

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