Williamson mine in Tanzania suspended

The Williamson mine in Tanzania has been suspended. Petra Diamonds said the moves is set to pave way for investigation and assessment over a dam breach.

The dam at the mine burst and caused flood. Petra Diamonds confirmed no injuries or fatalities. However, neighbouring residential buildings being affected by flow of muddy waters. The government has also mobilized mine emergency response teams to the site.

Williamson Diamond Mine 

“While no injuries have been reported, any impact on the local communities would be viewed as a material negative from an ESG standpoint. The government has also mobilized mine emergency response teams to the site,” Berenberg bank analysts said.

The Williamson Diamond Mine is located 23 kilometres (14 mi) northeast of Shinyanga in Tanzania. Since its establishment, in 1940 the mine produced over 19 million carats (3,800 kg) of diamonds. Diamond mining operations at the Williamson diamond mine are composed of four distinct activities: mining of the pit, re-treatment of tailings to recover missed diamonds, and gravel mining both on the property and adjacent to the property where gravel has been alluvially deposited.

The open pit mining and tailings re-treatment are the largest of the four operations. The mine employs about 1,100 staff, mostly Tanzanians. The mine is one of the oldest continuously operating diamond mines in the world and has a high-quality pink diamonds that according to a 2020 report by The Guardian could value up to $700,000 a carat.

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