Williamson Mine to resume operation next June

PETRA Diamonds has said its Williamson Mine may resume production mid-next year, after addressing the social and environmental impact of the tailings storage facility wall breach.

Petra closed the mine for investigation after the incident ahead of the government’s directive last November after a tailings storage facility wall breach that caused minor harm to people and the environment.

Petra, the London-listed firm, said in a press release on Tuesday it has made considerable progress in addressing the social and environmental impact of the tailings storage facility wall breach.

“The necessary permits are being put in place, with production anticipated to resume during quarter one of the financial year 2024,” the statement said.

Ahead of the mine resumption, the statement said, maintenance was being accelerated and waste stripping carried out to construct the interim tailings storage facility and to enable an efficient ramp-up in production.

“As a result of the tailings storage facility wall breach, a 5.9 million US dollars remediation charge is reflected in the profit and loss statement after adjusted net profit after tax,” Petra said in a statement.

Additionally, approximately 1.5 million US dollars of this amount was incurred up to the end of last December, with the balance accrued for at period-end and is expected to be incurred during the second half of the 2023 financial year. Petra’s financial year starts in July.

Also in the environment, local community, technical and production, the statement said they continued to make good progress about the environmental, social and economic impact evaluation and remediation process, with humanitarian relief remaining in place for those affected.

“The geotechnical evaluation to establish the root cause of the subsidence that caused the breach is underway, with operations anticipated to restart using an interim tailings storage facility in quarter one of the financial year 2024,” the statement said.

Last November, the government suspended Williamson Diamonds for three months after the wall breach.

The decision was to pave the way for a thorough investigation and assessment of the incident of the dam bursting with neighbouring residential buildings being affected by the flow of muddy waters.

Petra has a 75per cent stake in Williamson Diamonds, with the government of Tanzania owning the remaining 25per cent.

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