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Petra to boost production at Diamond Mine - Official

12 march 2009

Aim-listed miner which was recently given a nod to keep the 75 percent stake it bought in Tanzania's Williamson Diamond Mine, says it intends to increase output at the mine to about 500 000 carats up from 200 000 carats.
Reports had, however, indicated that the miner was targeting over one-million carats in the year to June 2009.
"Indications are that the introduction of new technology could increase output to around, or even above 7.5 million tonnes per annum, reducing unit operating costs and resulting in an estimated annual production of some 500,000 carats and a mine life of around 20 years," Petra's corporate communications manager, Cathy Malins told a local paper.
She said Petra was considering an appropriate expansion programme to capitalise on the economies of scale offered by the large size of the Mwadui deposits.
Williamson is regarded as the world's largest kimberlite mine with a total resource base of 265-million carats.
Petra bought the stake from Cheviot Holdings, a unit of De Beers, for USD10-million last September and the Tanzanian Government, which owns 25 percent of Williamson, had initially objected to the deal saying an agreement with De Beers gave it priority to buy the shares.

Mathew Nyaungwa, Rough&Polished from Tanzania