September 11, 2008

Writethru: De Beers Sells Off Mine Shares in Tanzania – Press

Writethru: De Beers sells off mine shares in Tanzania - press

DAR ES SALAAM, Sept.10 (Xinhua) -- The Petra Diamonds Limited has reached a deal with De Beers to get the ownership of a diamond mine in northwestern Tanzania.

Local English broadsheet The Guardian on Wednesday quoted a statement from the company as saying the deal would be completed mid- next month at a price of 10 million U.S. dollars.

The diamond mine is located at Mwadui and is a joint venture between the Williamson Diamonds Limited and the government of Tanzania.

De Beers held 75 percent of the Williamson Diamonds Limited that has been operating in the open-pit mine at Mwadui. The government of Tanzania holds the remaining 25 percent of the mine.

The production of diamonds at the Mwadui mine reached 200,000 carats in the first six months this year, as compared with 116,000 carats for the same period last year. The mine produced 220,209 carats of diamonds worth 23 million dollars in 2007.

Canadian geologist John Williamson discovered the Mwadui kimberlite mine in 1940 and De Beers purchased half of the shareholding of the Williamson Diamonds Limited in 1958.

De Beers managed the Mwadui mine between 1958 and 1973, and then between 1994 and now.

The Petra Diamonds Limited was formed in 1888 and operates in South Africa, Angola, Botswana and Sierra Leone.

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