|9 September 2020||LSE: PDL|
Petra Diamonds Limited
("Petra" or the "Company")
Statement regarding allegations of human rights abuses
at the Williamson Mine in Tanzania
Petra Diamonds Limited states that a UK-based law firm, Leigh Day, has filed claims in the High Court of England and Wales against Petra and Williamson Diamonds Limited ("WDL"), the operator of the Williamson diamond mine in Tanzania that is owned 75% by Petra and 25% by the Government of Tanzania. The claims are understood to have been filed on behalf of 32 anonymous individuals in relation to alleged breaches of human rights at the Williamson mine. The claims are understood to allege that Petra and WDL are liable for human rights violations, personal injuries and deaths suffered by these anonymous individuals at and surrounding the mine, arising from the mine’s security operations.
To date, the claims filed by Leigh Day have not been served on either Petra or WDL. In its letter before claim, Leigh Day has expressed an interest in alternative dispute resolution methods, including mediation.
Additionally, Petra has very recently received a letter from the UK-based Non-Governmental Organisation RAID regarding similar allegations raised by local residents and others relating to actions by WDL, its security contractor and others linked to WDL. Petra will cooperate with RAID in order to understand fully the nature of its concerns.
Petra takes these allegations extremely seriously. WDL, as the operator of the mine and owner of the mining concession, is carrying out an investigation, as fully and timeously as possible given the limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, supported by an independent, specialist consultant. Petra is initiating its own independent investigation, through a separate specialist third party, reporting to the Petra Board. Responses will be provided to the claimants’ lawyers in accordance with the relevant pre-action procedures of the English court, as well as to RAID.
Petra has previously disclosed that there has been ongoing illegal artisanal mining taking place at Williamson over a period of time, due to the challenges in securing the large perimeter of the Special Mining Licence area, which covers 30.6km2 including the main 146 hectare orebody, together with alluvial resources. This illegal mining activity is managed by WDL and the local government authorities on an ongoing basis.
Petra operates in accordance with the Company’s Human Rights Policy and its Code of Ethical Conduct (both of which can be found on the Group’s website at: https://www.petradiamonds.com/about-us/corporate-governance/business-ethics/), and the Company actively encourages the reporting of violations of these policies either through direct reporting at any of its offices or operations, or through the Deloitte Tip-Off Anonymous whistle blowing hotline. Both Petra and WDL are guided by, and seek to comply with, the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights.
For further information, please contact:
|Petra Diamonds, London||Telephone: +44 20 7494 8203|
About Petra Diamonds Limited
Petra Diamonds is a leading independent diamond mining group and a consistent supplier of gem quality rough diamonds to the international market. The Company has a diversified portfolio incorporating interests in three underground producing mines in South Africa (Finsch, Cullinan and Koffiefontein) and one open pit producing mine in Tanzania (Williamson).
Petra's strategy is to focus on value rather than volume production by optimising recoveries from its high-quality asset base in order to maximise their efficiency and profitability. The Group has a significant resource base of ca. 250 million carats, which supports the potential for long-life operations.
Petra conducts all operations according to the highest ethical standards and will only operate in countries which are members of the Kimberley Process. The Company aims to generate tangible value for each of its stakeholders, thereby contributing to the socio-economic development of its host countries and supporting long-term sustainable operations to the benefit of its employees, partners and communities.
Petra is quoted with a premium listing on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange under the ticker 'PDL' and is a constituent of the FTSE4Good Index. The Company’s US$650 million loan notes due in 2022 are listed on the Global Exchange market of the Irish Stock Exchange. For more information, visit www.petradiamonds.com.