Truck transporting ore at Petra’s Williamson mine.
Supply: Petra Diamonds

PETRA Diamonds suspended employees and would exchange the non-public safety agency at its Williamson mine in Tanzania because it sought to unscramble quite a few claims of human rights abuses involving scores of artisanal miners over greater than 10 years.

The UK-listed agency additionally stated it might open up diamond tailings sources that artisanal miners may entry in an effort to offer “financial growth alternatives”.

These initiatives had been the results of an interim report into human abuses first levelled in opposition to Williamson mine, during which Petra has a 75% stake, by Leigh Day, a UK-based regulation agency. A subsequent report was revealed by non-governmental organisation RAID, describing acts of violence in opposition to artisanal miners allegedly dedicated by Williamson mine’s safety contractor, and Tanzanian police. The Tanzanian authorities owns a balancing 25% stake within the mine.

A full report setting out long-term cures to sure acts of violence, allegedly perpetrated since Petra invested within the mine in 2009, can be revealed on the finish of March, Petra stated as we speak. The report can be overseen by a sub-committee consisting of non-executive administrators of Petra Diamonds.

The interim report detailed cases of skirmishes between artisanal miners, mine contractors, and police during which harm and fatalities had been suffered on all sides. The general image introduced by the occasions alleged and investigated within the interim report paint an image of operating, cat and mouse battles.

Petra acknowledged that in simply three months from November to January this 12 months, there have been 79 recorded incursions on Williamson’s Particular Mining Licence (SML) involving 1,091 unlawful diggers. In 60 of the recorded incursions, no power was used “regardless of the unlawful diggers turning into aggressive in eight of these incidents,” stated Petra’s interim report.

Petra investigated 4 current occasions during which allegations had been made that retreating unlawful miners had been both shot at or subjected to violent actions. Petra stated in these occasions, there was no proof baton rounds, as an illustration, had been discharged by its safety contractor or Tanzanian police. Teargas canisters had been, nevertheless, discharged with a view to disperse intruders, it stated. In some circumstances, unlawful miners totaled teams of 70 or 150 individuals, some armed with sling-shots.

Petra stated it had suspended Williamson’s head of safety and its head of basic providers pending the result of investigations. The safety contractor would get replaced following the problem of a young as a result of be accomplished by end-March.

Different remedial measures embody ‘refresher’ coaching and training providers, particularly into the Voluntary Rules on Safety and Human Rights. A brand new grievance system will likely be carried out, medical amenities will likely be upgraded, in addition to on-mine police amenities.

The report comes amid plans by Petra to reopen Williamson which was positioned on care and upkeep final 12 months. The corporate lately emerges from a 12 months of some existential import regarding near-crippling debt.

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