Tanzania: Petra Shares Tumble As Woes Pile Up

The Tanzanian government has seized British Petra Diamonds’ ores worth nearly $30m amid a government investigation the company said on Monday

In a filing with regulators in the London Stock Exchange, Petra said it was not told formally why the government of Tanzania had blocked the exporting of its shipment, and that it had complied with all the relevant legislation.

Late last month (Aug. 31), Tanzanian authorities seized $15 million worth of diamonds at Dar es Salaam airport, which were set for export to Antwerp, Belgium.

Petra Diamonds' stock market value fell after the Tanzanian government seized a parcel of gems valued at almost $15m (£11.4m) as part of a parliamentary investigation into alleged wrongdoing in the diamond sector.

The affair echoes the plight of Acacia Mining, the London-listed goldminer, which is fighting for its survival amid a similar...

The miner confirmed that a parcel of diamonds containing 71,654.45 carats of rough from the Williamson mine has been blocked from export to Petra's marketing office in Antwerp.

Tanzania has valued the seized diamonds at $29.5 million-double of the Williamson's $14.7 million valuation.

A minister and deputy minister have resigned after they were allegedly implicated in an investigation into the country's mining industry, according to reports. Tanzania Broadcasting Corp, which is state run, reported on Saturday that government officials accused the diamond mind of undervaluing its diamonds.

Its statement follows media reports about the findings of an investigation into the Tanzanian diamond sector by a parliamentary select committee in Tanzania.

The committee found contradicting reports between different government agencies on the real value of diamond exports, Bloomberg reported.

"Petra is committed to engagement with the government in order to resolve this matter and ensure that the correct information is available to all parties".

Petra has also suspended operations at one of its mines in Tanzania.

"The competitive open-tender process utilised by Petra is also used by several other diamond mining companies and has a proven track record of transparent price discovery", the company said.

Petra said certain key personnel at its mine had been questioned by government officials, and it was therefore forced to suspend its operations on a temporarily basis for the safety, health, and security reasons.

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