Petra Diamonds has launched a small-scale mining initiative at its Koffiefontein deposit that will provide work for the local South African community.
The miner will give some of its tailings — ore that has already been treated — to the Koffiefontein Community Mining Primary Cooperative (KCM) for processing. The company met with the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, the regulator for the mining sector, to ensure the artisanal mining would comply with the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, as well United Nations standards.
“Petra believes there is a space for artisanal small-scale miners (ASM) to coexist with formalized, large-scale mining, since ASM can often profitably recover diamonds from resources that would be unprofitable, or at best marginal, for a larger operator due to the capital and overhead costs involved,” Petra said Thursday.
The initiative is the second of its kind for Petra, which had previously established ASM activities in 2017 with its former subsidiary, Kimberley Ekapa Mining.
“We regard this initiative as yet another milestone in the Petra legacy, and we welcome the KCM artisanal miners as partners in our industry to complement our own operations and extract optimal benefit from the diamond reserves in Koffiefontein,” noted Petra CEO Richard Duffy.
Image: The Koffiefontein mine. (Petra Diamonds)