Petra Diamonds Ltd has reached a $6 million settlement after claims of human rights abuses at the Williamson mine in Tanzania.
The allegations came to light in a November 2020 report released by UK-based non-profit Rights and Accountability in Development, documenting an alleged seven deaths and 41 assaults on artisanal miners who were said to have been found trespassing on the site by security contractors and security employees of Williamson Diamonds. The alleged incidents are said to have occurred since 2009 when Petra acquired the mine.
Petra initially responded to the report by launching their own investigation into the claims and appointing an external consultancy to assess whether WDL’s security was in accordance with the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights. The Voluntary Principles were established in December 2000 by the governments of the United States and United Kingdom to address security-related human rights abuses and violations.
After completing its investigations, Petra issued a statement saying that while the incidents involved a third party security company, and there is no evidence that WDL personnel were directly involved, Petra “acknowledges that past incidents have taken place that regrettably resulted in the loss of life, injury and the mistreatment of illegal diggers, within the WDL Special Mining License area.”
The settlement was made on a “no admission of liability basis” and the funds will be distributed among the 71 anonymous claimants.