(Alliance News) - Petra Diamonds Ltd on Wednesday said it has found itself in the cross-hairs of a High Court claim by a UK law firm relating to potential human rights abuses at its 75%-owned Williamson diamond mine in Tanzania.
Petra shares closed 14% lower at 1.72 pence each in London on Wednesday.
Petra Diamonds said the claim was made against Williamson Diamonds Ltd, the operator of the mine. The Tanzanian government holds the remaining 25% stake in the asset.
The claims relate to alleged human rights violations at Williamson and have been filed on behalf of 32 "anonymous individuals", Petra said.
"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," Petra added.
"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."
Also, Petra said it has "very recently" received a letter from RAID, a UK-based non-governmental organisation, outlining similar allegations raised by local residents near the Williamson site.
The company said: "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."
By Eric Cunha; email@example.com
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