Legal action to be taken includes nationalisation of all the diamonds seized

Reuters

Reuters

The London-listed company also had to shut down its Williamson mine, the source of the stones, as "certain key personnel" were questioned by the Tanzanian authorities looking into how diamonds are being valued.

The Mwadui mine is a joint venture, with 75 percent belonging to Petra Diamonds and one-quarter controlled by the Tanzanian government.

The diamonds were seized at the main airport in Tanzania's commercial capital Dar Es Salaam on August 31 as they were being exported by Williamson Diamonds Ltd to Antwerp, Belgium.

Petra said it had not been made formally aware of the reason for the investigation, although it produced several documents relating to the valuation process and royalty payments to the Tanzanian government.

President John Magufuli has declared the fight against corruption in the mining sector as a top priority for his government.

The country's government has passed new laws raising mining taxes and forcing companies to renegotiate contracts.

State-run Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation reported Saturday that the government had accused the company of undervaluing the diamonds.

Speaking on government television channel TBC 1, Finance Minister Philip Mpango said the diamonds extracted from the Williamson Diamonds mine had been "nationalised".

The miner insisted that all operations at the mine are conducted in a transparent manner and in full compliance with legislation in Tanzania.

The ban has prevented Petra from exporting a parcel of 71,654.45 carats of diamonds from its Williamson mine their marketing office in Antwerp. It says this is carried out by the government's diamonds and gemstones valuation agency.

A woman passes an election billboard for eventual victor and now Tanzania's president, John Magufuli.

A minister and deputy minister have resigned after they were allegedly implicated in an investigation into the country's mining industry, according to reports.

Last week, Acacia said it was scaling back operations in Tanzania.

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