May 17, 2019

Debmarine Namibia to Invest US$ 468 Mn in New Diamond Recovery Vessel, Projects 35% Increase in Carat Production

Debmarine Namibia, a 50/50 joint venture between the Government of the Republic of Namibia and De Beers Group, yesterday announced that its Board of Directors have approved the construction of the world’s first ever custom-built diamond recovery vessel at an estimated cost of US$468 million (N$7 billion).

The new vessel is expected to add 500,000 carats annually to Debmarine Namibia’s production, an increase of approximately 35 per cent on current production, when it commences operations in 2022.

The decision is said to represent the largest ever single investment in the marine diamond industry. This will become the seventh vessel in the Debmarine Namibia fleet.

Damen Shipyards were selected to build the ship following an extensive global tendering process and basing on their strong track record for delivering quality vessels and their advanced technological capabilities. The new vessel will incorporate the latest marine technologies that will drive improved safety performance while optimising efficiency and utilisation rates.

Tom Alweendo, Minister of Mines and Energy, the Government of the Republic of Namibia, said: “We note and appreciate the investment announced today by Debmarine Namibia. It is through investments like this we can continue to develop Namibia’s economy. As the Government we will continue to do what we can to promote and encourage investment in the mining sector.”

Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group, said: “Some of the highest quality diamonds in the world are found at sea off the Namibian coast. With this investment we will be able to optimise new technology to find and recover diamonds more efficiently and meet growing consumer demand across the globe.”

The new vessel is expected to create more than 160 new jobs alongside Debmarine Namibia’s current workforce of 975 employees.