Debmarine Namibia to invest in world’s first custom-built diamond recovery vessel
Debmarine Namibia announced that its Board of Directors have approved the construction of the world's first ever custom-built diamond recovery vessel.
The new vessel is expected to cost US$468 million (N$7 billion) and represents the largest ever single investment in the marine diamond industry.
The ship will become the seventh vessel in the Debmarine Namibia fleet and is scheduled to commence operations in 2020. On completion, the vessel is expected to add 500,000 carats annually to Debmarine Namibia's production, an increase of approximately 35% on current production.
Following an extensive global tendering process, Damen Shipyards were selected to build the ship based on their strong track records 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.
The company says the newbuild will help create more than 160 new jobs alongsidde Debmarine Namibia's current workforce of 975 employees.
Debmarine Namibia is a joint venture marine diamond prospecting and mining company, owned in equal shares by the Government of the Republic of Namibia and De Beers. Debmarine Namibia is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Namdeb Holdings (Pty) Ltd. Debmarine Namibia became operational in January 2002. Debmarine Namibia mines in the off-shore mining licence area off the southern coast of Namibia. The company operates five diamond mining vessels, namely Debmar Atlantic, Debmar Pacific, !Gariep, Grand Banks and Mafuta. Two mining technologies are deployed, the airlift-drill and the crawler mining technology. The mining vessels mine diamonds off the ocean floor using highly advanced drill technology and supported with sophisticated tracking, positioning and surveying equipment.