Plans underway for world's biggest offshore diamond mining vessel

Debmarine Namibia, a 50/50 joint venture between the Government of the Republic of Namibia and De Beers Group, today announced it is planning for the construction of the world’s largest custom-built diamond mining vessel.

The new vessel, which is projected to cost approximately US$142 million (N$2 billion), is expected to commence operations in 2021.

It will work alongside the five other mining vessels in the Debmarine Namibia fleet, enhancing the business’s ability to recover diamonds off Namibia’s Atlantic coastline. At 176 metres long, the vessel will be two metres longer than the largest vessel currently in the fleet, the mv Mafuta.

Otto Shikongo, CEO, Debmarine Namibia, said: “This is an exciting undertaking not only for the business, but also for the wider Namibian industry. We will remain focused throughout on safety, quality, timely delivery and cost containment.”

Bruce Cleaver, CEO De Beers Group, said: “There is a great amount of potential in Namibia’s marine diamond deposits and this new vessel will support our strategy to continue to grow our offshore operations. Earlier this year we launched the mv SS Nujoma, the world’s largest diamond sampling and exploration vessel, and this has improved our ability to target our mining activities. The acquisition of a new, custom-built mining vessel will help capitalise on the work of the mv SS Nujoma, thereby supporting the long-term future of Namibia’s diamond sector.”

The new vessel is expected to create 130 new jobs alongside Debmarine Namibia’s current workforce of 900 employees.

The business has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Kleven Verft AS, the company responsible for building the mv SS Nujoma, for the construction of the new vessel.

About Debmarine Namibia

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 Group. Debmarine Namibia commenced operations in January 2002 and mines off the southern coast of Namibia. The company operates five diamond mining vessels and one exploration and sampling vessel, the mv SS Nujoma. The mining vessels mine diamonds off the ocean floor using highly advanced drill technology, supported with sophisticated tracking, positioning and surveying equipment. Debmarine Namibia is ISO 14001, ISM and OHSAS 18001 certified, in line with its commitment to safety and environmental management. Debmarine Namibia is a recognised world leader in marine diamond exploration and mining technology.

About De Beers Group

De Beers Group is a member of the Anglo American plc group. Established in 1888, De Beers Group is the world’s leading diamond company with expertise in the exploration, mining and marketing of diamonds. Together with its joint venture partners, De Beers Group employs more than 20,000 people across the diamond pipeline and is the world’s largest diamond producer by value, with mining operations in Botswana, Canada, Namibia and South Africa. As part of the company’s operating philosophy, the people of De Beers Group are committed to ‘Building Forever’ by making a lasting contribution to the communities in which they live and work, and transforming natural resources into shared national wealth. For further information about De Beers Group, visit www.debeersgroup.com.