Namdeb Holdings Ltd, a joint venture between the Namibian Government and De Beers Group, said on Thursday that it has sold Elizabeth Bay Mine and its associated marine assets as a going concern to Lewcor, a 100% Namibian-owned consortium. Namdeb has explored a variety of options to extend the life of its Elizabeth Bay Mine beyond 2019, according to a De Beers press release, but ceased operations in September 2018, as Namdeb could no longer economically run the operation.
Debmarine Namibia, a 50/50 joint venture between the Government of the Republic of Namibia and De Beers Group, 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 2022.
International Mining and Dredging Holdings (IMDH) will be holding its first tender since 2016 of Namibian marine-mined rough diamonds at Bonas-Couzyn’s Antwerp offices. Bonas said the first sale from IMDH will bring to market approximately 47,000cts of original marine goods of gem quality, mined by the specialist mining vessel, the Ya Toivo. “This exciting source will be holding regular ROM production tenders with Bonas-Couzyn in Antwerp throughout 2019,” the tender house said.
Canadian-based and TSX-listed company Diamond Fields Resources Inc. (DFR) recently announced the shipment of a 25,152-carat parcel of rough diamonds to Antwerp for independent valuation, deep-boiling and initial sorting in preparation for sale. The diamonds were recovered from the ML111 licence offshore Namibia during the first 25 days of mining, between November 11 and December 5, 2018. The shipment is the first since mining restarted, having been on hold since 2016.
Diamond Fields Resources (DFR) has confirmed, via its subsidiary Nutam Operations (Pty) Ltd, that the mining vessel "Ya Toivo" is scheduled to enter Namibian waters during the first week of November 2018. Once in position, the m/v Ya Toivo will commence mining operations on the ML111 license area, which is held by DFR through its Namibian subsidiary Diamond Fields (Namibia) (Pty) Ltd.
Namibia's diamond mining industry is estimated to maintain a high growth level during 2018 before contracting in 2019 due to the depletion of onshore diamond deposits, according to the Bank of Namibia's economic outlook for July 2018. The sector's projected growth is 10.9% in 2018, which is reasonably high, despite a slowdown from 12% in 2017. The diamond sector is, however, expected to contract by 5.3% in 2019 due to lower production from onshore mines during that year.
Interest in mining Namibian waters for diamonds is running hot, as yesterday (Nov. 20) Canadian miner Diamond Fields International (DFI) announced it is set to resume its mining activities off the coast of Namibia in 2018, while Norwegian shipbuilder Kleven signed an MoU with De Beers Marine Namibia for building an offshore vessel purpose-designed to support seabed mining operations.
Reuters news agency reports that Patrick Evans, the former chief executive of Mountain Province Diamonds, will become the new CEO of Dominion Diamond Corp once a deal to purchase the Canadian diamond company closes later this year, he said on Wednesday. Dominion, the world's third largest diamond producer by market value, has been looking for a CEO since January when its former head, Brendan Bell, quit. Last month Dominion agreed to a $1.2 billion takeover offer from U.S. billionaire Dennis Washington that will take private the Canadian-based diamond miner.
Namibian rough diamonds are known for their high quality; mining these quality goods also costs a premium.
The world’s largest and most advanced diamond exploration and sampling vessel, the mv SS Nujoma, is ready to start exploring for diamond deposits in Namibian waters, following its official inauguration today, writes De Beers in a press release.
Koin International will hold a rough diamond tender in Antwerp from 20 – 27 February, and will be presenting for the first time the production of IMDSA (Marine) as well as multiple other original rough mine productions. IMDSA is a new marine production mined in the seas of South Africa, comprising excellent models and gem quality production. Other productions on offer include Ekapa Minerals, ANGOLA F2M, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Guinea, and brand new Koin Manufacturers’ Assortments (consistent monthly fixed assortments, perfect for manufacturers).
In an exhaustive article on the operations of Namdeb, the De Beers’ 50:50 operation with the Namibian government, The Daily Telegraph reports that an estimated 95 percent of Namibia's diamonds will in the future come from the seabed off the country's coast and that marine gems are already the fetching the highest prices from all of its seven mines. Five specially-adapted ships fitted with giant tractors and drills between them mine more than one million carats a year from rich alluvial deposits scattered out to sea by the mighty Orange River at the time that dinosaurs roamed the earth.
The final phase of the building of Debmarine's new diamond exploration and sampling vessel is now under way after its arrival in Cape Town last week. The SS Nujoma arrived in Cape Town on Saturday after a three-week maiden voyage from Norway, where the ship was built by Norwegian shipbuilder Kleven Verft over the last 15 months.
Having taken over as De Beers CEO last month, Bruce Cleaver has spoken about the challenges facing the firm and the wider diamond industry in an upbeat message. "Volatility is the new normal, so the only way we can safeguard our success is to work to ensure effective activities across the pipeline, while continuing to support key areas – continuity of supply, midstream sustainability and downstream demand," he commented in a statement.
Debmarine Namibia, which mines for diamonds in the sea off the country's coast, has taken possession of its sixth diamond mining and exploration vessel - the SS Nujoma which cost around $160 million and becomes the firm's sixth ship. The ship was built in Norway and will embark on its maiden voyage for Cape Town later this week for outfitting with exploration equipment, including a technologically advanced sampling system and treatment plant. After the final finishing touches are added it will be handed over to Debmarine Namibia for final commissioning and testing in early 2017.
De Beers' CEO Philippe Mellier says the company's commitment to the country of Namibia and their partnership through Nabdeb remains firm even in challenging times the diamond industry experienced last year, reports The Namibian. He said despite volatility in the market throughout 2015, De Beers believes that the sector's outlook is promising, with Namibia playing a key role in its future.
Debmarine Namibia's sixth vessel will start operating off the coast of the country in one year after the SS Nujoma diamond sampling and exploration vessel was successfully launched at a shipyard in Norway. The ship is reportedly the most advanced marine diamond sampling and exploration vessel in the world. Now that it is floating, its outfitting will be completed prior to sea trials and final delivery from to Debmarine Namibia which is recruiting and selecting Namibian skilled and licensed seamen who will undergo training and vessel familiarization.
Australian Mining (AM) reports that Australia's diamond mining industry will be among the country’s fastest declining industries in 2016, along with petroleum refining and contract mining, and its decline is projected to continue at an annual compound decline of 4% over the next five years.
The firm would be called Nore/Uis, the Minister of Mines and Energy Obed Kandjoze said in an exclusive interview with New Era, with a new diamond sales and marketing agreement between Namibia and De Beers enabling Namdeb to sell Namibian diamonds to third parties, bypassing the long-standing traditional arrangement of selling through De Beers channels at a time and price dictated by De Beers, the world’s largest diamond producer by value.
Standard Bank Namibia and RMB Namibia, a unit of FNB Namibia, announced that they will fund 75% of the N$2.3 billion (US$195 million) needed to build the new diamond exploration and sampling vessel for Debmarine Namibia. The rest of the money will be provided by Debmarine. The vessel will become the sixth member of the Debmarine fleet to be registered at Lüderitz. Debmarine has grown to be the biggest diamond producer off Namibia's coast, surpassing land production and now produces about 1.2 million carats per annum.