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SS Nujoma de beers debmarine diamonds
Diamonds and Gems  
22 November 2017

World’s largest custom-built diamond mining vessel on the cards for Namibia

Debmarine Namibia is planning to construct of the world’s largest custom-built diamond mining vessel.

Debmarine, a 50/50 joint venture between the Government of the Republic of Namibia and De Beers Group, projects that the news vessel will cost approximately US$142 million (N$2 billion) and 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 m long, the vessel will be 2 m longer than the largest vessel currently in the fleet, the mv Mafuta.

“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,” says Otto Shikongo, CEO, Debmarine Namibia.

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.

Feature image credit: Lycopodium ADP (SS Nujoma)

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