Diamond mine in
Namibia – temporary
close moves ahead
 
Windhoek, Namibia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 30 March 2009 – Namdeb – the 50-50 diamond-mining joint venture between the Namibian government and the De Beers Group – has revealed that more than a third of its workers have decided to accept voluntary severance packages as part of the company’s cost-cutting programme.

Announcing this here, Namdeb spokesman Hilifa Mbako revealed that 530 of the company’s 1 500 employees had agreed to the deal. “The majority will leave at the end of March,” Mbako said in an e-mailed response to questions from Bloomberg News. “Namdeb will not enforce retrenchments.”

Earlier this week the De Beers Group – the world’s top producer of rough diamonds – said that it had received government approval to halt production at its Namibian mine from 1 April 2009 for a period of three months due to weak sales.

Accordingly, Namdeb will temporarily halt production from the beginning of April to cut costs following the international slump in diamond demand.

Last month Debswana – the De Beers joint venture with the government of Botswana – also temporarily shut its mines, and De Beers is in talks with unions in South Africa to cut some 1 000 jobs.