De Beers Plans to Build $142 Million Diamond Mining Ship

Debmarine Namibia, a 50/50 joint venture between the government of Namibia and De Beers, is aiming to start operations of the new vessel in 2021.

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Diamond miner De Beers, owned by Anglo American (LSE:AAL), plans to build the world’s largest diamond ship to expand its offshore operations in Namibia, the company said on Wednesday (November 21).

Debmarine Namibia, a 50/50 joint venture between the government of Namibia and De Beers, is aiming to start operations of the new $142 million vessel in 2021.

“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,” said De Beers Group chief executive officer Bruce Cleaver.

The new diamond ship will work alongside the company’s five other mining vessels off Namibia’s southern coast. The mining ships mine diamonds off the ocean floor using highly advanced drill technology, supported with sophisticated tracking, positioning and surveying equipment.

In June, De Beers launched the mv SS Nujoma, the world’s largest diamond sampling and exploration vessel, in an effort to maintain high production levels until 2035. Acquiring the new ship will help the company “capitalize on that vessel’s work, and support the long-term future of Namibia’s diamond sector,” Cleaver added.

Diamonds, and particularly marine diamonds, are an essential part of Namibia’s economy as they generate a 20 percent of its foreign export earnings.The African country has the richest known marine diamond deposits in the world, estimated at more than 80 million carats.

De Beers, the world’s largest rough diamond producer by value, also announced it had signed a memorandum of understanding with construction firm Kleven Verft AS to build the 176 metres-long vessel. The Norwegian company also built the SS Nujoma, which was fully commissioned in June.

On Wednesday (November 22), shares of Anglo American closed down 0.86 percent in London at £1,451.08. The company’s share price has been surging since January, up 24.57 percent year-to-date.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Priscila Barrera, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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