De Beers Group signs a memorandum of understanding for the construction of the world’s biggest offshore diamond mining vessel, as the company continues to grow its offshore operations.
The MoU was signed between De Beers and the Government of the Republic of Namibia for the construction of a $142million customer-built diamond mining vessel.
Following construction, De Beers has earmarked a 2021 operational start date.
The new vessel will work alongside five other mining vessels that are part of the Bebmarine Namibia fleet, which will significantly enhance the businesses recovery of 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.”