Published On: Thu, Jun 15th, 2017

Nujoma, world’s prime exploration vessel launched

Vessel SS NujomaWINDHOEK, (CAJ News) – DEBEERS and the Government have inaugurated the world’s largest and most advanced diamond exploration and sampling vessel, which is to begin ready to exploring for diamond deposits in Namibian waters.
The US$157 million (N$2,3 billion) vessel, mv SS Nujoma, will enable Debmarine Namibia, a 50/50 joint venture between Namibia and De Beers Group, to explore diamond deposits and secure diamond supply in the country well into the future.
Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila and Founding President Dr Sam Shafiishuna Nujoma, who the vessel was named after, as well as Minister of Mines and Energy, Obeth Kandjoze, attended the inauguration in Walvis Bay.
Debmarine Namibia is the only company in the world to mine diamonds offshore, having started in 2002. The company produced around 1,2 million carats in 2016.
Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group, said offshore diamond mining was important in meeting global demand for diamonds as many of the major onshore deposits had now been discovered.
“The mv SS Nujoma will allow even more of Namibia’s high quality offshore diamonds to be discovered and mined, ensuring a strong future for Namibia’s diamond industry, as well as the global diamond market.”
The mv SS Nujoma is the first in the company’s fleet of five other vessels to be dedicated to exploration and sampling. It incorporates a range of unique technologies that allow it to sample faster, take larger samples and collect more information per sample than any other diamond sampling vessel. It is capable of sampling at more than double the speed of its predecessor.
The 12,000 tonne, diesel-electric powered vessel has created 140 direct new jobs, the vast majority of which have been filled by Namibians. At 113 metres long, it can accommodate a crew of 80 and has a helicopter deck suitable for Sikorsky S61s.
Kandjoze said Thursday marked an important milestone for offshore diamond mining in Namibia.
“The mv SS Nujoma represents the largest ever capital investment in underwater diamond mining and will ensure a long-term, sustainable future for offshore diamond mining in Namibia, as well as creating important new jobs for Namibians,” said Kandjoze.
CAJ News

Featured Video