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De Beers’ joint venture Namdeb to sell Elizabeth Bay mine in Namibia

EBR Staff Writer Published 12 February 2018

South African miner De Beers Group said that Namdeb, its joint venture with the Namibian government has put up the Elizabeth Bay mine for sale.

The move from Namdeb is to secure the long-term future of the diamond mine in Namibia, whose mining life is projected to end in 2019.

Namdeb is looking for a more suitable low-cost operator, an option that could allow the mining operations at the Elizabeth Bay mine to continue and give a longer future for the mine.

Namdeb CEO Riaan Burger said: “Elizabeth Bay mine continues to play an important role in the development of Namibia’s diamond industry, so we have not taken this decision lightly. We are constantly reviewing new mining opportunities.

“As this mine nears the end of its current life, we are focused on finding a buyer that can sustain operations beyond 2019, protect jobs and contribute sustainably to the Namibian economy.”

Located near a town called Lüderitz along the south-western coast of Namibia, the Elizabeth Bay mine was commissioned in 1991. About 160 people work at the diamond mine which had produced nearly 200,000 carats last year.

After an economic downturn in 2009, the Elizabeth Bay was placed on care and maintenance. It restarted operations, about two years later by implementing the Elizabeth Bay Optimisation Project.

The optimization project had given a four year Life of Mine (LoM) to 2014 which was later extended to 2019 due to continuous innovation to make the mine operate for five more years.

Apart from the Elizabeth Bay mine, Namdeb will be looking to sell the Daberas, Sendelingsdrift and Southern Coastal mines, reported Reuters, citing a union official.

Namdeb is owned 50:50 by the Namibia government and the South African diamond miner De Beers. The mining joint venture carries out land-based exploration, mining and rehabilitation operation and services and has eight mining licences, spread over 15,789km2.

Image: Mining life of the Elizabeth Bay diamond mine is due to end in 2019. Photo: courtesy of De Beers UK Limited (a member of the Anglo American plc group).