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De Beers launches $157m diamond exploration vessel in Namibia

Staff Writer |
De Beers, a unit of mining major Anglo American has launched world’s biggest diamond exploration vessel off the coast of Namibia.

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The vessel, SS Nujoma has been developed at a cost of $157m by Debmarine Namibia, a 50/50 joint venture between the government of Namibia and De Beers.

SS Nujoma is equipped with sonar technology and a drilling device which will help it in scanning ocean floors, collect samples.

De Beers Group CEO Bruce Cleaver said: “Offshore diamond mining is becoming increasingly important in meeting global demand for diamonds as many of the major onshore deposits have now been discovered.

SS Nujoma is the first vessel in the company’s fleet of five vessels to be used primarily for exploration and sampling.

With more than double the speed of its predecessor, the vessel has been integrated with a variety of unique technologies to facilitate faster sampling, take lager samples and obtain more details per sample compared to other diamond sampling vessels.

Constructed in Ulsteinvik, Norway, mv SS Nujoma is a 12,000t diesel-electric powered vessel.

It has been fitted with a subsea sampling system that has been designed by De Beers Group.

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