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De Beers Plans to Sell Namibia Mine

Company looks for buyer as it moves toward marine projects in the country.
Feb 12, 2018 9:30 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... De Beers’ joint venture with the Namibian government is seeking a buyer for its Elizabeth Bay operation, as the miner diverts resources to its marine projects.

Namdeb closed Elizabeth Bay between 2009 and 2011, when it revived it and gave it a projected lifespan of four years. While the mine is expected to continue to produce diamonds through 2019, its output does not meet De Beers’ needs. The company last year said it planned to close the project, but is now looking for a lower-cost operator that can continue running the asset indefinitely.

“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,” Riaan Burger, CEO of Namdeb, said Friday. “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.”

The mine, located near the town of Lüderitz on the southwest coast of Namibia, currently employs around 160 people, and yielded approximately 200,000 carats in 2017.

In October, Namdeb, a 50:50 partnership between De Beers and the government, revealed plans to close Elizabeth Bay, along with the Daberas, Sendelingsdrif and Southern Coastal mines. De Beers intends to focus on Debmarine Namibia, which searches for diamonds offshore. In 2017, production at its marine-based assets jumped by 18%, growing three times faster than at land-based operations.

De Beers has not disclosed whether it has changed its plans for the other three mines.
Tags: Daberas, De Beers, Debmarine, Elizabeth Bay, miner, Namdeb, Namibia, Namibian government, Rapaport News, Riaan Burger, Sendelingsdrif, Southern Coastal
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