Discoveries of diamonds on land bordering the southern Atlantic coastal areas of Namibia, the world’s largest producer of marine gems, may extend ground-based mining operations by another 50 years, Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein said.
Namdeb Diamond Corp., jointly owned by the Namibian government and Anglo American Plc’s De Beers, struck more deposits after pushing back the sea wall at its land-based operations, Schlettwein said an interview Sunday in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital, where he was attending the African Union summit.
“An additional resource has been now made available,” he said. “And with that, the life of mine from the land-based operations has been extended by another 50 years.”
Namdeb, as the De Beers unit is known, uses the latest technology to scour the bottom of the Atlantic for gems. For land-based operations, which have been mined for more than a century, it pushes back the sea by creating an artificial sea wall. This has led to recent discoveries made behind the inter-tidal zone, Schlettwein said.
Namibia’s Atlantic coast area holds an estimated 80 million carats of gems, the world’s richest marine diamond deposits, which were carried to the sea by the Orange River and could be mined beyond 2050, according to De Beers.
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