Namdeb looks to future with hope
Windhoek – Namdeb Diamond Corporation is boosting output at Elizabeth Bay Mine, which re-started operations in 2012 after a three-year shutdown.
Namdeb also projects that it will start production at a new mine, Sendelingsdrif, next year.
The diamond producer adds that a new state-of-the-art sorting and recovery facility – the Red Area Complex (RAC) – will be operationalised by the end of the year.
Ramping up production and exploring means of extending the lifespan of Elizabeth Bay Mine and a raft of planned projects are core to Namdeb’s continued operations beyond 2020.
Elizabeth Bay aims to produce 270 000 carats in 2013, up from 205 000 carats in 2012.
“A project has been launched to look for opportunities which can further extend the life of mine at E-Bay as it is only currently expected to operate until 2015,” Namdeb spokesperson Pauline Thomas told The Southern Times.
Construction of the R280 million Sendelingsdrif Mine, which started in 2012, is “progressing well”.
“The ramp-up phase of the operation is still expected to start by the end of 2013 and it is anticipated that full production will commence in the first half of 2014.
“Sendelingsdrif is expected to replace production from Daberas Mine, yielding 45 000 carats annually and extending Orange River operations beyond 2020,” Thomas said.
Namdeb produced 1.67 million carats in 2012.
Its marine mining unit, Debmarine Namibia, had 2012 production figures of 1.1 million carats.
Namdeb’s production from its own mines went up to 560 000 carats in 2012 from 350 000 carats in 2011.
“The strong performance by Debmarine Namibia was due to efficiency improvements, new mining tools and the early commissioning and ramp-up of the Grand Banks vessel, which was remobilised during the year following an extended lay-up,” Namdeb CEO Inge Zaamwani-Kamwi said in the company’s 2012 annual review.
Zaamwani-Kamwi said marine sampling vessel Coral Sea will continue sampling in 2013 to ensure sustainable growth in reserves and mine plan levels, she added.
Further the R150m recovery and sorting facility known as RAC, which will replace Mining Area 1 diamonds sorting house, will be operational before year end.
“The complex will deliver more secure and efficient processing of all Namdeb Holdings production,” Thomas said.
Namdeb is investigating options to economically mine low grade deposits at Daberas and Sendelingsdrif and 2013 production is expected to hover around 1.6 million carats.
In the long-term, Namdeb is exploring options to exploit diamonds in the “mid-water and shallow water marine areas with the aim of mining these beyond 2020”.
“The technology required to mine these areas is still being developed, but good progress is being made with both resource and technology development,” Thomas said.
“A large-scale sampling campaign was conducted in the mid-water areas during the year, and Namdeb’s Probe Drilling Platform is used for exploration in the shallow water areas,” she said.
Namdeb Holdings is owned 50:50 by DeBeers and the Namibian government.