10 Nov 2014 11:20am
ORANJEMUND, 10 NOV (NAMPA) The Namibian Government receives N.dollars 0.80 from each dollar the Namdeb Diamond Corporation generates.
This was revealed by a senior director at De Beers, Bruce Cleaver, during the official inauguration of the Sendelingsdrif mine on site on Friday.
Sendelingsdrif is located along the Orange River, between Oranjemund and Rosh Pinah in the //Karas Region.
Cleaver said the company was committed to assist in the development of the country from which the diamonds are retrieved in particular the //Karas Region, where the Namdeb mines are located.
He said Namdeb was in talks with the University of Namibia's Southern Campus to provide financial assistance towards the education of students, as part of its corporate social responsibility.
Cleaver said the company was serious about long-term sustainability amidst recent challenges such as the global economic meltdown and threats of closure due to the depletion of diamonds in the Namdeb mining area.
'In 2012, we were convinced Namdeb had to shut down,' Cleaver said. 'But with innovation, new technology and environmentally-friendly mining methods, we are able to foresee taking Namdeb to 2050 and beyond.'
Namdeb already has two mines, Auchas and Daberas. The third, Sendelingsdrif, was developed over the last two years as part of the extension of the lifespan of Namdeb and has been in the ramp-up production phase since the end of June.
The mine was officially inaugurated by Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba on Friday under the theme Innovation and Value Creation.
Pohamba said Namdeb was an industry leader and that the Government underscored the national importance of the partnership with De Beers. He said Namdeb and Debmarine continued to perform steadily in the diamond sector.
Debmarine mines diamonds offshore in Namibias Atlantic coastal waters to supplement the diminishing land deposits.
The President stressed that all efforts should be made to ensure that the diamond-mining process brings about shared value for the shareholders, the employees and all Namibians whom he said are also important stakeholders.
Mines and Energy Minister, Isak Katali, said he was pleased that a new mine was opening in light of challenges faced by the uranium sector with global prices dropping and the near closure of the Okuruso Flourspar fluorite mine near Otjiwarongo.
Katali, a former Namdeb worker himself, said as much as Namdeb workers were privileged to be employed, they were making sacrifices and contributing to the growth of the country. He urged them to work with selfless dedication and said the development goals of the country depended on the commitment of everyone.
Sendelingsdrif has an expected life span of 10 years and an estimated total revenue of N.dollars 4 billion. Construction of the mine was predominantly done by Namibian companies, mostly from Rosh Pinah, with in-house Namdeb project management.
The project development was initially estimated at nearly N.dollars 1 billion, but was cut down to around N.dollars 360 million through the use of dry screening methods which reduce water and electricity costs, and the recycling of capital equipment.
Approximately N.dollars 130 million of the total amount was spent on procurement of materials and services in the //Karas region. The construction phase produced 250 jobs and Sendelingsdrif currently has 150 permanent employees.
Annually, Namdeb pays around N.dollars 3 billion in royalties, dividends and taxes to state coffers.
Mining giant De Beers and the Namibian Government jointly own Namdeb Diamond Company on a 50-50 basis. Namdeb employees over 1800 people.