Marine diamond mining firm Debmarine Namibia has announced plans to construct a diamond recovery vessel with an investment of $468m.

Debmarine Namibia operates as an equal stake joint venture between the Government of the Republic of Namibia and De Beers Group.

Scheduled to be production ready by 2022, the ship will be the seventh vessel in the Debmarine Namibia fleet with a capacity to add 500,000 carats of diamonds per annum, marking an increase of 35% from the current levels of Debmarine Namibia.

Anglo American chief executive Mark Cutifani said: “The addition of this custom-built vessel for the Debmarine Namibia joint venture will bring numerous benefits – in terms of De Beers’ production profile by value and volume, the technologies that can be deployed from the outset to deliver greater efficiency and productivity, and sustained economic benefits for Namibia.

“We will continue allocating appropriate levels of capital in a disciplined manner across Anglo American’s wider organic pipeline of near- and medium-term growth opportunities, including the world-class Quellaveco copper development in Peru, that we expect to contribute towards our 20-25% production growth by 2023.”

De Beers Group CEO Bruce Cleaver said: “Some of the highest quality diamonds in the world are found at sea off the Namibian coast. With this investment we will be able to optimise new technology to find and recover diamonds more efficiently and meet growing consumer demand across the globe.”

Debmarine last placed an order for the new vessel in November 2017. This vessel, expected to cost $142m, is scheduled to enter into operation in 2021.

Founded in 1888, De Beers Group operates as a member of the Anglo American, one of the largest mining companies in the world.