Diamond Fields International (DFI) is planning to restart mining operations offshore Namibia from next year.

The company has signed an agreement with International Mining and Dredging (IMDH) to commence an initial mining programme on its ML 111 licence.

Under the programme, the company intends to extend over a seafloor area of around 55ha.

Diamond Fields International CEO Sybrand Van Der Spuy said: “Our product is recognised throughout the world for its exceptional quality, being 98% gem and we look forward to bringing this niche product back to the market again.

“This programme will provide our company with the opportunity to generate significant cash-flow in short order.”

The company will undertake the exploration programme using the Ya Toivo mining vessel, which is equipped with a four point-mooring-system integrated anchor-assist and a dynamic positioning (DP2) system.

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In addition, the vessel is equipped with a remotely operated subsea tractor, which is used for carrying out selective mining on the seafloor.

“This programme will provide our company with the opportunity to generate significant cash-flow in short order.”

DFI has also completed negotiations with IMDH in relation to its share of last year’s bulk sampling programme. The expenditure needed for the programme has been paid by IMDH.

As a result of the discussions, the company is required to make a payment of $670,000 to DFI within 30 days.

The bulk sampling programme determined high-frequency of large, high-value stones.

The parties have reached an understanding that during the planned initial mining programme, DFI will have at least a 5% share of net proceeds.

Furthermore, the company expects to increase its share in the joint venture interest to around 50%.

Following the programme, the companies will work towards finding a balance for sharing exploration and mining costs in future.