De Beers Group’s diamond mining venture in Namibia, Namdeb Holdings, is planning to sell its Elizabeth Bay mine to help secure its long-term future.
Commissioned in 1991, the diamond mine is located along the south-western coast of Namibia near the town Lüderitz and employs around 160 people.
Last year, the mine produced around 200,000 carats.
Namdeb CEO Riaan Burger said: “Elizabeth Bay mine continues to play an important role in the development of Namibia’s diamond industry, so we have not taken this decision lightly.
“We are constantly reviewing new mining opportunities. As this mine nears the end of its current life, we are focused on finding a buyer that can sustain operations beyond 2019, protect jobs and contribute sustainably to the Namibian economy.”
The mine was put on care and maintenance in 2009 due to the financial turmoil during that period.
However, operations were resumed at the mine in 2011 through the implementation of the Elizabeth Bay optimisation project.
Following the restart, the site was estimated to have a four-year life of mine (LoM) up to 2014. Nevertheless, Namdeb resorted to measures to extend the LoM and has continued to operate with a revised LoM to 2019.
Based on a recent review, the company opted to sell the mine to a more suitable low-cost operator in order to extend the asset’s future.
De Beers holds a 50% interest in Namdeb as a joint venture (JV) with the Government of the Republic of Namibia.