Namdeb Holdings Limited, a diamond joint venture owned equally by the Namibian government and South African De Beers Group, announced the sale of its Elizabeth Bay mine to the Lewcor consortium.
The transaction, worth 120 million Namibian dollars ($8.23 million), was announced on Thursday, September 12 by press release and closes Namdeb’s efforts since 2018 to find a buyer. The company, which had unsuccessfully explored various options to extend the life of its Elizabeth Bay mine beyond 2019, ceased operations on the site in September 2018 because its operation was no longer profitable. « Although the decision to sell the mine was not an easy one, it was the right thing to do for its future, its employees and the Lüderitz community in general, » said Riaan Burger, Namdeb’s CEO, quoted in the above-mentioned statement. As for the buyer, the local Lewcore Mining consortium, Namdeb’s management welcomed the fact that « the new owner has a broad financial base and is wholly owned by Namibian citizens ». The mine, located along the southwest coast of Namibia, near the city of Lüderitz, produced some 200,000 carats in 2017 and employed about 160 people until its closure.
It should be noted that the sale of the Elizabeth Bay site also includes its associated maritime assets, Namibia having the particularity of having the largest known marine diamond reserves in the world (diamond mining is generally carried out between 120 and 140 metres below sea level). In fact, marine diamonds now account for nearly 70% of the gems harvested in this southern African country.
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