International

De Beers to sell Elizabeth Bay mine

De Beers is seeking a suitable low-cost operator that could allow the mine to continue to contribute to Namibia

Namdeb, a 50/50 partnership between diamond giant De Beers Group and the Namibian government, has announced it is seeking a buyer for its Elizabeth Bay mine in Namibia.

The mine, which was commissioned in 1991 and is located near the town of Lüderitz, employs around 160 people and produced around 200,000 carats in 2017.

In 2009, following the economic downturn, the mine was put on care and maintenance. In 2011, the operation was restarted through the implementation of the Elizabeth Bay Optimisation Project which, at the time, projected a four year Life of Mine (LoM) to 2014.

However, continuous innovation ensured that the mine has continued to operate well beyond this time, with a current LoM extending to 2019.

Following a recent review, it was concluded that the best way to secure a longer future for the mine, beyond the projected 2019 life, was to find a more suitable low-cost operator that could allow the mine to continue to contribute to Namibia and Lüderitz through continued employment and economic activity.

Riaan Burger, chief executive, Namdeb, 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.”

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