The Namibian joint-venture of Anglo American’s diamond subsidiary De Beers, Debmarine, on Monday took possession of its sixth mining and exploration vessel SS Nujoma.
The R2.3bn vessel was built by Norwegian shipbuilders Kleven Verft.
“Our Debmarine Namibia crew will sail the vessel from Norway to Cape Town, leaving later this week, and arriving in late August,” Debmarine project head Michael Curtis said in a statement on Monday.
“In Cape Town we will install the sampling system and treatment plant and commission the system before sailing for Namibian waters for final commissioning and testing in early 2017,” he said.
SS Nujoma will join Debmarine Namibia’s other five vessels — the Grand Banks, Debmar Atlantic, Debmar Pacific, Gariep and Mafuta — which operate within the world’s largest known placer diamond deposit off the southern Namibian coast.
SS Nujoma, named after Namibia’s founding president, is the second Debmarine Namibia vessel financed by RMB Namibia, the first one being the Mafuta.
RMB Namibia co-arranged and funded a $150m term facility, equivalent to 75% of the total cost, with the balance paid directly by Debmarine Namibia.
“The 113-metre long SS Nujoma is the most sophisticated diamond sampling and exploration vessel in the world,” RMB said in the statement.
RMB Namibia also facilitated a Norwegian Krone swap and hedge facility to allow Debmarine Namibia to settle the purchase of the vessel in local currency in Norway.
The balance of the US dollar term facility will be applied towards outfitting the ship’s 2,100 tonnes of mission equipment in Cape Town.