Diamonds provide a rare glimpse into the world’s natural beauty—their elegance adding a stylish, gorgeous touch to the people who are lucky enough to wear them as jewelry. The diamond industry has been intensely competitive throughout its long history, with companies continually striving to find the highest-value diamonds to catch the eyes of their customers.
Now, in an effort to keep abreast of this competition, De Beers has launched the world’s largest diamond exploration ship, the SS Nujoma, to explore diamond deposits off the coast of Namibia. The only company in the world to mine diamonds offshore, De Beers is splitting the ownership of the $157 million vessel with the government of Namibia in a 50-50 joint venture called Debmarine Namibia.
The SS Nujoma’s advanced exploration capabilities will allow De Beers to increase resource development for its mining fleet; mining typically takes place around 120 to 140 meters below sea level.
This cutting-edge vessel incorporates a range of technologies that allow it to sample faster, take larger samples and collect more information per sample than other diamond sampling vessels. The diesel-electric powered ship has also created 140 new jobs, with the vast majority filled by Namibians. The vessel can accommodate a crew of 80 and includes a helicopter deck.
Driven by intense competition, miners must focus on higher-value diamonds such as those found in Namibia, which can be worth $500 a carat according to Financial Times. Diamond mining is the single biggest contributor to Namibia’s economy.
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