Five African commercial banks have agreed to provide $375 million for the construction of Debmarine Namibia’s new diamond mining vessel.
Reuters reports that Nedbank Namibia, RMB Namibia, Standard Bank, ABSA and Bank Windhoek will provide 80% of the funding for the ship, which will be the world’s largest of its type.
Debmarine Namibia, a 50-50 joint venture between Anglo American’s De Beers and the Namibian government, will provide the balance of $94 million.
“The highest quality diamonds in the world are found in our ocean,” Debmarine Namibia Chief Executive Otto Shikongo was quoted as saying.
“With this investment we will be able to optimise new technology to find and recover diamonds more efficiently and meet growing consumer demand.”
The ship, to be known as the AMV3, will be the seventh in the Debmarine Namibia’s fleet and it has a capacity to add 500,000 carats of annual production from 2022, a 35% increase above Debmarine Namibia’s current levels.