De Beers has sold the Elizabeth Bay mine for NAD 120 million ($8.2 million), a year after it ceased operations at the deposit.
The miner chose Lewcor Group, a 100% Namibian-owned consortium, following an extensive search for a new owner that would be able to operate the mine — part of its Namdeb joint venture with the government of Namibia — in a sustainable way, and would also retain De Beers’ employees and contribute economic value to Namibia, it said last week. However, the amount of the transaction could increase to NAD 180 million ($12.4 million), as Namdeb will earn a share of revenue from the sale of diamonds recovered from certain marine-mining areas.
“Throughout this process, our objective has been to create the best possible circumstances for reopening the operations, recreating jobs and growing empowered participation in Namibia’s diamond industry,” said Chris Nghaamwa, chairman of Namdeb. “A rigorous, independently advised process enabled Namdeb to select a company with not only the right mining and financial credentials, but also a commitment to meet future social and environmental obligations.”
De Beers ceased operations at the site in September 2018. Although the mine still contains a viable supply of diamonds, output failed to meet the company’s needs and it could no longer run the deposit economically, it said.
Image: Elizabeth Bay mine. (De Beers)