(Ecofin Agency) - Five African commercial banks will finance the construction of the world’s biggest marine diamond mining vessel. Debmarine Namibia, a joint venture between mining giant De Beers and the Namibian government, announced in a statement issued June 20 it has concluded a $375 million agreement with the banks in that regard.
80% of the monies will be granted by Nedbank Namibia, RMB Namibia, Standard Bank, Absa and Bank Windhoek while remaining amount ($94 million) will be provided by Debmarine Namibia. Nedbank Namibia alone will grant 40% of monies and also provide currency risk hedging for the whole deal.
Called AMV3, this ship will be the 7th in Debmarine Namibia’s fleet to mine high-quality diamonds from the ocean using high-tech equipment. The ship will produce 500,000 carats of diamond per annum as from 2022 and generate 2 billion Namibian dollars ($137.64 million) a year in taxes and royalties to the Namibian treasury in its first five years of production.
“With this investment we will be able to optimize new technology to find and recover diamonds more efficiently and meet growing consumer demand,” said Debmaine’s MD, Otto Shikongo.
According to Namibia’s Chamber of Mines, mining activity represents 14% of the country’s GDP.