Namdeb, a 50/50 joint venture between the Government of the Republic of Namibia and De Beers Group, has announced that it is looking for a buyer for its Elizabeth Bay mine (E-Bay) to secure its long-term future.
According to a local paper, The Namibian, Namdeb chief executive officer Riaan Burger said the decision to sell E-Bay considered because there were low cost “operators in the market, with credentials” and access to funding, to successfully operate and explore the mine’s offshore potential.
The mine was commissioned in 1991 and is located along the south-western coast of Namibia near the town Lüderitz. It employs around 160 people and in 2017 it produced around 200 000 carats.
Elizabeth Bay mine has contributed significantly over the years to the local economy of Lüderitz, particularly in providing high quality job opportunities for the local community.
In 2009, following the economic downturn, the mine was put on care and maintenance. Two years later, in 2011, the operation was restarted through the implementation of the Elizabeth Bay Optimization Project which, at the time, projected a four year Life of Mine (LoM) to 2014. The current projected LoM extends to 2019.
Following a recent review, it was concluded that the best way to secure a longer future for the mine, beyond the projected 2019 life, was to find a more suitable low-cost operator.
The company CEO, Riaan Burger said: “Elizabeth Bay mine continues to play an important role in the development of Namibia’s diamond industry, so we have not taken this decision lightly.”
“We are constantly reviewing new mining opportunities. As this mine nears the end of its current life, we are focused on finding a buyer that can sustain operations beyond 2019, protect jobs and contribute sustainably to the Namibian economy.”