Saturday, 26 December 2015

Diamonds of Namibia

Namibia is world-renowned for its gem quality placer diamonds that occur along the Orange River as well as onshore and offshore along the coastline. Namibian diamonds were originally transported via the Orange River into the Atlantic Ocean and distributed northwards by currents.

Diamonds typically occur as placers within raised and “drowned” beach terraces, gullies in the bedrock, and alluvial deposits in wind corridors within southern Namibia.
Diamonds have been mined in Namibia since 1908, when railway worker Zacharias Lewala found a stone that would change the course of history of Africa/Namibia, and of alluvial mining.
The stone was a diamond, and shortly after he handed it to his supervisor, a frenzied diamond rush to the desert sands near Luderitz took place which resulted in the mining of seven million carats for colonial Germany until World War I in 1914.

Namibia is one of the world’s largest producers of gem quality diamonds, with about 95% of diamonds produced being gem quality.
The major diamond producing company in Namibia is Namdeb Diamond Corporation, jointly owned by the Namibian government and De Beers, which produced 1.76 million carats in 2013, up 6 percent on 2012.

Other companies mining diamonds include Sakawe Mining Corporation (Samincor) and Diamond Fields Namibia.

Marine diamond mining began in the 1960s off the coast of southern Namibia. Namibia is the world's fifth largest diamond producer by value with an average per carat value of US$276.

Namibia's marine diamond production has now surpassed traditional land based production.
Marine mining as deep as 140m has brought Namibia the distinction of being the leading marine mineral mining country in the world. Over the years, the various areas combined have produced around 95 million carats, including around 12 million from deep water marine mining.

Diamonds continue to dominate Namibia's economy. They account for more than 40 percent of export revenue and more than five percent of GDP.