|After decades, a diamond-mining town in Namibia that previously restricted visitors has opened it's doors to the public in hopes of boosting tourism.|
The remote town of Oranjemund, which lies in a diamond-mining area called the Sperrgebiet, or “prohibited area” in German, declared an end to its isolation from the rest of the country.
|Namdeb, a joint venture between Namibia and De Beers, operates in the Oranjemund area. Diamond mining on land has been winding down, with efforts redoubled on offshore operations. Diamonds have been mined in Namibia since 1908, when a railway worker found a stone that would change the course of history of Namibia, and 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. Namibia is one of the world’s largest producers of gem quality diamonds, with about 95% being gem quality.|