Debmarine Namibia, a 50/50 joint venture between De Beers Group and the government of the Republic of Namibia, has approved the construction of a new custom-built diamond recovery vessel, according to Anglo American, 85% owner of De Beers.

At an expected total capital cost of $468 million ($234 million attributable to Anglo American), this new vessel will become the seventh in the Debmarine Namibia fleet. It is expected to begin production in 2022 with the capacity to add 500,000 carats of annual production, a 35% increase above Debmarine Namibia’s current levels.

Chief Executive of Anglo American Mark Cutifani said, “The addition of this custom-built vessel for the Debmarine Namibia joint venture will bring numerous benefits — in terms of De Beers’ production profile by value and volume, the technologies that can be deployed from the outset to deliver greater efficiency and productivity, and sustained economic benefits for Namibia.”

He added that it offers a three-year payback, more than 25% IRR and am EBIDTA margin of more than 60%.

CEO of De Beers Group Bruce Cleaver added, “Some of the highest quality diamonds in the world are found at sea off the Namibian coast. With this investment, we will be able to optimize new technology to find and recover diamonds more efficiently and meet growing consumer demand across the globe.”