|Namdeb Diamond Corporation increased production to 1.36 million carats from onshore sources as well as deep sea production by De Beers Marine, acting as a contractor to Namdeb. The Namdeb N$ 187 million bucketwheel dredge and floating treatment plant is in production enabling Namdeb to mine the low grade, largely waterlogged blocks in the south of its lease area.
In 1996 Namdeb shifted 53.8 million tons of sand and rock increasing to about 72.5 million tons in 1997 with the company’s total rough diamond output remaining about 1.3 million carats. Namdeb is switching to high tonnage, low cost mining involving Namdeb’s US$40 million dredge project consisting of an 840 ton dredge floating on an inland pond, an associated floating treatment plant, 400 metres of floating walkway pontoons and a well field of 70 bore holes. The dredge is capable of stripping 2500 tons an hour of beach sand.
Namdeb plans to hand company town Oranjemund to local people when it ceases on shore mining operations.