Namdeb Diamond Corporation (Proprietary) Limited (‘Namdeb’) today announced that the transaction for the sale of Elizabeth Bay Mine (‘EBay’) to Sperrgebiet Diamond Mining Proprietary (Proprietary) Limited (SDM), subsidiary of the Lewcor Group (a 100% Namibian owned Consortium), has been concluded.
Namdeb announced its intention to sell EBay and its associated marine assets as a going concern in 2018. The decision by Namdeb to cease operations at EBay was made as the business sought a new owner that could continue to run the operation economically. Following a rigorous and independently advised selection process, SDM was announced as the successful bidder in September 2019.
The closing of the transaction today paves way for SDM to take full ownership of the mine. This is an important milestone that creates new business and job opportunities in the //Kharas region. Dr. Martha Uumati, Deputy Chairperson of Namdeb Board stated: “With SDM now taking over the operations, this creates much needed economic opportunity for the Lüderitz community and larger economy of Namibia, especially during this time when employment has been negatively affected by the pandemic.”
Elizabeth Bay Mine is part of the long history of diamond mining in Namibia and was originally commenced in 1911 after the first diamond was discovered near Kolmanskop (east of Lüderitz) in 1908. Operations were halted in 1914, at the commencement of WW1. Operations re-commenced in 1920. In 1923, the licences were granted to Consolidated Diamond Mining (C.D.M.), and operations continued until 1931 and then stopped as a result of the great depression in 1930. In 1991, under C.D.M. (and Namdeb from 1994), EBay was again re-opened as a 10 year project but lived way past its initial life span and continued operations until closure in 2009, following the Global Financial Crisis. Following an additional sampling programme, the mine re-opened in November 2011, and ran until September 2018, when it was placed under care and maintenance. Over 4 million carats in total was produced in the period between 1991 and 2018.
Chris Lewis, Managing Director of Sperrgebiet Diamond Mining and Lewcor Group of companies, during the closing transaction, said: “We look forward to optimize the opportunity afforded by gaining ownership of the Elizabeth Bay Mine and its associated mining licences and will strive to successfully recommission operations in such a way to establish a long-term plan for both onshore and offshore mining. We strongly believe in the potential of the mine, but also know that we’ll only be able to createvalue through the efforts and support from our employees, service providers and government stakeholders.”
Namdeb has a long and well-established association with Lüderitz and the operations at Elizabeth Bay, and intends to retain a presence in the historic town. Riaan Burger, Namdeb CEO, added: “It is not an easy decision to part ways with an asset that has made such a great contribution to both Namdeb and the community of Lüderitz, but it was the best decision both for the business and the local community. I am confident that SDM will give Elizabeth Bay Mine the new investment it requires, as well as the impetus to create long-term value and to deliver an important economic contribution. I wish Sperrgebiet Diamond Mining all the best with their new venture and trust that they will continue to build on the proud history of mining in the area.”
ISSUED BY NAMDEB CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS
Corporate Affairs Manager
10 Dr Frans Indongo Street
Namdeb Centre, 10th Floor
Telephone: +264 61 2043327 / Mobile: +264 81 1555669