De Beers launches $157m SS Nu­joma

The Star Early Edition - - BUSINESS REPORT -

AN­GLO Amer­i­can’s di­a­mond unit De Beers on Thurs­day launched the world’s largest di­a­mond ex­plo­ration ves­sel off the coast of Namibia as it looks to main­tain high pro­duc­tion lev­els un­til 2035. The 12 000-ton, 113-me­tre-long SS Nu­joma was built at a cost of $157 mil­lion (R2 bil­lion) and is named af­ter Sam Nu­joma, Namibia’s found­ing pres­i­dent. “I am very, very con­fi­dent this (ves­sel) will al­low us to con­tinue to ex­tract 1.2 mil­lion carats a year,” De Beers chief ex­ec­u­tive Bruce Cleaver said. He said he was “cau­tiously op­ti­mistic” about di­a­mond sales in 2017 and in terms of value there have been “some small pos­i­tive move­ments” but it was too early to de­clare a trend. An­glo and De Beers rely heav­ily on di­a­monds. An­glo says they are cen­tral to its port­fo­lio of as­sets as they tend to hold value when bulk com­modi­ties fall in price.

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