What is claimed to be the world’s largest and most advanced diamond exploration and sampling vessel, Nujoma, is ready to start exploring for diamond deposits in Namibian waters.
The vessel was constructed by Kleven shipyard in Ulsteinvik, Norway to the MT 6022 design from Marin Teknikk, and fitted with its subsea sampling system, designed by De Beers Group, in Cape Town, South Africa.
The US$157 million vessel will enable Debmarine Namibia, a 50/50 joint venture between the government of the Republic of Namibia and De Beers Group, to explore diamond deposits and secure diamond supply in the country well into the future.
Debmarine Namibia is the only company in the world to mine diamonds offshore, having started in 2002. The company produced around 1.2 million carats in 2016. Mining of Namibia’s diamonds – some of the most valuable in the world – takes place at depths of 120-140m.
Nujoma uses a range of unique technologies that allow it to sample faster, take larger samples and collect more information per sample than any other diamond sampling vessel. It is capable of sampling at more than double the speed of its predecessor.
The 12,000 tonne, diesel-electric powered vessel is 113m long, can accommodate a crew of 80 and has a helicopter deck suitable for Sikorsky S61s.