Debmarine turns 10
The N$650million vessel which is the largest mining vessel in the Debmarine Fleet was inaugurated in the presence of President Hifikepunye Pohamba as well as former President, Dr Sam Nujoma at the Safari Hotel earlier this week.
Following its acquisition from De Beers Consolidated Mines in November last year, the vessel which was formerly known as the “Peace of Africa” was renamed mv Mafuta which means seas or great water in Oshiwambo. The vessel is registered at the port of Lüderitz and is expected to produce approximately 350,000 carats annually.
Speaking at the celebratory dinner, Pohamba said the mining sector, particularly the diamond mining sub-sector, continues to be an important pillar of the economy. He said, “although the negative effects of the global economic downturn continue to be felt around the world, the shareholders of Debmarine have demonstrated confidence in the Namibian economy by making this significant investment.
“This investment and the fact that the vessel is registered in Namibia will have positive spin-offs for our economy. It is my hope that local companies will be engaged to provide services to the mv Mafuta when it calls at the Port of Lüderitz to replenish its supplies,” he said.
According to the President, the government will continue to pursue policies that strengthen the mining sector. “Government aim to ensure that the public private partnerships that have been established continue to create win-win scenarios for the partners and for the Namibian people in general.”
“I am confident that through dynamic and prudent management, DebMarine Namibia will continue to grow and contribute to the well-being of our people through the sustainable and responsible exploitation of our natural resources,” he added.
Also speaking at the event, Minister of Mines and Energy, Hon. Isak Katali said that one of the top priorities of the government is to stimulate economic growth and at the same time create employment opportunities.
“This is a strategic imperative for government. In this context, I was very pleased when Otto Shikongo called me to inform me of the news that Debmarine Namibia is acquiring an additional vessel. For me as minister immediately I was thinking: “More revenue will be generated for the people of Namibia, more jobs will be created with increased training opportunities for Namibians. These are all very important priority areas for government,” he said.
He said the government’s participation as a partner in the diamond sector is a fantastic model for conducting business in the 21st century.
“The nature of joint venture partnership enables the government to ensure that the people of this country – the real owners of the minerals in the ground, benefit fairly from the profits generated from the resources. It is for this reason that I am always very pleased to be receiving dividends from our Joint Venture business,” he added.
Otto Shikongo, Debmarine Namibia CEO, said the turnover reached around N$4billion, accounting for N$1.3billion in taxes and royalties to the Namibian Treasury and the company paid N$538million in dividends to the holding company.