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New Namdeb mine starts production in 2014

Diamond miner Namdeb says construction of the N$280 million Sendelingsdrif Mine located near the Orange River is progressing well. Brand Manager Pauline Thomas told the Economist upon Enquiry that the ramp-up phase of the operation is expected by the end of 2013 and that full production is anticipated to start early in 2014.
Sendelingsdrif is expected to replace production from Daberas Mine, yielding 45,000 carats annually and extending Orange River operations beyond 2022.
Namdeb has been battling to extend the life of mine of the low grade but high value resource at Daberas mine where it treats 2.8 million tonnes of ore per year recovering between 35,000 and 50,000 carats.
Thomas said a project has been launched to investigate the options available in terms of technology as well as lowering costs to enable the economical mining of areas at Daberas and Sendelingsdrif. “The project is still in the study phase but has progressed well and is showing promising results,” she said.
Due to the volatility being experienced in the global markets which has had a negative impact on demand, Namdeb says it remains cautiously optimistic in the short to medium outlook although the company expects to see the same level of production contribution that was generated last year of around 560,000 carats from land based operations.
Besides the Orange River mining area, Namdeb said it continues to work on life of mine extension projects which are set to boost the life of conventional land operations to at least 2023.
So far systems and techniques have been developed to accelerate ‘beach accretion’ or the formation of areas of coastal sediment in a bid to gain ground beyond current limitations. The company says interventions utilising the Beachcomber dredge and floating treatment plant in Southern Coastal Mines (SCM) have progressed well.
Thomas said while the accreted beaches represent significant risk in terms of resource confidence, on-going development of sampling systems will mitigate this well in advance of mining activity. As a result, a project to relocate and upgrade a second dredge to this area was approved and is expected to further boost the accretion efforts.
The second dredger has been upgraded from a diesel to electrical power which will reduce its operating costs by a significant margin. This dredger will be working in conjunction with the larger Beachcomber dredge to assist with the mine’s beach accretion strategy to open virgin mining areas.
In addition, the Probe Drill Platform, originally assembled and commissioned in the northern parts of Namdeb’s MA1 Mining license area has now been committed for a four kilometre beach drilling campaign for 2013 after the platform drilled its first successful offshore line during the end of 2012.

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