Elizabeth Bay diamond mine goes to new owners with NEEEF component
An equipment contractor to NamDeb has just become the new owner of the defunct Elizabeth Bay diamond mine following a protracted selection process that started in 2018.
The new owner is Sperrgebiet Diamond Mining (Pty) Ltd, a subsidiary of the Lewcor Group which is the umbrella for the commercial interests of the Lewis family.
Elizabeth Bay is located on the coastline some 25 km south of Lüderitz. Diamonds have been mined at this locality, on and off since 1911. In 1991 the mine was recommissioned as a ten-year project but mining continued until 2009. After an extensive sampling programme, it was reopened once again in 2011 but in 2018 Namdeb signalled that the mining operation no longer fits the group’s asset profile. It was placed under care and maintenance in September 2018 at which point Namdeb actively started scouting for a new owner.
On 12 September 2019, the DeBeers Group announced that the mine has been sold for N$120 million which could increase to N$180 million depending on production outcomes. The transaction includes a 25% shareholding to historically disadvantaged Namibians.
“In the longer term, this value could increase significantly, as Namdeb will share in the revenue earned in the sale of diamonds recovered from certain marine mining areas associated with Elizabeth Bay Mine, and which Lewcor has indicated it will bring into production in the near-term,” DeBeers Group stated.
Namdeb’s Board Chairman, Chris Nghaamwa said “Throughout this process, our objective has been to create the best possible circumstances for re-opening the operations, re-creating jobs and growing empowered participation in Namibia’s diamond industry.”
Namdeb Chief Executive, Riaan Burger said “I am hugely appreciative and grateful for the commitment of our employees over many years and wish to thank them for their dedication. Although the decision to sell the mine has not been easy, it was the right thing to do for its future, its employees and the Lüderitz community at large.”
New owner, Chris Lewis 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 create value through the efforts and support from our employees, service providers and government stakeholders.”