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Elizabeth Bay diamond mine goes to new owners with NEEEF component

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.”


 

About The Author

Daniel Steinmann

Brief CV of Daniel Steinmann. Born 24 February 1961, Johannesburg. Educated at the University of Pretoria: BA, BA(hons), BD. Postgraduate degrees are in Philosophy and Divinity. Editor of the Namibia Economist since 1991. Daniel Steinmann has steered the Economist as editor for the past 29 years. The newspaper started as a monthly free-sheet, then moved to a weekly paper edition (1996 to 2016), and on 01 December 2016 to a daily digital newspaper at https://economist.com.na. His editorial focus is on economic analysis based on budget analysis, dissecting strategic planning and assessing the impact of policy formulation. For eight years, he hosted a weekly talk-show on NBC Radio, explaining complex economic concepts to a lay audience in a relaxed, conversational manner. He was a founding member of the Editors' Forum of Namibia. Over the years, he has mentored scores of journalism students as interns and as young professional journalists. He often assists economics students, both graduate and post-graduate, to prepare for examinations and moderator reviews. He is the Namibian respondent for the World Economic Survey conducted every quarter for the Ifo Center for Business Cycle Analysis and Surveys at the University of Munich in Germany. He is frequently consulted by NGOs and international analysts on local economic trends and developments. Send comments to [email protected]

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