Debmarine announces record diamond production

Hertta-Maria Amutenja

Debmarine Namibia, last year, produced a whopping 1,725 million carats of diamonds.

According to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Debmarine, Willy Mertens, the production numbers is a new record in the history of the company. He added that the number constitutes around 80% of the total diamond production in Namibia.

“Putting the 2022 record production in perspective, this number is more than triple from 506 000 carats with six vessels compared to when Debmarine Namibia commenced operations.

“We achieved this not only through additional capacity but also through continued innovation and investment in new technology,” he said.

Speaking at the annual stakeholder engagement, Mertens highlighted that the company increased its revenue by 83 percent and interest tax by 168 percent.

“Revenue increased 83 percent to N$13.2 billion from N$7, 2 billion in 2021, as a result of increased production, positive consumer demand driving the price up with 12 percent, augmented by 20 percent weakening of the Namibian Dollar against the US Dollar.

Earnings Before Interest Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) increased by 168 percent to N$6, 7 billion due to the increase in revenue set off by some cost increases,” he added

Mertens said that the company’s biggest highlight for 2022 was the delivery of the Benguela Gem mining vessel two months ahead of the planned deadline. The Benguela Gem, which began operating at the end of March last year, is currently the world’s largest diamond recovery vessel.

The new multi-billion investment is scheduled to operate for at least 30 years and uses sub-sea crawling extraction techniques to retrieve

diamonds from the seabed off the coast of Namibia. Acquiring the Benguela Gem was the largest-ever commercial transactional deal by Debmarine Namibia.

The deal, which is aimed at boosting marine diamond recovery operations, involved five commercial banks partnering on a US$375 million (approximately N$5.6 billion) financing deal to build the new diamond recovery vessel.

Mertens said the Benguela Gem contributed 28 percent of the company’s 2022 production followed by the Mafuta which contributed 36 percent or 613 thousand carats and that the company’s five drill vessels contributed 36 percent or 632 thousand carats.

Ndeulipula Hamutumua, chairperson of the Debmarine Namibia’s Board of Directors said the company was recognized by the Ministry of

Finance in 2022, through the Namibia Revenue Agency (NaMRa) for being, the highest contributor to Value Added Tax (VAT), the highest contributor to corporate income tax, and the overall top revenue contributor in the 2021 financial year.

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