Namdeb to invest over N$3bn in local diamond industry

Namdeb to invest over N$3bn in local diamond industry

NAMDEB and De Beers Marine Namibia are set to invest around N$3,2 billion in the local diamond industry over the next three years, De Beers and Namdeb Chairman Nicky Oppenheimer has said.

Oppenheimer said serious investors like De Beers sought to put their money in countries where they had the highest level of confidence. He said it was De Beers’ wish to show the Government of Namibia – with whom it is in a partnership venture, Namdeb – its commitment to Namibia.”Since the formation of Namdeb in 1994, De Beers has had the confidence to invest substantially in Namdeb and De Beers Marine…The socio-economic crises in Africa of hunger, poverty and wars are extremely disheartening.”I believe we as Africans must renew our determination to find a lasting solution to these challenges, working in tandem, governments and the private sector.I believe transparent governments like that of Namibia and industry leaders like De Beers are a shining example of what can be achieved.”Oppenheimer was speaking at the inauguration of the new Liberation plant at Elizabeth Bay Mine, a Namdeb project situated near Luederitz, by President Hifikepunye Pohamba on Wednesday.The new plant will extend the life on the mine by between six and 10 years.The plant, which was developed at a cost of N$445 million, will ensure a continuous supply of diamonds, varying from about 200 000 carats and peaking at 400 000 carats per year.Pohamba reiterated his earlier statements calling for more to be done to Namibian diamonds to create wealth and employment for Namibians.He lamented the fact that non-diamond producing places like Antwerp and London were called the hubs of the diamond industry, saying the skewed view should be changed and diamond-producing countries like Namibia should become the centres of the lucrative business.Pohamba called on the diamond-mining industry to think as Africans and find ways of tackling the issues of poverty and unemployment by creating opportunities for job creation through the continent’s own natural resources.”When I addressed the gathering at the Namdeb Centre on 28 June 2005, I emphasised the need for Namdeb and other players in the mining industry to aim at high performance, particularly in expanding value addition to our raw materials as we enter the global arena of fierce competition.”In essence, private companies such as De Beers who enjoy the benefits of mining in Namibia should play a leading role in supporting our development goals to ensure that our people derive optimal benefits from the wealth of our country.”The Minister of Mines and Energy, Erkki Nghimtina, said although the importance of the mining sector could not be downplayed, there was need to take a focused approach to ensure strategic alignment between the Government and the private sector to achieve the Vision 2030 ideal.He called on the mining sector to transform itself into a sector that has the participation of all Namibians.”I would like to urge you (the mining sector) to embrace the Government policy of broad-based economic empowerment of the previously disadvantaged members of our society.I this respect your procurement and employment policies should all be geared towards the inclusion of the previously disadvantaged,” he said.Nghimtina also echoed earlier calls that it was time that Namibian diamonds created wealth for the country.The Elizabeth Bay Mine currently employs 296 workers.He said it was De Beers’ wish to show the Government of Namibia – with whom it is in a partnership venture, Namdeb – its commitment to Namibia.”Since the formation of Namdeb in 1994, De Beers has had the confidence to invest substantially in Namdeb and De Beers Marine…The socio-economic crises in Africa of hunger, poverty and wars are extremely disheartening.”I believe we as Africans must renew our determination to find a lasting solution to these challenges, working in tandem, governments and the private sector.I believe transparent governments like that of Namibia and industry leaders like De Beers are a shining example of what can be achieved.”Oppenheimer was speaking at the inauguration of the new Liberation plant at Elizabeth Bay Mine, a Namdeb project situated near Luederitz, by President Hifikepunye Pohamba on Wednesday.The new plant will extend the life on the mine by between six and 10 years.The plant, which was developed at a cost of N$445 million, will ensure a continuous supply of diamonds, varying from about 200 000 carats and peaking at 400 000 carats per year.Pohamba reiterated his earlier statements calling for more to be done to Namibian diamonds to create wealth and employment for Namibians.He lamented the fact that non-diamond producing places like Antwerp and London were called the hubs of the diamond industry, saying the skewed view should be changed and diamond-producing countries like Namibia should become the centres of the lucrative business.Pohamba called on the diamond-mining industry to think as Africans and find ways of tackling the issues of poverty and unemployment by creating opportunities for job creation through the continent’s own natural resources.”When I addressed the gathering at the Namdeb Centre on 28 June 2005, I emphasised the need for Namdeb and other players in the mining industry to aim at high performance, particularly in expanding value addition to our raw materials as we enter the global arena of fierce competition.”In essence, private companies such as De Beers who enjoy the benefits of mining in Namibia should play a leading role in supporting our development goals to ensure that our people derive optimal benefits from the wealth of our country.”The Minister of Mines and Energy, Erkki Nghimtina, said although the importance of the mining sector could not be downplayed, there was need to take a focused approach to ensure strategic alignment between the Government and the private sector to achieve the Vision 2030 ideal.He called on the mining sector to transform itself into a sector that has the participation of all Namibians.”I would like to urge you (the mining sector) to embrace the Government policy of broad-based economic empowerment of the previously disadvantaged members of our society.I this respect your procurement and employment policies should all be geared towards the inclusion of the previously disadvantaged,” he said.Nghimtina also echoed earlier calls that it was time that Namibian diamonds created wealth for the country. The Elizabeth Bay Mine currently employs 296 workers.

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