De Beers and the Namibian government have a new $157m ship dedicated to finding the best sources of diamonds in the sea to keep output steady at around 1.2-million carats a year. The 113m-long, 12,000-tonne ship, the SS Nujoma, will ply the sea off southern Namibia, exploring the seabed about 140m deep for diamonds, accurately sampling and recording where diamonds are to be found so that five other ships in the equally held Debmarine Namibia joint venture can precisely mine for diamonds. De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver said the technology on the ship, which is essentially a floating mining operation, allowed the rate of sampling to double to between 70 and 80 samples a day, making it a far faster and more efficient process. Namibian mines minister Obeth Kandjoze said the Nujoma represented the "largest ever" investment in underwater diamond mining. De Beers had done work extracting diamonds off SA’s west coast up to 2008, but the grade was lower than that of the seabed off Namibia and th...

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