JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Namibia-based marine diamond mining giant Debmarine Namibia on Monday took ownership of the SS Nujoma, the sixth ship in its fleet of diamond mining and exploration vessels, from Norwegian shipbuilder Kleven Verft.
The 113-m-long ship was built in Norway and will embark on its maiden voyage for Cape Town later this week, to be outfitted with exploration equipment, including a technologically advanced sampling system and treatment plant.
It is expected to arrive late-August, with final commissioning and testing expected in early 2017.
The SS Nujoma will join Debmarine Namibia’s other five vessels, the Grand Banks, Debmar Atlantic, Debmar Pacific, !Gariep and Mafuta, which operate within the world’s largest known placer diamond deposit off the southern Namibian coast.
"This first new-build vessel for Debmarine Namibia with Kleven Verft has been a great success so far. Kleven delivered a state-of-the-art vessel, which met or exceeded all aspects of our technical specifications, in record time,” said Debmarine project head Michael Curtis on Monday.
Named after Namibia’s founding president, the SS Nujoma is the second Debmarine Namibia vessel financed by RMB Namibia, the first one being the Mafuta.
The N$2.3-billion project was funded by a $150-million term facility, or 75% of the total cost, co-arranged and funded by RMB Namibia, with the balance paid directly by Debmarine Namibia.
RMB Namibia also facilitated a Norwegian Krone swap and hedge facility, enabling Debmarine Namibia to settle the purchase of the vessel in Norway’s local currency.
The final acquisition payment towards the $65-million vessel was made to the shipbuilders when Debmarine Namibia took ownership. The balance of the facility will be applied towards outfitting the ship with 2 100 t of mission equipment in Cape Town.
“RMB Namibia’s ability to provide our clients with US dollar financing, through FirstRand, allows us to tailor market-leading solutions for the Namibian mining industry,” said newly appointed RMB Namibia CEO Conrad Dempsey.
“We believe our team has a strong competitive edge through our extensive local and international experience in the mining sector, enabling us to partner with our mining clients through the peaks and troughs of the cycle and to become on-the-ground partners with companies in the Namibian mining sector,” he added.