Contractor Treatment Facility
Namdeb offers an opportunity for Namibians to mine diamonds within the shallow marine portions of Namdeb’s concessions between Luderitz and Oranjemund as contractors. The Namdeb shallow marine contractor operations started in 1990 with the appointment of Windvogel diamonds as the primary contractor to conduct Diver-assisted sampling and mining operations. The shallow marine mining operations generally consist of small (<50 ton) converted fishing vessels which are used as mining platforms. Commercial divers are deployed to pump gravel from the seabed to the vessel where the gravel is screened. The shallow marine operations extend to the 30 (thirty) meter isobath. The contractors provide their own fully equipped mining vessel and can then select areas to mine within the shallow marine contract area between Diaz point in the north and Kerbehuk, 200km to the south.
The production of these marine contractors is processed though the Contractor Treatment Facility (CTF) in Luderitz, which was officially inaugurated by the Minister of Mines and Energy Hon. Dr. Nickey Iyambo in 2004. Generally the screened gravel mined is then offloaded at the Namdeb Contractors Treatment Facility (CTF) in Luderitz where the gravel is treated by Namdeb and the final recovery of diamonds from the x-ray concentrate is done. The CTF is an important part of the Northern Coastal operations, not only because it consistently turns a small but useful profit, but due to the socio-economic implications of number of people and support crew involved with the contractor vessels.
The successful management and facilitation of contractor operation would not have been achieved without the small team of skilled professionals working closely together to insure that economic productivity, security and Namdeb’s STAR values are maintained. The CTF team consists of nine (9) permanent staff members divided into two (2) departments, Contactor Treatment and Security.
- Contractor Requirements
- Registered Namibian Company
- Namdeb Security Screening
- Sound Business Plan
- Suitable Vessel
- Mining equipment and qualified personnel
All the diamonds are valued and marketed through the Namibia Diamond Trading Company (NDTC) and after the deduction of Government Royalties (10%), 1% to NEF (Namib Environmental Fund)and NDTC fees (10%) the proceeds are shared between Namdeb and the Contractor. The proceeds of screened gravel are shared 40% to Namdeb and 60% to Contractor. In the event of the contractor delivering Dense Media Separator (DMS) concentrate to the CTF, the proceeds are shared 30% to Namdeb and 70% to Contractor. Should pure concentrate be delivered to CTF the proceeds are 20% to Namdeb and 80% to Contractor.
All the diamonds are valued and marketed through the Namibia Diamond Trading Company (NDTC) and after the deduction of Government Royalties (10%) and NDTC fees (10%) the proceeds are shared between Namdeb and the Contractor. The proceeds of screened gravel are shared 40% to Namdeb and 60% to Contractor. In the event of the contractor delivering Dense Media Separator (DMS) concentrate to the CTF, the proceeds are shared 30% to Namdeb and 70% to Contractor. Should pure concentrate be delivered to CTF the proceeds are 20% to Namdeb and 80% to Contractor.
Due to the nature of diver-assisted surfzone and shallow marine mining, these operations have the following associated:
- There is no estimated diamond resource available. The contractor must do prospecting in order to establish a profitable mining site. Namdeb assists by providing printed charts and helping to select prospecting targets using the available geophysical and geological data from the area of interest to the contractor.
- The diver-assisted mining operations are vulnerable to adverse weather conditions which often hamper operations. Due to cyclical annual weather patterns virtually no diver-assisted mining takes place during the winter months (June – August).
- Equipment utilised in the marine environment have relatively high maintenance cost. Used (second hand) equipment, often purchased to reduce initial capital commitment, is prone to costly breakdowns. All equipment must comply with Namdeb’s Safety, Health & Environmental (SHE) standards.
- Diver-assisted diamond mining is physically hard work done in cold water under low visibility conditions. To attract and retain qualified and competent commercial divers, fair and market related remuneration packages must be offered.
During the last few years it has become clear that the key to a successful diver-assisted mining venture lies with a dynamic on-site operations manager who has the ability to manage and motivate employees under difficult conditions for extended periods of time. In addition, sound financial and logistical management and well maintained equipment are significant contributors to success. To ensure technical and practical insight on behalf of the contractor, it is strongly recommended by Namdeb that a qualified commercial diver with proven diver-assisted mining experience is a shareholder in the company applying for a mining contract with Namdeb.
Namdeb is committed to the Kimberley Process which is an international certification scheme that regulates the trade in rough diamonds. Its aim is to prevent the trade in conflict diamonds, also known as “blood diamonds”, while helping to protect the legitimate trade in rough diamonds. Due to our unwavering commitment to the Kimberley Process the financiers and shareholders will be subject to security screening.
Concession Application Process
Phase 1 of application for a contract: In order to initiate the security screening process we require a duplicate set of the following documentation (Concession Application Form) to be submitted with a covering letter from your company, to the Namdeb Contractor Managers office in Luderitz:
- Certified copies of Identification Documents and Passports of all shareholders,
- Certified copies of Namibian Police Conduct Certificates of all shareholders (receipts of application can be submitted – certified copies must follow as soon as received),
- Certified copy of certificate of registration as a company,
- Signed declaration of business interests of all shareholders which must include registered and trade names of companies, company registration numbers and the nature of the business.
Phase 2: If the security screening has been successful, the final approval to be awarded a Shallow Marine Contract is subject to clarification of various issues to Namdeb’s satisfaction. This clarification would include, but not necessarily be restricted to the submission of a detailed business plan which must include:
- A month-by-month 5-year financial plan including capital commitment, detailed monthly expenses, expected production and projected revenue.
- A comprehensive list of proposed diving, mining and gravel screening equipment (including details of vessel in case of a shallow marine contract application),
- Personnel requirements which includes certificates of competency of operators and divers, please note that the minimum requirement for a diver is a Class 3 Commercial Diving Certificate (-30m) and all dive operations must be supervised by a Class 3 Commercial Diving Supervisor,
- Full particulars of Namibian participation and empowerment initiatives,
- Full particulars of the financial resources/backing for project,
- Certified copy of VAT Registration documentation,
- Proof that all required equipment have been purchased.
Phase 3: If the application has been successful, copies of the contract will be prepared and signed. The contract becomes effective once written confirmation of Ministerial Approval has been obtained from the Minister of Mines and Energy in terms of Section 49 of the Diamond Act, Act 13 of 1999. Mining may commence after:
- All personnel have undergone security and SHE inductions,
- Mining areas have been selected by the contractor.