Diamond giant orders offshore mining vessel

OCTOBER 24, 2014 — Diamond company De Beers plans to go looking for diamonds and other minerals in an area off the coast of Namibia and has enlisted Norway's Marin Teknikk and Kleven Verft in the effort.

Marin Teknikk says it was approached by De Beers over a year ago and responded with a design based on its MT 6022. Kleven says that De Beers Marine Namibia has now signed an order with it for the vessel that is subject to final approval in first quarter 2015, with delivery of the newbuild from its Ulsteinvik shipyard in June 2016.

The MT 6022 is well proven in the offshore construction segment, but the De Beers ship will include a wide range of tailor made equipment and features.

The De Beers vessel has external similarities to earlier ships, says Marin Teknikk, but the arrangement inside the ship is completely different and is designed to operate equipment for underwater mineral activity. Below deck and the entire aft deck will be installed with equipment for this activity.

The ship has a length of 113 m and width of 22 m and will operate at depths of up to 150 m.

The latest technology in diesel electric propulsion systems will be installed and the ship will meet high requirements for dynamic positioning, remaining in position for three years between returns to port.

High standard accommodations will be provided for 80 people, with most cabins designed for one person.

Smaller vessels will supply the ship with the necessary supplies and with helicopters providing transportation of the crew and taking the high value cargo to the land.

According to Namibia's Ministry of Mines and Energy, "Namibian marine diamond recovery has now surpassed traditional land-based diamond production. In 2001, over 60% of Namibia’s app. 1.6 million carats per year came from mining the seabed, with 95% being gem quality. Furthermore, the potential of the marine diamond industry has barely begun to exploit the vast resources of Namibian marine diamonds calculated by experts to contain some 2 billion carats."

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