Anglo American's diamond unit De Beers on Thursday launched the world's largest diamond exploration vessel off the coast of Namibia as it looks to maintain high production levels until 2035.
The 12,000-tonne, 113-metre-long SS Nujoma was built at a cost of $157 million and is named after Sam Nujoma, Namibia's founding president.
Anglo American and De Beers rely heavily on diamonds. Anglo American says they are central to its portfolio of assets as they tend to hold value when bulk commodities fall in price.
Diamonds are also important to Namibia as they generate 20 percent of its foreign export earnings. Namibia receives 80 cents of every Namibian dollar generated by Debmarine Namibia, its 50:50 joint venture with De Beers.
Marine diamonds are particularly prized. They are generally more valuable than land-based stones because lower quality gems are washed away by waves.
Debmarine Namibia produced 1.2 million carats of diamonds in 2016.
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