RAPAPORT... De Beers and Namibia reached an agreement in which the country will increase its shareholding in De Beers Marine Namibia (DBMN) to 50 percent from 15 percent.
As part of the agreement, the shareholders have agreed to establish a new 50/50 joint venture holding company for Namdeb and DBMN. The new firm will hold all operating licenses both for land and sea and will own the diamonds mined from those areas. Currently, operations are controlled by Namdeb.
All the diamonds produced by Namdeb and DBMN will continue to be sorted, valued and marketed exclusively by the Namibia Diamond Trading Company (NDTC), which is also a joint venture between Namibia and De Beers.
De Beers contended then that the new balance of equity in DBMN, and the establishment of a holding company for all joint land and sea mining, will further strengthen its relationship with Namibia and fully align the shareholders with the long-term visions of Namdeb, DBMN and NDTC.
Namibia’s Minister of Mines and Energy, Isak Katali, commented on the agreement, saying, ''Namibia has an exciting future in off-shore diamond mining and it was therefore imperative for us to work with De Beers to create an equal shareholding of aligned partners in De Beers Marine Namibia. Our agreement, and the partnership between the government and De Beers, has created a solution that will benefit the people of Namibia now and in the long-term.”
Bruce Cleaver, acting chief executive of the De Beers Group, said, ''De Beers’ business model is built on the virtues of partnership, so it is always gratifying when we deepen a long-term relationship as we have done with this announcement. This agreement marks another exciting chapter in our longstanding partnership with the people of Namibia.”
The new structure will be implemented after statutory, regulatory and other commercial conditions have been met, which is expected during the second half of 2011.