Oranjemund land-based diamond mining to end

The MUN plans to engage the mining company to retain as many jobs for Namibians for as long as possible during the retrenchment process.

24 October 2017 | Business

We want them to start cutting the sub-contractors first, which are mostly foreign companies. - Mbidhi Shavuka, Oranjemund branch chairman: MUN

ORANJEMUND – Diamond mining operations conducted by Namdeb on land at Oranjemund are expected to scale down over the next few years and come to a complete standstill by 2022.

According to, branch chairman of the Mineworkers Union of Namibia (MUN) at Oranjemund, Elizabeth Bay will be shut down at the end of 2018. Daberas will follow at the end of 2019, Sendelingsdrift in 2020 and the main one, Southern Coastal in 2022.

However, mining at sea in the Atlantic bordering the mining town will continue and possibly intensify through DebMarine Namibia, a company wholly owned by the Namibia Diamond Corporation (Namdeb).

Shavuka said the union was informed by Namdeb a few months ago that operations at the four land mines would come to a halt over the next few years.

He indicated that the company has embarked on a drive to notify employees about the future closures.

The news was met with mixed feelings, he said.

“The news of land mining winding down created some unhappiness, but we also understand that it is the nature of the resource; diamonds are finite,” he said.

However, MUN plans to engage the mining company to retain as many jobs for Namibians for as long as possible during the retrenchment process.

“We want them to start cutting the sub-contractors first, which are mostly foreign companies, before following the normal retrenchment procedures for the Namibian workers,” he said.

During the official opening ceremony of the town, Tony Bessinger, Namdeb’s head of town transformation and sustainability, confirmed land operations would decline, but that sea mining would grow.

“Despite reducing land-based production, diamond mining in the deeper sea will become the mainstay to continue contributions to the town for many years to come,” he said.

Bessinger gave the company’s assurance that diamond mining would remain part of town’s economy.

Namdeb is jointly owned by mining giant De Beers and the Namibian government. – Nampa

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