In the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Namibia, you will find some of the world’s most valuable diamonds scattered like lost change.
The discovery of such gems has sparked a revolution in one of the world’s most storied industries for the precious stones buried just under the seafloor.
“Our ground operations are at a turning point. We believe that diamond mining on earth is not finished, but it will require very large investments,” said Daniel Kali, De Beers Namibia resident director.
Floating mines are offering hope for the gemstone, extending a lifeline to the Southern African country which depend on diamonds.
Justin Barrett, captain of the Mafuta diamond mining ship said, “The environment is disturbed, but nature is abundant here, and the rehabilitation is quite fast.”
De Beers, which historically dominated global diamond production, purchased mining rights to more than 3,000 square miles of the Namibian seafloor in 1991. So far, it has explored only 3 percent of that area.
In 2016, Debmarine Namibia, a joint-venture half-owned by De Beers and by the Namibian government, produced 1.2 million carats-worth of diamonds. This is two thirds of Namibia’s total haul.