Debmarine sees increased production – Shikongo

WINDHOEK: Debmarine Namibia produced 1.16 million carats of diamonds last year compared to 1.10 million carats in 2012.

Debmarine Namibia’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Otto Shikongo said this at a media briefing held here on Monday after a media familiarisation visit to the company’s MV Mafuta and MV Debmar Atlatic vessels at Oranjemund over the weekend.

“This is a milestone production in our history. This sterling achievement is due to an exceptionally diligent and passionate team of employees,” he said.

He noted that the company recorded a turnover of around N.dollars 5 billion in 2013, and N.dollars 2 billion was paid out in taxes and royalties.

Shikongo said Debmarine Namibia paid dividends of N.dollars 1 billion to its shareholders and N.dollars 2.6 billion to the Namibian treasury in taxes and royalties.

Debmarine Namibia mines at water depths of 90 to 140 metres, and has a mining licence of 6000 square metres in the Atlantic ocean.

According to Shikongo, the company has mined only two (2) per cent of the licenced area so far.

“We invested over N.dollars 1.6 million in social responsibility in 2013, focussing on education, health, social welfare, environment and community income generating projects,” he said.

The chief executive officer said his company spends an average N.dollars18 million on training and development per annum, benefiting 322 young Namibians over the past 13 years.

The beneficiaries were trained based on the company’s long term trainee programmes in the disciplines of navigating, marine engineering, accelerated ratings, artisans, crawler pilots, drillers, mandatory marine training, understudy development programmes, leadership and coaching.

Other skills development initiatives include the provision of self-study assistance to Debmarine Namibia’s permanent employees.

He said Debmarine Namibia’s bursary and graduates’ scheme aims to attract exceptional young talents, adding that the bursaries that are awarded are for full-time university and technical studies.

Shikongo said annually, the company sponsors on average 24 Namibians to study in specialised courses such as chemical engineering, geology, environmental science, mechanical and electrical engineering – at various institutions of higher learning.

“The company is committed to the development of graduates derived from our bursary schemes, in order to employ responsible professionals who are qualified and competent to fill leadership roles within the organisation,” he said.