Namdeb resumes mining operations
Wednesday, Jul 01, 2009
Since the end of last year, following the global economic crunch, Namdeb has been evaluating the new business environment in which the company’s mines will operate. We have taken account of the world’s economic situation and its effect on the general economy and. in particular. the severe effect that the downturn had on the luxury products market.
During this period a number of initiatives to reduce operating costs, maximise cash flow and alleviate the impact on employees have been taken. Additionally, Namdeb had revised its mining plans for 2009 in line with client demand, and built into those plans the capacity to change production to meet evolving demand in the market. By being proactive then, we put ourselves in a position to expand the business when the economic recovery begins.
Against this background, Namdeb’s three months production interruption that took effect on 2nd week of April 2009 comes to an end, and mining activities will restart from mid-July as workers start returning to work from across Namibia this week.
“The first quarter of 2009 was a challenging time. The men and women that work for Namdeb responded swiftly to the global downturn, enabling the company to withstand the economic crisis. This accomplishment is all the more meaningful when considering the fact that, in the long term, with future growth in emerging markets, demand is likely to significantly outpace what is forecast to be lower levels of diamond supply for many years to come, said Inge Zaamwani-Kamwi, Managing Director of Namdeb.
Ms Zaamwani-Kamwi continued, “Namdeb’s production for the rest of the year will be dictated by demand. Given the reduced demand for diamonds – it follows that the final production numbers will be less than what would have been originally planned. When recovery does come - and it will, that is one thing we should all be certain about, it is rather a question of when, and not if - when it does come the lower cost base that we have got in place now, together with the extra ordinary efforts we have made in terms of our operations, do put us in a really good position. We are going to come out of this in a stronger position than when we went into it in terms of our organisational efficiency and cost base, and when that happens it will allow us to get refocused on our long term vision, which is one with a lot of excitement.”
During the production interruption period, Namdeb employees remained on full pay, and the company carried out maintenance work on its major assets to ensure the mines run at an optimal level as demand begins to recover.
The return to production will be preceded by a two-week period of re-orientation during which employees will be re-inducted in aspects of safety, health and environmental standards. Namdeb senior management is currently on a visit to most of its labour-sending areas, from where they will board busses together with the employees returning to Oranjemund.
For more information on Namdeb visit www.namdeb.com
Source: De Beers