Namdeb through the contractor treatment facility offers an opportunity for Namibians to mine diamonds within the shallow marine portions of Namdeb’s concessions between Lüderitz and Oranjemund as contractors. The Namdeb shallow marine contractor operations was started in 1990 with the appointment of Windvogel diamonds as the primary contractor to conduct Diver-Assisted sampling and mining operations.
The shallow marine mining operations generally comprises of small (<50 ton) converted fishing vessels which are used as mining platforms. Commercial divers are deployed to pump gravel from the seabed to the vessel where the gravel is screened. The shallow marine operations extend to the thirty (30) meter isobath. The contractors provide their own fully equipped mining vessel and can then select areas to mine within the shallow marine contract area between Diaz point in the north and Kerbehuk, 200km to the south.
The production of these marine contractors is processed though the Contractor Treatment Facility (CTF) in Luderitz, which was officially inaugurated by the then Minister of Mines and Energy Hon. Dr. Nickey Iyambo in 2004.
The process of screened gravel mined is then offloaded at the Namdeb Contractors Treatment Facility (CTF) in Luderitz where the gravel is treated by Namdeb and the final recovery of diamonds from the X-Ray concentrate is done. The CTF is an important part of the Northern Coastal operations, not only because it consistently turns a small but useful profit, but due to the socio-economic implications of several people and support crew involved with the contractor vessels.