The ECC is required for the for ongoing marine diamond exploration, recovery and production operations in Atlantic 1 Mining License (ML), Mining License No. 47 offshore, Southwest, Namibia. Exploration Activities Exploration activities such as low energy geophysical surveys and sampling leading to the delineation of key potential mining targets. These exploration activities are the main key early stages components of DBMN strategic business and operational plan and integrates environmental management throughout the entire exploration cycle. Exploration operations of DBMN starts with non-destructive geophysical surveys methods such as Echo-sounder and high resolution sidescan sonar and high-frequency, low energy (<12 kHz) seismic surveys, medium-penetration seismic surveys followed by sampling operations. The sampling process is used to validate the geophysical survey and collects key data sets that is used in the final resources evaluation, geotechnical engineering assessment and determination of the correct mining techniques to be used. The mv SS Nujoma is the only exploration and sampling vessel in the DBMN Namibia fleet. Recovery and Production Operations Marine diamond recovery and production operations focuses on key areas that have been delineated to be viable for economic diamond recovery during the exploration process (geophysical survey and sampling). The mining operations involves the extraction of seabed materials, on-board processing and diamond recovery process. The following is the summary of the two types of diamond recovery and production techniques that are used depending on the type of seafloor ground conditions / geology: The airlift-drill technology, which uses a 6.8 meter in diameter drill bit working in overlapping circles on the sea floor, and; The crawler technology, which uses a 280 tonne truck-mounted crawler dredging on the sea floor. Within its own fleet, DBMN currently owns six (6) diamond recovery and production vessels, the AMV3 m.v. Mafuta, m.v. Grand Banks, m.v. Debmar Atlantic, m.v. Debmar Pacific and m.v. !Gariep. Additionally, the Coral Sea has been chaptered and bringing the total number of recovery and production vessels to seven (7). Five (5) of the recovery and production vessels use the airlift-drill technology, whilst only two (2) vessel (mv Mafuta and the Coral Sea) uses the crawler technology. Diamond recovery and production takes place in the Atlantic 1 ML No. 47 on the sea floor at water depths of between 94 – 154 m. The diamond recovery and production vessels are self-contained units, with a processing facility on board, and operate 24-hours a day for 12 months of the year, with a dry-docking scheduled every third year. Onboard Processing The recovered sediment slurry is pumped to onboard the vessels and discharged onto a series of vibrating sorting screens, which separates oversize gravel and fine sandy silt from the size fraction of interest, the ‘plantfeed’ (2 - 19 mm). The oversize and undersize fine tailings are immediately discarded overboard, with ~65% of the material pumped to onboard the vessels being returned directly to the sea.
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Ministry of Environment and Tourism
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