New vessel to search for diamonds in Namibia's waters

WALVIS BAY, NAMIBIA: Namibia and the De Beers company have inaugurated a $157 million vessel designed to find diamonds more easily off the country's Atlantic Ocean coastline.

The vessel is named after Sam Nujoma, Namibia's first president after independence in 1990. He was among the dignitaries who gathered Thursday to view the 113-meter (370-foot) ship.

The SS Nujoma allows a joint venture between Namibia and De Beers to explore diamond deposits with greater speed and accuracy up to 140 meters (460 feet) below the sea's surface.

De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver says about 75 percent of the 1.6 million carats produced in Namibian operations last year came from offshore deposits.