Oceans contain within them a great many resources. By mining and delving deep into the vast marine depths, enabled with the aid of equipment-fitted ships, these oceanic resources have been successfully excavated. Mining Vessel “Peace in Africa” is the most noteworthy mining ship that is in operation today.
The biggest mining ship, MV Peace in Africa was launched in the year 2007 for the exploration of the SASA (South African Sea Areas) by the conglomerate De Beers well-known for their diamond exploration and mining. The most important feature and the uniqueness of the mining ship is that it is the first vessel to carry out marine mining in the Western seacoast part of South Africa, in the Atlantic Ocean.
A noteworthy point is that marine mining is not a new activity that has been undertaken by mining experts in the Black Continent. Africa has always been known for its abundance in natural resources and diamonds are one of them. De Beers has been into the operation of mining diamonds in the Namibian coast since the 90s and this exploration has yielded amazing success to the corporation.
As regards the Peace in Africa, the mining vessel has been fitted with the most contemporary technological equipments so as to facilitate the best possible mining activity in the coast of Namaqualand where the exploration was to be carried out.
This particular coastal area was well-researched to understand the repercussions and potentiality of carrying out mining activities for more than two decades. In terms of expenditure involved in the construction and designing of the vessel, an expense of 500 billion rand was incurred to equip the ship with the required gadgetries while the capital cost contributed to around 1.2 billion rand.
Peace in Africa Specifications
- The vessel before it was re-christened as Peace in Africa, was the ‘Dock Express’ which was built in the year 1983
- A few of the equipments include a crawler fitted with tracking faculties and diamond processing units onboard the ship for the treatment of the diamonds excavated
- In terms of statistics, the biggest mining ship is expected to mine around 60 diamonds in an hour’s time and based on weather conditions, is expected to be onsite for around 17 hours a day
- A crew of 65 people can be aboard the mining ship. Each crew member has a work-shift pattern of 28-days working followed by a 28-days’ leave. Also the day-shift of the crew is working for 12 hours, followed by a 12-hour break
Value of the Excavations
According to the expectations of the company, Peace in Africa is expected to have a functional lifespan of 30 years in which it is expected to yield around 2, 40,000 carats of diamonds of which around 33,000 carats of diamonds were yielded by the vessel in the year 2010 itself.
At present, the mining ship is on operational duty in the Namibian sea-coast. The Namibian diamond mining from the oceans has till now yielded around one million carats of diamonds and according to the company statistics, the yield from oceanic areas is significantly higher than the yields from the land with respect to mining in Africa.
Mining is an activity that needs to be carried out with utmost care and caution so as to preserve the ecology of the area where the activity is being carried out. Marine mining, considering the precariousness of the oceans today, has to be handled with even more care. De Beers, on its part is making full attempts to conserve the marine ecology while at the same time trying to provide employment boost and greater revenue generation to the vulnerable African economy.