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Diamond Fields to start mining off Namibian coast in 2018

Canadian miner Diamond Fields International Ltd. and International Mining and Dredging Holdings Pty. Ltd. agreed to launch an initial mining program at the company's ML 111 license off the coast of Namibia.

The program, set to begin in 2018, will extend over a seafloor area of about 55 hectares, according to a Nov. 20 release.

A bulk sampling program completed in 2016 returned encouraging results, with an unexpectedly high frequency of large, high-value stones reported.

During the initial mining program, and depending on the monthly production levels, the company's share of net proceeds will be up to 5%, and it anticipates that it could approach 50% of its joint venture interest.

"The parties expect to review mining costs and other parameters during the initial mining program to find a balance for sharing exploration and mining costs going forward beyond the initial mining program, particularly regarding resource and reserve development," Diamond Fields said.