Diamond company Namdeb has asked the Namibian government if it could pay fewer taxes on at least some of its operations that are not making as much profit as had been expected, Mining Weekly reported. As of this writing, the company, which is owned in part by De Beers and in part by the Namibian government itself, pays a 10% royalty rate on sales and a 55% tax on its profits. It paid $132 million in taxes in 2010, amounting to 72% of its $180 million profit before taxes.
The company said that it would be investing $1 billion, including $450 million in the coming year, in order to increase diamond production. Namdeb also announced that it would be purchasing a number of $20 million walking jack-up platforms, massive machinery that permits diamonds to be mined in shallow coastal waters. In addition, the company noted that it would be leasing a marine vessel to permit diamond exploration in waters of medium-depth, at a price of $70 million annually.