Diamond mining company De Beers has announced the successful launch of the maiden voyage of its new diamond-dredging ship.

The vessel is the largest of its kind in the world and cost the company a reported $470 million (£343 million), according to IDEX.

Port of Cape Town, South Africa, is the destination of the ship’s first journey. There it will be fitted with mission equipment before commencing its first dredging operations off the Namibian coast in early 2022.

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The Additional Mining Vessel (or AMV3) will be added to Debmarine Namibia’s fleet of five ships.

Debmarine Namibia is a subsidiary of De Beers, jointly owned by the Namibian government.

“De Beers celebrates the completion of the vessel which, after a long period of design, construction and testing has now proceeded to sea” said Michael Curtis, head of the AMV3 Project. “The vessel build has been a truly multinational effort which has converged successfully at Damen Shipyards Mangalia.

“The build of this magnificent ship has enjoyed a high profile in Namibia as the largest ever single investment in the history of marine diamond recovery.

“Today marks a significant milestone in the project and for our company as the vessel starts its journey to Cape Town where it will be outfitted with the mission equipment.

“Damen’s dedication to building this high-quality and complex vessel, under very difficult circumstances and to do so with an excellent safety record is acknowledged and the quality of the ship is a testament to the skills of all who have been involved.”