De Beers Group, the world’s largest diamond mining corporation, has begun a trial of new geofencing technology to enhance the safety of its marine diamond mining operations.

The technology has been implemented at one of De Beers Marine South Africa’s locations. It was developed in response to De Beers’ ‘zero harm’ objectives.

It allows the company to provide geofencing to maintain safe working distances for crew around the heavy machinery involved in marine diamond mining operations.


The solution was successfully piloted on board the MV Mafuta, currently the world’s largest offshore diamond mining vessel owned and operated by Debmarine Namibia, operating up to 150 km off the coast of Namibia in southern Africa.

Orange Business Services, a network-native digital services company, has helped De Beers set up the customised IoT solution.

Gerhardus Theron, vessel manager of the MV Mafuta, said: “Debmarine Namibia has a very clear aim of ‘zero harm’ across all our operations, and we are constantly looking at ways of enhancing employee safety and especially around the heavy machinery required for diamond recovery operations. The initial engagement consultation and joint workshop with the team from Orange Business Services was very productive and quickly identified the potential for an IoT solution to ensure the wellbeing of personnel onboard the vessels. We quickly moved to a pilot phase, which has now confirmed the potential of this innovative approach that we could embed within our existing safety processes and procedures.”

De Beers, established in 1888, is the world’s largest diamond producer by volume, employing around 20,000 people.

It was recently announced that, despite the industry’s best efforts to resist, it had cut its rough diamond prices by 10% in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and declining demand. Competitor Alrosa followed suit. Read more below:

De Beers to slash rough diamond prices by nearly 10%