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Namibia diamond profits plunge

WINDHOEK, May 21 – Namibia\’s largest diamond mining company Namdeb recorded a 73-million-dollar loss in its annual results for 2009, as the global recession ravaged sales, the company said Thursday.

"Carats sold in 2009 have decreased by 25 percent and carats produced decreased by 56 percent as a result of the global recession on worldwide diamond demand," Namdeb spokeswoman Christine Visser said in a statement.

"Loss before tax was 555 million Namibian dollars (73 million US dollars, 58 million euros), against a profit of 1.9 billion Namibian dollars before tax in 2008," Visser added.

Namdeb is equally owned by diamond giant De Beers and the Namibian government.

Carat production dropped to 929,000 carats in 2009, down from 2.1 million carats in 2008.

"Carats sold in 2009 came to 1.3 million carats against 1.8 million carats sold the previous year," according to Visser.

Diamond revenue from sales dropped by 40 percent and came to 3.37 billion Namibian dollars, against 5.65 billion Namibian dollars in 2008.

Namdeb\’s diamond mining licenses end in 2020.

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