An aerial picture shows the Diamonds Sea Mining vessel MAFUTA from Debmarine, a joint venture between Diamonds Mining Giant De Beers and the Namibian Government on June 25, 2017 in waters outside Oranjemund.
GIANLUIGI GUERCIA / AFP
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A vast mechanical monster rises from the Atlantic Ocean off the Namibian coast, leaving a huge swell in its wake as seawater pours off its surface.A flotilla of five vessels armed with undersea suction devices have been scouring the Atlantic seabed for more than 10 years in pursuit of stones washed out to sea by Namibia's Oranje river.Their initial haul of deep-sea diamonds was a world first.Last year Debmarine Namibia, a joint venture half-owned by De Beers and by the Namibian government, produced 1.2 million carats worth of diamonds – two-thirds of Namibia's total haul.The Mafuta diamond mining vessel can be reached with a short helicopter ride from the Oranjemund mining hub on Namibia's southern tip. The vessel is 170 meters long, 33 meters high and has a crew of 98 .
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