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These Diamonds Are Completely Natural, But They Don’t Come from A Mine

They come from a place you wouldn’t expect.

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De Beers is finding some of its best diamonds not from traditional mines, but from a place you might not expect — the ocean floor.

The company has set up an operation called Debmarine Namibia off Africa’s Atlantic coast, the Wall Street Journal reports. Debmarine is a joint venture between the company and Namibia’s government.

From 400 feet below sea level, De Beers is uncovering “some of the world’s highest-quality diamonds,” according to the newspaper. As a result, it’s increasing its investment in the operation, with plans to add a new sampling ship at cost of $166 million.

On its website, the De Beers Group explains: “The Orange River that carried diamonds from the centre of South Africa millions of years ago also also deposited its precious cargo across the ocean floor.”

At the moment, seafloor diamonds make up 4 percent of the company’s yearly production total. But because of their high quality, they account for a much larger share — 13 percent — of total value.

Debmarine holds the right to mine a 2,300-square-mile area offshore. So far, it has covered less than 3 percent of that.

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Read more at the Wall Street Journal.

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