What appears to be an inhospitable barren wasteland on the coast of South West Africa (Namibia) is said to hold the world's richest deposits of diamonds.
GV Mountains of earth along Fish River Canyon
GV & CU Mechanical cutting into side of earth
GV Earth-moving equipment
AERIAL VIEW Fish River Canyon
GV & CU Diamonds being sorted (3 shots)
GV People looking at assortment of diamonds
Initials BJB/1745 BJB/1800
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: What appears to be an inhospitable barren wasteland on the coast of South West Africa (Namibia) is said to hold the world's richest deposits of diamonds.
The mineral-rich territory, now locked in a dispute with South Africa to free itself from what the United Nations term as its "illegal rule", today recovers nearly two million carats of diamonds each year from along the 100-kilometre (62 miles) coastal strip north of Oranjemund.
The precious stone is deposited in ancient marine terraces on land, beaches and seabed along this stretch of coast.
Another patch of rich deposits is found south of the Orange River in Namaqualand, where nearly 700,000 carats a year are being produced.
The gem is being mined by the Consolidated Diamond Mines of South West Africa -- formed in 1920 from several smaller companies. It is a member of the De Beers Group.
The company estimates that uncut diamonds produced thee are worth more than R100 million (66 million sterling) a year.