In 1908 the first diamonds were discovered along the west coast of southern Africa at Kolmanskop near Luderitz. This led to the subsequent discovery of the rich diamond deposits mined by Consolidated Diamond Mines along what is now the Namibian Coastline.
It was not until 1925 that the first diamond was discovered in Namaqualand on the Port Nolloth Reserve. Shortly thereafter, concentrated prospecting operations began between The Cliffs north of Port Nolloth and the Orange River estuary with only minor activity taking place to the south towards Kleinzee. In 1926, the rich deposits at Alexander Bay were discovered. These deposits proved so rich that in 1927 the Government prohibited all further diamond prospecting on state owned land in Namaqualand.
During this time prospecting operations at Kleinzee were laying the foundation for what was to become the De Beers Namaqualand Mines. In 1928 the South African Government started mining operations at Alexander Bay (now Alexkor). Later diamonds were also discovered and mined elsewhere along the vast coastline.
It was not until 1954 that the first offshore diamond prospecting was started and between 1961 and 1965, a Texan entrepreneur through the Marine Diamond Corporation (now De Beers Marine) gave the impetus needed for geological exploration on the continental shelf by exploiting diamonds offshore along the coastline of then South West Africa.
This has manifested itself into a growing industry with diamonds having been discovered and mined in the nearshore and offshore environments along the coastline from south of the Olifants river in South Africa to some 120km north of Hottentots Bay in Namibia.
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