MV Explorer

The MV Explorer is Trans Hex Marine ’s sampling vessel and was specifically designed and build to take samples from the ocean seabed of diamondiferous gravel.

Built in 1979 and converted into diamond sampling vessel in 2009. Various major refits have ensured that she is still fitted out with the latest technology ensuring she can deliver fast and accurate samples of the seabed gravel layers. With an overall length of 115 meters and a width of 20 meters she provides ample space and stability for all equipment on the vessel. With a total available 2250 ekW there is enough power to run all equipment required for the vessel operations.

A four-legged sampling tool is lowered to the seabed, through a moon pool measuring 10×12 meters where she is capable of drilling sample holes up to 8 meters deep in standard configuration with an option to extend this to 12 meters.

The diameter of the hole is 2.5 meters across resulting in a 5m2 sample area. Recently the Explorer sampled diamond bearing gravels up to a water depth of 185 Meters off the Namibian coast. This is the deepest anybody has ever sampled or mined for offshore diamonds.

All the gravel gets transported to the surface with the help of 20 bar air compressors who provide the air for the so-called airlift system. Gravel than gets separated and sorted in the processing plant until only diamonds are left. All other material gets returned to the seabed, thus minimizing any environmental impacts.

To ensure the integrity of the samples the plant is completely cleaned between each sample to ensure no gravel gets mixed from different samples and avoid any contamination.

Depending on the sample spacing, sediment thicknesses and weather conditions the MV Explorer is capable to drill between 25 to 55 sample holes in a 24-hour period.

The MV Explorer is run 24h/day 365 days/annum by a multinational team of various experts in their field, from geologists and surveyors to subsea engineers and artisans of various disciplines. They are responsible for the day-to-day operation of the mining system and the separation plant on the vessel. A team of skilled seafarers is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the vessel and ensures that the vessel and crew adhere to all international safety and marine standards.