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De Beers eyes Angola’s diamond mining sector

De Beers Group has announced its interest Angola’s reformed diamond mining sector. The company has already applied to conduct exploration activities in north-eastern of the country.

The world’s largest diamond producer, said the move comes after the country passed “substantive and consistent reforms” in its diamond mining sector that will drive “transformative socio-economic growth for local communities,”

Following the submission of the exploration application the South African group hopes to kick-off negotiations with the Angolan government for a diamond mining investment deal. As the world’s sixth-largest diamond producer and the third in Africa, Angola’s diamond production is a key source of GDP, the government says. Angola produced 8 million carats in 2020, a 15.4% decrease from 2019’s 9.4 million, according to the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Petroleum.

Regulatory environment

In a bid to diversify its revenue stream away from over reliance on oil, Angola enacted reforms to its mining sector geared towards improving the regulatory environment. The reforms included a new model for governing the sector, and the creation of the National Agency for Mineral Resources tasked with regulating, inspecting and promoting diamond mining.

In Angola’s eastern extremity, in the province of Lunda Sul, the construction of Saurimo’s Diamond Development Hub is also underway, which will be home to new diamond-cutting factories and two training centres specialized in diamond mining, evaluation and polishing. The hub hopes to propel regional industrialization and generate job opportunities for young people.

“The reforms are an important step in creating a stable and more predictable investment environment in which the people of Angola can directly benefit from increased foreign direct investment”, Bruce Cleaver, the CEO of De Beers Group said.

“Should we discover an investment opportunity in the region, we will apply the same proven governance, social impact and environmental framework that has contributed to long-term and sustainable socio-economic development in the neighbouring countries of Botswana and Namibia,” he added.

 

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