Endiama and Alrosa to mine diamonds in Cacolo, Angola

28 April 2006

Luanda, Angola, 28 April – Endiama, the state concession-holder for diamond mining in Angola, plans to mine for diamonds in partnership with Russia’s Alrosa in the Cacolo area, Lunda Sul province, Angola, which is considered to be one of the areas of greatest potential in the country, the two companies said.

Empresa Nacional de Diamantes de Angola (Endiama) will have a 40.5 percent stake in the venture and Alrosa a 39.49 percent stake, with the remaining capital divided amongst local companies Gelton, Prodominas and Saccir, each with a 6.67 percent share, as outlined in an agreement signed by the companies.

Endiama and Alrosa did not reveal the investment involved, or the expected production capacity of the mine.

The total area of the concession, for a five year period, is of around 3,000 square kilometers, and contains primary and secondary kimberlitic seams.

Arnaldo Calado, Endiama’s chairman, said that his company’s expectations for the new concession were “high” and that it would allow Angola to become a “large scale” diamond producer.

In 2005 diamond production in Angola surpassed 6 million carats, making the country the world’s sixth largest producer of the gem.

In terms of revenues, Angola is currently the fourth largest diamond mining nation, due to the renowned quality of its diamonds.

This year, production is expected to rise to 10 million carats, according to Endiama’s projections, and to almost double that in 2009.

Growth of the sector will be mainly driven by the second stage of development of the Catoca mine, also located in Lunda Sul, which currently accounts for 60 percent of total Angolan diamond production and 40 percent of revenues. (macauhub)