Luanda, Angola, 02 May – Angola’s state diamond company, Empresa Nacional de Diamantes de Angola (ENDIAMA) is looking for investors for diamond mining projects in 10 of the country’s provinces, requiring an initial investment of up to US$1.2 billion, the company has said.
The search for diamond sector investors was one of the main aims of ENDIAMA’s presence at Angola’s International Mining Fair (FIMA), which finished Sunday in Luanda.
ENDIAMA currently has 18 diamond mining projects underway in 12 Angolan provinces, which represents a significant increase in relation to 2001, when the company had just four projects underway.
The around 70 projects available for financing are located in the provinces of Malange, Lunda Norte, Lunda Sul, Cuanza Sul, Moxico, Bié, Huambo, Huíla, Cunene and Cuando Cubango.
Diamond production in Angola was over six million carats in 2005, and ENDIAMA estimates that it will reach 10 million carats by the end of this year and 19 million by 2009.
ENDIAMA’s growth forecasts are base on current investments in the sector, including the start of operations at the second unit of the Catoca project, which occurred at the end of 2005.
This project, in Lunda Sul province is Angola’s principal source of diamonds and is responsible for over 60 percent of the country’s total production and around 40 percent of the sector’s revenues.
The aim of achieving 19 million carats of production by the end of the current decade will boost Angola’s position to one of the world’s main producers of the gemstone.
Angola is currently the sixth largest diamond producer in the world, but, due to the high quality of its gems, is the fourth ranked in terms of income generated from diamond production.
Angolan kimberlitic diamond reserves are officially estimated to be around 50 million carats, while alluvium reserves are estimated at 40 million carats, although surveys carried out more recently show that reserves could be substantially higher. (macauhub)